Questions about the ERC consulting service we offer:
What does the support service for your ERC consulting include?
ERC Pre-submission Standard review Package – The service provides you with a detailed report about the way the project is presented, focusing on the key ERC required elements.
We will review the ERC application to verify that all essential elements are properly addressed – including the PI profile, the project’s concept, its novelty, the high risk / high gain involved, hypothesis-driven, investigator-driven, non-incremental aspects, etc. The feedback that we provide can be used to improve the proposal competitiveness prior to actual submission, in order to increase your chances of success.
This service includes a single review cycle of the full application (B1+B2 documents), followed by a Q&A session, in which we discuss the comments made in the review report. In order to maximise this process, it is recommended to use this service only when you have a near-final version of your full application, but leaving enough time to implement suggestions.
Note: Any extension of this service will be implemented using the Deep Dive review only (as described below).
ERC Deep-Dive Package – We will provide an in-depth interactive and unlimited review of the ERC application, while learning the scientific area, studying the PI’s publications and track record, and thoroughly preparing and guiding the applicant through all steps of the grant preparation process – from idea to submission. This comprehensive package includes an extensive and interactive review of the scientific idea, concept and ERC presentation strategy, full reviews of the text (both B1 and B2), panel selection discussion with the PI, relevant ethical considerations and structuring the ethical annex, handling or monitoring the electronic submission system for the applicant, quality assurance procedures, proofreading and more.
This service includes several review cycles – we will review your proposal as many times as needed with no constraints (except for the deadline), until it is ready for submission.
Will you provide in-depth consulting on the scientific aspects of my grant proposal?
We understand how the scientific community thinks and acts and the ecosystem that researchers are working in. We learn your science in order to provide better, more targeted support. Our personnel is equipped with the right scientific background for that, and we have unique methodology that enables us to rapidly learn your specific scientific area and project idea, so we can speak the same language – the language of your science. Our efforts at learning your science enable us to ask the right questions and provide quality feedback that is relevant to your specific proposal. This way, we can guide you through the process and shape your project idea and structure to fit the grant requirements, while addressing its strengths and weakness. Still – we do not know your science as well as you, nor can we aspire to. This means we cannot provide in-depth scientific feedback. For this we strongly advise to complement our feedback with that of experienced peers that can critically read your proposal from a scientific point of view.
Do you consult on panel selection?
Yes, we do. This service is included in the “ERC Deep Dive package” as part of the ongoing discussions about the project presentation. The panel selected could potentially impact the way the project is framed and written and the evaluation process, especially in multi-disciplinary proposals, when the panel selection is not straightforward.
Do you provide support for technical and administrative aspects of the grant proposal?
Yes, we do. This, as well, is included in the “ERC Deep Dive package”. Normally, these aspects are handled by the Grants office in your institution. Still, we can support you with any of these aspects as needed provided that our support will be approved and coordinated with the institution’s Grants office.
What is the general timeline for the ERC consulting service?
Excellent ERC proposals take time to materialize. Our experience shows that the thinking and writing process take more time and effort than expected, which is why we strongly recommend to start working as early as possible, allowing the concept mature and crystallize, the text to be polished and to avoid last minute rush and stress.
Regarding our service – providing you with the best quality support requires time. This becomes crucial as we get closer to the respective deadline. In order to give our full attention to each of our clients and enable you to get the full support you need, we apply the following policy of accepting new projects and clients during this period:
ERC Standard package – we accept a near-final draft for review 1-2 months before the deadline and no later than 3 weeks before the deadline.
ERC Deep-Dive package – we recommend to start the process at least 2-3 months before the deadline and no later than 6 weeks before the deadline.
What draft should I send for review?
ERC Standard package – Please send a near final version (both B1 and B2) of your application.
ERC Deep-Dive package – In order to kick off the process, we’ll need to receive a draft of either your B1 or B2. Since our work is ongoing, there is no limit on the type of draft we expect at the kick-off stage. This can be a full, partial, or very initial version of either your B1 or B2.
Who will be my point of contact during the review process?
For both ERC Standard and Deep-Dive package – a dedicated consultant with the relevant scientific background will be assigned to your application, oversee its review, and handle any direct communications as needed.
How soon do you return reviews of the ERC proposal once I send them to you?
ERC Standard package – Since we will be reviewing your proposal once in its entirety, please allow for up to 10 working days for us to send it back with our full feedback.
ERC Deep-Dive package – At large, this depends on the length and depth of the document you have sent us (e.g. B1 or B2), but generally it will take us up to five working days to return with feedback.
In what format will I receive your consulting feedback?
ERC Standard package – A detailed structured report.
ERC Deep-Dive package – The feedback will be provided as comments and suggestions within the proposal drafts, all in ‘track changes’ mode to make it easy to follow. In addition, and as needed, we will discuss these issues with you over Skype or phone.
I may have some specific time constraints during our work together – will you take these into consideration?
Absolutely. We work with you! Once we begin, we will make sure to formulate the work plan along with you. Please let us know, as soon as possible, about any time constraints that you may have until the deadline (planned vacations, leaves etc.), so we can adjust our schedule and fit it to your needs.
If I pass to the second stage evaluation, does your service also include interview preparation (for ERC Starting or Consolidator grant applicants)?
The ERC interview a unique window of opportunity to communicate with the ERC review panel, clarify open questions, and further impress them. We provide dedicated trainings for the ERC interview preparation as a separate service package. Additional information about our unique, individual and customized approach can be found here.
Once I receive the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR), can I contact you to review it together?
Yes, we would be happy to review the report with you. Simply contact us when you receive your report, and we will process and analyse it together.
We keep strict confidentiality policy with all of our clients and we can assure you that your information is kept safe with us. In addition to the signed work order / agreement that specifies this, we can also sign a dedicated mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) if required.
Questions about the ERC grant writing process:
Can I submit a grant proposal which I have already previously submitted for a different funding scheme (other than ERC or ERC-like grants)?
Though this may work in many other instances of grant proposals – ERC grant writing requires much different attention and thinking. Clearly stated: recycling (almost any) past grant application into an ERC application should be strongly reconsidered. In most cases these “recycled applications” are not successful, simply because of the unique nature of the ERC grant. Learn more about why you should not “recycle” in ERC here. If this was your original plan – please contact us for moving forward.
How much time should I allocate for my grant proposal preparation?
Although the end result of the ERC application is not a considerable amount of text, establishing and crystallizing the research concept does take considerable time and effort. For this reason, we highly advise to set aside at least 2-3 months for this process.
Should I start with B1 or B2 of the ERC proposal?
Choosing whether to start with B1 or B2 can actually be based on your personal preference. Our experience shows that both serve as successful starting points. That being said, we do not advise to work on both in parallel. Work on one, and then once completed move on to the other. If changes need be made, make sure you take into account that updates may need be made in both B1 and B2.
Can I copy text from B1 to B2 and vice versa ?
Yes. There are instances for which the focus and text need to be similar in both documents, and copying from one to the other is entirely acceptable.