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Opportunity profile: Going for the jugular of basic life sciences

Being truly disruptive and interdisciplinary is the best strategy to win funding from the Human Frontier Science Programme for innovative basic research in the life sciences. Cristina Gallardo found out more from the programme’s senior scientific director for science and communications Guntram Bauer.

Bauer’s top tips for applicants

  • Follow your interest, and go straight for the scientific jugular.
  • Don’t tell the reviewers that you’re the best person in this field, just explain the problem and present an innovative approach.
  • Avoid contextualising too much: there is no need to tell the committee how many people die of malaria each year, they know that. Too many applicants waste space in their proposals telling generalities that everybody already knows.

The Human Frontier Science Programme (HFSP) was created more than 25 years ago to offer funding for basic research into biological problems. It has an annual budget of $56 million, which it receives from a range of national funders—14 at the moment, which include Australia, the UK and the United States—as well as the European Union.

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