Now there’s plenty of time before autumn’s and, most importantly, next year’s deadlines. If you’re a junior researcher, you can find tips about writing a proposal and setting up a time plan. Summer is the perfect time to reflect and draft your research project. Think about funding possibilities for your research career; it’s a learning process that usually begins with seeking funding and scholarships from smaller foundations, and later on from larger ones. For established researchers, it’s essential to apply for and get funding from national research councils in competition with other researchers. This provides a stable funding base from which to conduct research, eventually leading to internationally competitive European research funding. Throughout your research career you can count on support from colleagues and mentors, through seminars, workshops, meetings, compilations of calls, etc.

New deadlines and internal procedures for ERC-applications

EU-applications have high priority at Stockholm University, particularly applications to the European Research Council (ERC) which has a great importance for basic research. ERC supports projects of great scientific potential and quality. There is funding of various types for outstanding individuals at different career stages. The Starting Grant is for those who received their PhD 2-7 years previously and are ready to start their independent research careers. The Consolidator Grant is for scholars 7-12 years after their PhD who wish to strengthen their roles as research leaders. The Advanced Grant is aimed at established and internationally recognised researchers and the Proof of Concept Grant is for those who have already received ERC-funds.

In order to provide more support to researchers who are applying for ERC Starting or Consolidator Grants, Stockholm University now introduces new review procedures within both the Human Science Academic Area and the Science Academic Area similar to those already used for most of the Wallenberg applications.

Guidelines for applications to the ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants 2016

Applicants...

  • Should contact the Research Support Office as early as possible.
  • Submit a pre-proposal/notice of interest together with a letter of support from the Head of Department not later than 15 August, 2016 (in the future this will be 6 months before the final application deadline). The pre-proposal consists of a 5-page ‘extended synopsis’ (Part B1 of the ERC application).
  • Upon recommendation from the Human Science Academic Area or the Science Academic Area, hand in a full application (Parts B1 + B2) to the Research Support Office.

The Research Support Office is responsible for...

  • Signing the ‘Commitment of Host’
  • Reviewing the budget
  • Support for the administrative part of the application (Part A).

The applicant is responsible for submitting the full application to the ERC.

Some advice on writing the application

Do your background research. Evaluation criteria, instructions to the applicant. The focus of the funding agency, and previously granted funds show what they support. This gives you a hint whether you should apply or not.

Help the reviewer. A clear and easy-to-understand text simplifies the reviewer’s job. Make sure that your title and your abstract evoke interest. Be clear but not simplistic about the following:

  • what you want to do
  • why it is important now
  • why you/your research group are best suited to do this
  • how you will do it
  • where it will lead and what are the implications.

If the funding agency has published their evaluation criteria, you can help the reviewer by addressing these criteria in your proposal, thus giving the reviewer arguments in favour of your proposal. 

Text: Maryam Hansson Edalat, Leif Järlebark, Research Support Office