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My winning proposal: Just in time

Image: Esa

Winning funding isn’t just about writing a great proposal. John Magorrian of the University of Oxford, who won £424,000 to map the dust in our galaxy, tells Cristina Gallardo of the importance of being in the right place at the right time.

Three years ago, astrophysicist John Magorrian started mapping the interstellar medium—the matter that lies in the space between the stars—of the Milky Way, funded by a £424,000 Astronomy Research Grant from the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

His proposal, submitted in 2010, took him just 2 weeks to write. This was an intense period, he says, but it worked out because he knew he had a solid idea. “It was just a question of distilling it into something that could be achievable within the time frame of the grant, 3 years,” he says.

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