Our work

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Unique ERC services

No other consulting company has the same level of experience as we do in ERC projects and no other company has the same outstanding record of success.  We have worked in detail now on nearly […]

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Innovative H2020 services

We have worked for more than 20 years on successive Framework Programmes and on H2020 and have worked on developing many hundreds of projects in this time.  We have an outstanding record of success in […]

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Learn to plan in under an hour

We work in a number of ways to produce outstanding ERC proposals that will be taken very seriously by the evaluators. We often make half-day presentations to large groups of researchers who might be thinking […]

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What sets us apart from the crowd

A Bigger Splash Limited is a specialist consultancy offering services which span from introductory overviews to rigorous and detailed assessment of final drafts which many researcher find transforms their work. We help researchers to create […]

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Read our blog

Below is the blog on proposal writing that has been put together over the last months in an attempt to capture proposal development lessons that we have been wrestling with for more than 20 years.  […]

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A snapshot of how to write

If you only read one thing here then read this.  In just a few words we will try to boil down the lessons we have learned from our project work over the years and set […]

Blog

Background to our work on ERC projects

We get asked often where this every long standing and extensive line of work on ERC proposals comes from and so it seems helpful to set the scene a little better and explain one or … More

Innovative H2020 services

We have worked for more than 20 years on successive Framework Programmes and on H2020 and have worked on developing many hundreds of projects in this time.  We have an outstanding … More

Objectives: you can also think FINER

As a very quick follow on to another post on writing objectives SMARTly I will look very quickly at the FINER criteria which are also a very good set ideas for thinking of and … More

The logical framework is a key to success

The logical framework planning method has been around since the 1960s and has a long and well-proven track record of creating excellent project plans in a wide range of settings. … More

More on graphics in ERC proposals

There is a very common assumption among researchers preparing proposals for the ERC calls that the text must have graphics and photos and figures liberally embedded within it for … More

Elevator pitch

Speaking about your project in a way that sparks interest and engages or even excites other people is very important.   You need to understand your audience’s needs and … More

It’s Machiavelli not Confucius

Writing for the ERC is a serious business with a lot at stake and you face intense competition.  If I have tried to show one thing above all else in the posts in this blog it is … More

1% makes a difference

I have just completed an intensive three month period of work in which I reviewed quite a number of Advanced Grant and Starting Grant proposals.  And, as usual some new things came … More

What about the cv?

Taking a short time out from looking at the ideas that are set out in the pages of the brochure where I have captured many of the ideas emerging from the review of around 400 ERC … More

Objectives: make smart promises

Making promises is a critically important thing to do in the section on the objectives which forms the core of the ERC proposal.  This post will look at a very simple way of … More

Objectives: writing backwards

In this post I’ll look more closely at an approach to objectives writing which underpins all the advice that I give about how to put these critical statements together most … More

A simpler way with risk

One of the things that sticks in researchers’ minds when they read about the ERC programmes and one of the things that is firmly embedded in the myths and legends that surround the … More

The right tone

An ERC proposal is a balancing act where many forces need to be managed carefully to create an attractive and buyable proposition that promises a great deal but is also feasible … More

ERC Training Presentation

In recent months I have been to a number of countries to give a short training course and to review some of the projects that are emerging for the new ERC calls.  Below is a link … More

‘I’ before ‘we’

Another common mistake that I've seen often in the proposals I have reviewed is to give the reader the too strong an impression that this is going to be a team effort. This has two … More

A snapshot of how to write

If you only read one thing here then read this.  In just a few words we will try to boil down the lessons we have learned from our project work over the years and set out here the … More

The state-of-the-art argument

The next issue that I'd like to deal with as I move one step around the mind map of common but more complex problems is the most important that we have encountered so far and one … More

Starting out – go/no go

A year or so ago I created a spread sheet to capture the comments that I had made on the hundreds of ERC proposals reviewed in detail and to explore the different types of problems … More

What should it be like when it is done?

We are busy again with drafts for the forthcoming calls  and so we have to be able to agree with the researchers when the job has been done, when to call a halt to the work whether … More

The page limits are not targets

I have had more than one conversation with ERC officers where to topic of page length has been brought up. The message coming across is that evaluators are under pressure and … More

Selling

It is rare for anyone to speak about selling in the research community – unless they research that topic in a business school.  In some areas of science I have never heard people … More

What sets us apart from the crowd

A Bigger Splash Limited is a specialist consultancy offering services which span from introductory overviews to rigorous and detailed assessment of final drafts which many … More

A unique offer

There are few, if any, consultants with a substantial body of knowledge and experience in this area - this might simply be that we have been too busy doing it to find out, of … More

Excellence

Whenever I give a training event in the discussion that follows the topic of 'excellence' always comes up and the level of ‘excellence’ that the researcher needs for them to be … More

Goldilocks Zone

The ERC programmes are a very particular kind of ecosystem and support only certain kinds of quite rarefied life. As many of the previous posts have tried to show, there is very … More

Interviews

This is a very important topic indeed and one that worries and baffles lots of candidates who get invited to them.  We have been asked over the years to provide training expressly … More

Learn to plan in under an hour

We work in a number of ways to produce outstanding ERC proposals that will be taken very seriously by the evaluators. We often make half-day presentations to large groups of … More

Success measures

Sometimes I get asked about how I measure the success of the work that we do on ERC proposals and how I know that what I say about writing for the ERC works and makes a … More

Unique ERC services

No other consulting company has the same level of experience as we do in ERC projects and no other company has the same outstanding record of success.  We have worked in detail now … More

Any other business

This post will be the last one about the issues emerging from the discussion with researchers during recent training days in various cities across Europe – it is a loose group of … More

Researchers on risk

In the last month or two I have been travelling quite a lot to some very beautiful and interesting places around Europe. I have been delivering training courses on how to prepare … More

Read our blog

Below is the blog on proposal writing that has been put together over the last months in an attempt to capture proposal development lessons that we have been wrestling with for … More

Is it really about presentation?

The rhetoric of scientific writing and discourse has long been a subject of research and debate which I’ll draw on extensively in future posts when thinking about the fine details … More

Screening

The pressure on researchers to win ERC funding grows more and more intense and the competition gets tougher and tougher with no signs of abating.  Many institutions are actively … More