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My winning proposal: Balancing risk for a Starting Grant

Image: Allen Allen [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

High-risk elements are essential for Starting Grant bids, but the ERC needs reassurance too

Top tips:

  • Emphasise why your topic is novel and therefore risky, but include contingency plans in case experiments don’t work out.
  • Do not be overawed by Starting Grants; if your research is novel and risky, you should consider an application.
  • Preliminary data can be essential, so consider small pockets of internal funding available at your institution.
  • Feedback from colleagues in other areas will be crucial in helping you hone the readability of your project.

The European Research Council’s Starting Grants are among the most prestigious and generous grants available to early career researchers in a European Union member state or associated country. Those working on applications for the current round will need no reminding that the deadline is on 13 January 2022. Those who have not yet begun their bids would be best advised to aim for the 2023 round.

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