Grants for researchers with between 7 and 12 years experience are in high demand, according to figures from the first round of applications to the European Research Council.
The ERC reports it has received 3,673 proposals for its latest type of grant, the Consolidator Grant, launched following the division of the ERC’s starting grant scheme into two different strands last year.
The applications consisted of 1,668 proposals from the physical sciences, 1,203 from the life sciences and 802 in social sciences and humanities.
Previously, a single grant funded researchers with between 2 and 12 years experience post-PhD. However, under the new system, starting grants are only valid for those up to 7 years post-PhD, with consolidator grants to support the more experienced researchers.
Together, the two grant schemes received 7,002 applications from early-career researchers in 2013. This is an 48-per-cent increase compared to last year, in which 4,741 proposals were submitted.
This increase mirrors a similar rise in applications for the new Starting Grants, reported in November 2012.