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 of writing a proposal in the next call, this is often some months before the call deadline. In these sessions we introduce the programme and set out guidelines for successful writing and things to avoid – these good practice lessons are drawn from our ERC work since 2007.
Recently we have been asked for more intensive training exercises. The course material is one linked to the one of the most popular posts and can be found in the list of ‘what people are reading’. We are now often giving this course over a full six-hour day and it takes researchers from the very basics about the programmes right through to the finer points of which words to use and which to avoid when writing certain critical sections with real examples.
These training sessions end with some ‘audience participation’ when we get a researcher to come to the front to try to put the lessons learned into action. The task is to put their nascent project into the logical framework of the ERC proposal structure – it is a tough exercise but shows that it is possible to plan good projects quickly if you start from the right place.
This exercise has been successful with many researchers right up to the most senior levels who are often surprisingly ‘up’ for this game. The training itself has been very well received as a powerful and practical way into the writing process avoiding the most common problems and setting the ideas on a very robust foundation.
Typically, we’ll then work more intensively with those researchers from the larger group who decide to finally put pen to paper – often after a prioritisation and initial review done in conjunction with project office at the home institution.
Please feel free to contact us for any further information about this service and how it might be delivered to fit your needs, we’d be very happy to enter into informal discussions about working together.
Also please keep in mind that, although it is not well covered in this blog, we have vast experience of working on a wide range of projects across all areas of EU funding for more than 20 years. The lessons from writing from the ERC apply directly to winning projects in all areas of H2020 and beyond and we often deliver training to non-ERC audiences with great effect. In particular, the focus on getting the objectives right makes a big difference to teams writing H2020 proposals as feedback says that this section section of proposals is the weakest (and most important) right across the board.