Proposal review & editing
European Research Council starting Grant
The ERC Starting Grant call is aimed at researchers with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (extensions apply for certain cases), with a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal. In order to obtain one of these grants the applicant must not only show that his/her project is truly groundbreaking, but also that he/she carries the intellectual and creative capacity to successfully implement it.
For an ERC Grant application to capture the attention and curiosity of the evaluators it must be timely as well as original - the evaluators are looking for unconventional projects that will open up new research horizons. In such a competitive landscape it is extremely important that all aspects of the proposal have been contemplated and perfected - there is no room for details to be overlooked or messages to be misinterpreted.
Below I have selected and summarized a few of the aspects that I look for when reviewing an ERC StG application.
Key review aspects
Focus: That the proposal presents ERC research “signatures”, being: Ambitious (introducing important scientific advancements, through world-class research); Unique (proposing novel concepts and methodologies, going beyond the state-of-the-art); Breakthrough (potential to introduce a change not only in the specific field, but also in adjacent ones); Interdisciplinary (research crossing the traditional boundaries between fields); Open-ended (enabling new research avenues, beyond the direct and specific outcomes of the project), etc.
Objectives: That they are well defined and in line with the signatures mentioned above; make sense for the project as a whole; do not give the impression of a fragmented project; carry different levels of risk, etc.
Feasibility and risk: That there is a balance between the high risk aspects of the project, the potential impact of the research and the leadership/intellectual capacity of the candidate; any previous results are presented in such a way that they do not cause the project to be considered incremental research, etc.
Structure/language/flow: That the proposal structure/organization is optimized, taking into consideration the ERC evaluation criteria; there is clear link between the different project components (aim/ objectives/ WPs/ tasks/ etc.); the language is clear, convincing and that the importance of the project is emphasized, without being “sensationalist”; there is a “flow” in the language to help facilitate the evaluator´s work, etc.
Choose the right scheme for you
I tailor my services to each candidate´s individual needs, be it a single thorough review of an advanced draft, or continous back-and-forth reviews and support all the way up to the official deadline.
Contact me for more details.