Proposal review & editing

MSCA-IF

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
Individual Fellowships

SCOPE

Individual Fellowships support the mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe - as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU. The grant covers two years of salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution. Individual researchers submit proposals in collaboration with their planned host organisation. Proposals are mainly judged based on their research quality, the researcher's future career prospects, and the support offered by the host organisation. Fellows can also spend part of the fellowship elsewhere in Europe if this would boost impact, and those restarting their career in Europe benefit from special eligibility conditions.

For a MSCA-IF application to be competitive, its content must “jump off the page”. You only have 10 pages to convince the (usually saturated) evaluator that:

 

  1. You are an experienced scientist showing an excellent track record;

  2. You have a novel and innovative idea for a research project, which a research group is willing to host and support;

  3. You have prepared a comprehensive, high quality, yet realistic, training plan for developing both hands-on technical as well as “soft” scientific skills;

  4. Your fellowship will provide a two-way transfer of knowledge between you and the host;

  5. Your proposed measures to communicate the project activities to different target audiences are effective, and that your strategy for exploitation and dissemination of the project results is suitable

  6. Your professional maturity/independence will increase during the fellowship, leading to an enhanced future career prospect;

  7. You should be one of the approx. 13% of applicants that are granted the fellowship

 

For a proposal to be successful it must score at least 90-95% in total (cut-off for the 2019 Physics panel was 91.4%). In order to reach that kind of score level, all aspects of the proposal must be contemplated and convincingly presented.

Below I have summarized some of the aspects that I look for when reviewing a MSCA-IF proposal.

Key review aspects

  • Is the proposal language clear, to the point and convincing?

  • Are the project objectives well defined, ambitious and achievable?

  • Is the training that will be offered of high quality and appropriate to the researcher´s profile? 

  • Have specific short/long-term career goals been set? 

  • Are any inter/multi-disciplinary aspects of the project high-lighted?

  • Has the two-way transfer of knowledge between the candidate and the host institution been described?

    • For the candidate: What type of core and advanced research skills will be developed during the fellowship (new techniques, instruments, etc.)? What type of transferable and complementary skills will be gained (presentation skills, grant writing, IPR management, etc.)?

    • For the host: How will the candidate´s previously acquired expertise, skills, collaborations/ networks be made useful and possibly cover any gaps that the group/host may have?

  • Are proposed dissemination activities (conferences, publications, social media, etc.) effective given their set target audiences (peers, expert users, industry, policy makers, etc.)?

  • Have sufficient outreach activities been planned and are they "out of the box"?

  • Is the workplan plausible, including the allocation of tasks, resources and project management?

  • Is the expected impact shown at the researcher, organisation and system level?

Choose the right scheme for you

I tailor my services to each candidate´s needs, be it a single thourough review of an advanced draft, or continous back-and-forth reviews and feedback all the way up to the official deadline.

​Contact me for more details.

CONTACT ME

© 2020 Stewe Bekk - Bekk Research Support

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