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My winning proposal: Building an ERC bid before Brexit bites

Techniques used in a high-pressure Consolidator Grant bid may be applied to other ambitious schemes

Top tips for big individual bids:

  • Major bids need a major question which means they will be inherently risky. Accept that.
  • While the research itself can be risky, grants panels must have absolute confidence that you are risk-free as the principal investigator.
  • Preliminary studies can be presented in such a way as to demonstrate this.
  • Give your internal peer reviewers a time-limit to review your draft bid, which will help iron out any problems with readability.

Bhismadev Chakrabarti, professor of mental health and neuroscience at the University of Reading, was one of 50 UK-based researchers to win a European Research Council Consolidator Grant in December 2019, and as such may be one of the last UK researchers to benefit from ERC funding.

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