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EuroCenter Course The Successful ERC Applicant 17 April 2018


1.

Introduction to ERC

2.

Principal Investigator

3.

Scientific Proposal (Part B2)

4.

Extended Synopsis and Proposal Summary (Part B1)

5. An Evaluator’s Experiences

6. Interview Phase

7. The Experiences of an ERC Consolidator Grantee

8. ERC Evaluation Criteria – the Research Project (Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant)

9. ERC Evaluation Criteria – the Principal Investigator (Starting and Consolidator Grant) 10. ERC Evaluation Criteria – the Principal Investigator (Advanced Grant)


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Introduction to the European Research Council (ERC) ​Anne Overgaard Jørgensen ​EuroCenter The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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ERC Grant Schemes

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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What is the ERC? • Was created 11 years ago, in 2007, to enhance top level excellent research and to create a bottom-up EU-grant (no politics) • The ERC only funds the best research and the best researchers (you need to be in the top 10 % of your field). • The ERC is part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s framework programme for research and innovation

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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What do ERC grants offer? ERC offers independence, recognition og visibility  to work on a research topic of own choice, with a team of own choice  to gain true financial autonomy for 5 years  to negotiate with the host institution the best conditions of work  to attract top team members (EU and non-EU) and collaborators  to move with the grant to any place in Europe if necessary (portability of grants)  to attract additional funding and gain recognition; ERC is a quality label The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Danish ERC sucesrates The Danish ERC success rates in Horizon2020 are 11,3 %, this is bit lower than the overall success rates which is 13,06 %. In total Denmark holds 175 ERC Grants

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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ERC Grants to Denmark Number of projects 14

12

10

8

6

4

2

0 2007

2008

ERC Starting Grant

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

2009

2010

ERC Consolidator Grant

2011

2012

ERC Advanced Grant

2013

2014

ERC Synergy Grant

2015

2016

Proof of Concept

2017


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The ERC Evaluation Panels

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Select the right panel • Address your application to the relevant peers.

• You can choose keywords from a different panel, in case your research topic cuts across different panels. • In addition, you can enter free text keywords that you consider best characterise the scope of your research proposal. The choice of keywords should take into account any multi-disciplinary aspects of the proposal.

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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The evaluation process Step 1

Evaluation of Part B1

Selection of proposals for Step 2 A = High quality and through to Step 2 B = High quality, but not high enough for Step 2 (NOTE: No resubmission in the next call) C = Not of sufficient quality to qualify for Step 2 (NOTE: No resubmission in the next 2 calls)

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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The ERC Proposal

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

Step 2 Evaluation of Part B1 and B2 + interview (StG and CoG)

Project ranking A = Fully meets the ERC’s excellence criterion  funding (if sufficient funds are available) B = Meets some but not all elements of the ERC’s criterion


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Excellence is the sole criterion

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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The 3 Key Concepts to be addressed in an ERC Proposal - Groundbreaking research

- High risk – high gain

- Scientific impact

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Groundbreaking Research

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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High risk – High gain

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Scientific Impact

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Proposal Parts

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Proposal Parts

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Proposal Parts Part A (online form)

A1: General information A2: Administrative data of participating organisations A3: Budget A4: Ethics A5: Call specific questions

Part B (attachments in pdf)

B1: Cover page incl. summary, Extended Synopsis *, CV, trackrecord (10 pages) B2: Scientific Proposal (15 pages)

Annexes (attachments in pdf)

Host Support Letter … Proof of PhD Award Ethics approvals Extension documentation, e.g. birth certificate  …    

You submit the full proposal at once through the Participant Portal Submission System The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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ERC Work Programme and Information for Applicants

The successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Principal Investigator Profile and Requirements of the PI

​Lasse Wolthers ​EuroCenter The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Principal Investigator (PI)

Part B1 – Extended Synopsis (10 pages in total)  Cover Page with summary (1 page)  Extended synopsis (5 pages)  CV and Funding ID (2 pages)  Early achievements track-record /10-Year Track-Record* (2 pages) Part B2 – Scientific Proposal (15 pages in total)  State of the art and objectives  Methodology  Resources (incl. project costs)  Ethical issues

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Who is ”ERC material”?  Creative thinkers – able to create paradigm shifts  Outstanding CV & high-impact publications  Proven leadership and independence  Basic-research oriented - rather than industry or teaching  Timing (career-wise)

You have 4 pages to show that you fit the bill! The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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What are the evaluators looking at? Starting and Consolidator grants

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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What are the evaluators looking at? Advanced Grants

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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What are the evaluators looking at?

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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The formal requirement • Section b:

Curriculum Vitae • Section c: Early achievements track-record

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Section b: Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Section b: Curriculum Vitae The CV must include • Standard academic and research record • Education • Employment record • Succinct ”funding ID”

It is not mandatory to use the provided template (but a good idea)

The CV should include • Indicate any career gaps and unconventional paths • Leadership skills (project/grant management) • Tutor experience • National and international experience and relations (e.g. mobility, membership of advisory boards, research councils etc.) • H-index, where relevant • Picture? The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Section b: Succinct Funding ID • Specify any current research grants and their subject o Funding from different sources and countries is a plus • Describe ongoing applications for work related to the proposal

Use the template – mandatory! (but will not count towards the page limit)

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Section c: Early achievements track-record (max. 2 pages) Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants 1. Publications in major international peer-reviewed journals, in which PI is main author (or without PhD supervisor)

Up to 5 publications for StG and up to 10 publications for CoG 2. Research monographs and any translations thereof 3. Granted patent(s) 4. Invited presentations to internationally established conferences and/or international advanced schools 5. Prizes/Awards/Academy memberships

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

Section c: Early achievements track-record (max. 2 pages) Advanced Grants 1. Publications

Up to ten representative publications, from the last ten years, as main author in major international peer-reviewed journals

2. Research monographs (and any translations thereof) 3. Granted patents 4. Invited presentations to internationally established conferences and/or international advanced schools; 5. Research expeditions (that the applicant Principal Investigator has led) 6. Organisation of international conferences in the field of the applicant (membership in the steering and/or organising committee) 7. Prizes/ Awards/ Academy memberships 8. Major contributions to the early careers of excellent researchers 9. Examples of leadership in industrial innovation or design The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Communicate your profile Help the evaluators…  Use sections to make the proposal easy to read for the evaluators. They do not have a lot of time! Use a structure that allows you to highlight the most important parts of the proposal.  Tailor your CV/profile so you bring out the central features of your experience and expertise that corresponds both to the scientific proposal and the ERC scheme you are applying for.  If relevant, include a picture of yourself in order to stand out in the pile of proposals

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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The importance of… Competitive edge StG

• At least 1 high-impact publication

CoG

• Several high-impact publications

AdG

• Active 10-years track record, with ”new” high-impact publications

International visibility (within your field) StG • Post-doc/position in a different country

CoG • Some international recognition

AdG • Recognised internationally

Funding ID StG • Not mandatory, dependent on time point The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

CoG • Critical

AdG • Critical


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The importance of… Non-incremental work StG

CoG

• Proving independent thinking: Showing progress from PhD/post-doc

• Critical

AdG

• Critical

Leading a research team StG

CoG

• Not mandatory, but could be an advantage

• Critical

AdG

• Critical

Mentoring new scientists StG

CoG

• Not mandatory, but could be an advantage

• Critical

AdG

• Critical

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Timing to consider Concept/Project idea Is now the best/right time? • Ahead of competition? Pending publications

Convincing preliminary findings? Will it be too late next year?

Is it mature enough?

Career StG • Is it too early? • Transition to CoG

CoG • Publication status • Personal considerations • Transition to AdG

AdG • Publication status • Personal considerations

Ask yourself: Why now, Why me? The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Three typical PI challenges in an ERC proposal - and how to handle them 1. Demonstrate that you as the Principal Investigator will be leading the project A successful ERC project is dependent on the Principal Investigator’s project idea and CV 2. There should be a clear fit between the Principal Investigator and the ERC grant ”ERC added value”. Show the evaluators that they will get value for money by selecting you. Starting Grantee: Striving towards independence Consolidator Grantee: Consolidating researcher and research Advanced Grantee: Experienced researcher with strong leadership skills (supervision of PhD students, management of research grants etc.). 3. Use your previous achievements as a strength It is an advantage if you have been able to attract funding previously in your research career. You can use the model CV, but employ it in your own way.

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018


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Scientific Proposal Part B2

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​ nne Overgaard Jørgensen A EuroCenter

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Part B of the ERC Proposal - Part B1 – Extended Synopsis (10 pages in total) 

Cover Page with summary (1 page)

Extended synopsis (5 pages)

CV and Funding ID (2 pages)

Early achievements track-record /10-Year Track-Record* (2 pages)

- Part B2 – Scientific Proposal (15 pages in total) 

State of the art and objectives

Methodology

Resources (incl. project costs)

Ethical issues

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Use the B2 Template and the Host Letter Template from Participant Portal

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Purpose of B2 Describe your ERC project in detail  Demonstrate:  The ground-breaking nature of the research  The potential scientific impact  Research methodology

B2 is read together with B1 by panel members and remote referees (experts in your field) The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Preparing the Proposal - Your ERC idea! This is the basis of a strong ERC hypothesis/research objectives/aims - The time dimension  Time to prepare (including time to lay on the couch!)  Time to write  Time to edit  Time to receive and incorporate feedback from peers - Write in several steps  Many start with B2, then move to B1, and then move back to B2 – do not copy paste The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Evaluation – what evaluators look for The evaluators are faced with the following questions (relating to the Scientific Proposal): Ground-breaking nature and potential impact of the research project - To what extent…  Does the proposed research address important challenges?  Are the objectives ambitious and beyond state of the art (e.g. novel concepts and approaches or develpment across disciplines)?  Is the proposed research high risk/high gain? Scientific Approach - To what extent…  Is the proposed research methodology appropriate to achieve the goals of the project?  Does the proposal involve the development of novel methodology?  Are the proposed timescales and resources necessary and properly justified?

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Key concepts Groundbreaking research

 Ambitious and strong objectives or hypothesis?  Frontier research? Significantly beyond state of the art?  Novel approaches ?  New theory? New methodology?  Opening up to new research horizons? Opening entirely new fields? Tip: Make sure to show that you know state of the art in your field and how your project goes beyond it.

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Key concepts High risk – high gain  

High risk: A risk of failure? On the edge? High gain: Never done before? Moving the research field from one stage to another? Creating an impact on other fields?

Keep in mind that ERC considers risk as a positive thing

Desrcibe how you will mitigate risks by alternative strategies

Tip: Important concept to adress, you can dedicte a whole sub-section to this key concept or incorperate it

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Key concepts Scientific Impact Addressing an urgent research question? Timelyness Filling a gap of knowledge? Structure: use well defined objectives to underpin potential scientific impact  Societal relevance? This is not a must, but you are welcome to describe it    

Tip: You can open your part B2 (and B1) with describeing the scientific gap you intent to bridge by your ERC project

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Feasibility Key Questions:  How long does the project take? Up to five years  Division into sub-parts, sub-projects or a work plan can be useful. Create an overview  Make sure it is evident that you are the leader of the project and superwise all aspects of the project at all stages – do not include unnecessary partners

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Resources and budget - keep it simple!  Resources to be described  Salary (?)  Every other person charged to the project (team members)  Equipment  Consumables  Travel  Publications – open access  Other  Subcontracting  NB: Not explained costs are often cut  Apply for start-up costs purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities or "start-up" costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018

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Tips for writing B2  Write to peers in your field(s)  Provide sufficient details on methodology, work plan, selection of case studies, hypothesis, preliminary data (if any) etc.  Get feedback from peers in due time  Be present in the text! Write ”I” and ”we” and refer to your own work and and discoveries  Be passionated and ambitious  Concise and clear writing is important  Make it easy to navigate in the text by using sub-sections,  Highlight key points in bold, use illustrations and use charts

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


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Exercise  The purpose of this exercise is to get an overview of the scope as well issues to be addressed in Part B2 – The Scientific Proposal. 1. Individually (20 minutes): Read Part B2 of DEVOMIND. While reading, please reflect on the following questions, which are meant as a check list: Tick the box if you find that the proposal answers the question (a tick in the box means yes!). If you have more time, note down where and how this shows in the proposal. 2. With your “neighbour” (10 minutes): Discuss your answers to the questions. The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 april 2018


Check List – Part B2: Scientific Proposal The Successful ERC Applicant The purpose of this exercise is to get an overview of the scope as well issues to be addressed in Part B2 – The Scientific Proposal. 1. Individually (20 minutes): Read Part B2 - The Scientific Proposal of an ERC proposal. While reading, please reflect on the following questions, which are meant as a check list: Please tick the box if you find that the proposal answers the question (a tick in the box means yes!). If you have more time, note down where and how this shows in the proposal. 2. With your “neighbour” (10 minutes): Discuss your answers to the questions.

Questions: DEVONMIND Victoria Southgate: 1. Does the proposal address an important research challenge?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

2. Does the proposal argue for current limitations and how the proposal will go significantly beyond state of the art?  Notes: _________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________

3. Does the proposal address (directly or indirectly) the following concepts:  Groundbreaking research?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ 

High risk/high gain?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

1


(Scientific) impact?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

4. Is the methodology of the proposed project well explained?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

5. Is there a clear plan for carrying out the project within the proposed timeframe?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

6. Does the PI describe his/her research team, host institution and other resources (e.g. equipment and infrastructure), as well as his/her commitment to the project (in percentage)?  Notes: ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________


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The Extended Synopsis & the Proposal Summary

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Kim L. Kryger EuroCenter

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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The first of two “proposals”

B1 Extended synopsis

• • •

B2 Scientific Proposal

What is expected of the Extended Synopsis? How should it differ from the full proposal? Who will evaluate the Synopsis and how?

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

Side 2


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Extended Synopsis (Part B1) Part B1 – Extended Synopsis (10 pages in total)  Cover Page including the summary (1 page)  Extended synopsis (5 pages)  CV and Funding ID (2 pages)  Early achievements track-record /10-Year Track-Record* (2 pages) Part B2 – Scientific Proposal (15 pages in total)  State of the art and project objectives  Methodology  Data  Resources (incl. project costs/budget)  Ethical issues The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

Side 3

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Extended Synopsis Evaluation criteria The ERC Work Programme:  “….provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/ high-risk research”  “The Extended Synopsis should give a concise presentation of the scientific proposal, with particular attention to the groundbreaking nature of the research project, which will allow evaluation panels to assess, in Step 1 of the evaluation, the feasibility of the outlined scientific approach. Describe the proposed work in the context of the state of the art of the field. References to literature should also be included”

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Extended Synopsis Evaluation criteria

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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What is expected of your Extended Synopsis?  A concise presentation of a scientific proposal that: Is of a ground-breaking nature has high potential impact Addresses important challenges Will move beyond state of the art Strikes a balance between being high risk/high gain and feasible 5 pages to convince evaluators that your proposal is “ERC material” NB: The extended synopsis should contain ALL relevant information, since the panel will only evaluate Part B1 at Step The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Who will evaluate my extended Synopsis (B1)?  Panel review only  Write so as to convince specialists and non-specialists alike  Study your panel

and how ?

..

Best

Intermediate

Out

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Support the evaluators Cover page (1 p.) - Name of Principal Investigator (PI) - Name of Host Institution (HI) - Proposal full title - Proposal short name - Proposal duration in months - Proposal summary (max. 2000 characters - same as abstract in A1)

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

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Support the evaluators The Extended Synopsis (5p.) -

-

- Clear structure and language (proper english) - Use diagrams and charts to illustrate ideas and processes - Be visible and enthusiastic as a PI - References to litterature etc. (not restricted to the max. 5 pages) Sell your idea and promote yourself : You have the ability to adress important scientific challenges through ground-breaking research now

The Successful ERC Applicant, 17 April 2018

Side 9

Extended Synopsis (Part B1) vs. Scientific Proposal (Part B2) B1

Length

5 pages + cover page

B2

15 pages

Evaluation criteria Ground-breaking nature and potential impact of the research project: the extent The Project to which it addresses important challenges; has ambitious and beyond the state of the art objectives; is high risk/high gain research The extent to which the outlined scientific approach is feasible bearing in mind the extent that the proposed research is high risk/high gain

The extent to which: a)the proposed research methodology and working arrangements are appropriate to achieve the project b) involves the development of novel methodology c) the proposed timescales and resources necessary are properly justified

Evaluators

Experts but not necessarily in your field

Experts in your field (remote referees) Will read B1 and B2

Strategy

Convince evaluators/gatekeepers that your project is ERC material (and feasible)

Convince the experts of the scientific foundations of your proposal + its feasability (methodology, timescales and use of ressources)

The Scientific approach

Præsentationstitel - Ændres via Indsæt>Sidehoved & Sidefod

Side 10


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The ERC interview - Starting and Consolidator grants

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The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview - Purpose – the objectives and the importance of the interview - Format - What to expect and what is expected of you - Preparation – advice on how to train and prepare for the ERC interview

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview

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B1 Extended synopsis

B2 Scientific Proposal

Interview

Purpose

• An integrated and (often) decisive part of the evaluation procedure for Starting and Consolidator grants. 

To weigh your abilities to lead and conduct the challenging proposal (PI criterion)

 to address any question and/or concern about your project proposal raised by the reviewers (project criterion). The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview

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Format • Location: Bruxelles • Duration: 20/30 minutes • A presentation followed by questions from the interview panel. 

The time alotted to the presentation/questions differs from panel to panel.

It is important to respect the format.

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview - Practical informations & preparations

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview Preparing and training for the interview - tips and advices • Practical preparations • Preparing your presentation incl. your Power Point • Preparing for the discussion ( Q & A)

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018


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The ERC interview Preparing and training for the interview - tips and advices • Practical preparations • Preparing your presentation incl. your PowerPoint • Preparing for the discussion (Q&A)

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018

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The ERC interview Preparing and training for the interview- tips and advices • Practical preparations • Preparing your presentation incl. your PowerPoint • Preparing for the discussion (Q&A)

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018


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The ERC interview Preparing and training for the interview - tips and advices • Practical preparations • Preparing your presentation incl. your PowerPoint • Preparing for the discussion (Q&A)

The Successful ERC Applicant 17/04/2018


Evaluation Criteria – the Research Project (ERC Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant and Advanced Grant) The Successful ERC Applicant

Research Project – Ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility

Ground-breaking nature and potential impact of the research project   

To what extent does the proposed research address important challenges? To what extent are the objectives ambitious and beyond the state of the art (e.g. novel concepts and approaches or development between or across disciplines)? To what extent is the proposed research high risk/high gain?

Scientific Approach    

To what extent is the outlined scientific approach feasible bearing in mind the extent that the proposed research is high risk/high gain (based on the Extended Synopsis? To what extent is the proposed research methodology appropriate to achieve the goals of the project (based on the full Scientific Proposal)? Only step 2 To what extent does the proposal involve the development of novel methodology (based on the full Scientific Proposal)? Only step 2 To what extent are the proposed timescales and resources necessary and properly justified (based on the full Scientific Proposal)? Only step 2


Evaluation Criteria – the Principal Investigator (ERC Starting Grant and Consolidator Grant) The Successful ERC Applicant

2. Principal Investigator - Intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment


Evaluation Criteria – the Principal Investigator (ERC Advanced Grant) The Successful ERC Applicant

2. Principal Investigator - Intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment

Erc course 2018  

Erc course 2018

Erc course 2018  

Erc course 2018