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More women selected for ERC advanced grants

Just over 12 per cent of scientists selected by the European Research Council in its latest funding round, announced on 24 January, are women.

This is an increase of about 3 percentage points compared to the previous advanced grants’ selection (see RET 21 Jan 11).

The areas in which female researchers are most successful in this round include molecular and structural biology and biochemistry, with four women out of 11 selected grantees (about 36 per cent of women); cultures and cultural production, with two women out of seven grantees (29 per cent); as well as diagnostic tools, therapies and public health, with four women out of 16 grantees (25 per cent).

However, no women were selected in applied life sciences and biotechnology, fundamental constituents of matter, systems and communications engineering, and earth system science.

The overall number of applications increased by 13 per cent compared to last year’s competition, the ERC said. But the council increased the amount of money available, so the call’s overall success rate remains stable at 13 per cent of submitted proposals selected for funding.

The 294 selected researchers share a total of €660 million, an average of €2.25m per researcher, with the maximum grant worth €3.5m.

ERC advanced grants are awarded to experienced scientists from any country to carry out fundamental research in an institution based in the EU.

The UK, Germany and France remain the top three winning countries, both in terms of the nationalities of researchers and of the institutions hosting grant holders. These three countries represent about half of all awarded grants in both respects.