The Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (IF) has the following eligibility requirement:
"Researchers must be experienced researchers (ER), i.e. at the date of the call deadline (for IF) ... be in possession of a doctoral degree or have at least four years of full-time equivalent research experience." (page 80 of the PDF Work Programme 2018-2020: Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions).
By my calculations, this means that that a student spending 4 or fewer years in graduate school must have a lag time of 6-12 months after obtaining the PhD before they could begin to recieve funding. Why is this desirable? Are there any other EU-wide fellowships for STEM which could fill the gap?
(I am aware of other postdoc funding opportunities but none that are as prestigious.)
EDIT: To clarify, why are PhD students not eligible to apply in the fall of their final year, unless they already have "four years of full-time equivalent research experience" at that point? (i.e. a student graduating in May 2021 and applying in September 2020)