European Research Council: excellence and leadership over time from a gender perspective Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2019

start page

  • 370

end page

  • 382


  • 4


  • 28

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0958-2029

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-5449


  • European Research Council Grants (ERC) have become the most important vehicle for funding scientific research in the EU. Since their creation in 2007, they have provided funding for around 7,000 of the nearly 70,000 proposals for research projects submitted. With a success rate of about 11%, these Grants are highly competitive. Despite major advancement of women's participation in research activity, women overall remain the minority in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM disciplines). Against that backdrop, this article analyses men's and women's presence in ERC Grants. The gender balance in the ERC Grant, have been examined in three dimensions: Excellence Awarded; Scientific Leadership Position; and Time Series Evolution. The results show that female presence is lower than men as submitted (26% vs 74%), granted (22% vs 78%), expert panel members (28% vs 72%), and as a panel chair (26% vs 74%). State-space prediction of the future pattern of these grants shows that time has no clearly beneficial effect on women's participation as applicants, granted, expert panel members or panel chairs, particularly in the area of Physics and Engineering.


  • women in science; gender gap in research funding; peer review; research grants; european research council (erc)