What does your ERC Interview Preparation Service include?
The ERC Interview Preparation Training package is ultimately divided into four sessions:
Session I: An opening training session in the form of a webinar, which covers:
- General information and technical overview of the ERC interview
- Guidelines and emphasises on developing the main presentation
- How to prepare for the Q&A session
- An ERC – customised presentation skills revision
Session II: Strategic planning which covers: A personalised brainstorming session with the applicant discussing the best way to present the project in the interview, taking into account its content, specific guidelines from the panel and the information presented in Session I. The output of this session will provide the applicant with a clear guidance and a recommended set of actions to draft the presentation, as well as practical advice on ways to prepare for the Q&A session.
Session III – 1st rehearsal – We will perform a mock interview and provide you with detailed feedback regarding the presentation and level of preparedness. The first rehearsal will preferably take place 3-4 weeks before the actual ERC interview.
Session IV – 2nd rehearsal – The second rehearsal will give the applicant a chance to practise the presentation and bring up last minute questions and issues. The second rehearsal will preferably take place 7-10 days before the actual ERC interview.
This extensive process, built on our experience and the feedback of former applicants over the years, will ensure that the applicant is well prepared for the ERC interview, thus increasing the chances of success .
When does the first webinar session take place? How do I sign up to ensure my spot?
To ensure you have a spot in the first webinar session – we send you a link for registration with complete instructions as soon as the work order is officially signed. Each season, we have between 2-3 dates set for the webinar session, leaving enough options to suit every participant.
How and when will the sessions following the webinar take place?
Each applicant will be contacted by a dedicated consultant after participating in the first session, in order to schedule the next planned sessions and discuss the joint work on preparing for the ERC interview. The process is completely personalised, thus the work is planned according to the specific interview date, and the applicant’s prior obligations and schedule in mind.
What type of questions should I prepare for during the mock interviews in the rehearsals?
To help you prepare for any type of scenario, our team covers with you all of the ‘typical’ questions we know from experience to be addressed during the interview. These questions can be termed “non-scientific” and we will fully review them in the first webinar session. Following the session, we will also send you the webinar presentation which includes this list of questions, so you will have it at hand as you rehearse.
During the mock interviews – will you also ask questions pertaining to the scientific aspects of my project?
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 as we work on your presentation. 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 presentation. Still – we do not know your science as well as you, nor can we aspire to. This means we cannot provide in-depth scientific questions. For this we strongly advise to consult with experienced peers that can critically question your proposal from a scientific point of view. In that context, note also the following question.
Can I invite additional participants to the rehearsal sessions?
Yes. In fact – we strongly recommend for you to do this. In addition to our team of experts sitting on the rehearsal panel, the applicant is welcome to invite supporting research staff and/or peers to join in the planned mock interviews. Based on our experience with former applicants, having peers on the rehearsal panel helps the applicant in preparing for the Q&A session, by raising potential scientific issues and questions regarding the project, which could then be rehearsed on and answered. In this context, however, we would highly recommend to involve peers that have proven ERC experience, due to the unique nature of this grant and particularly the interview.
I may have some specific time constraints during our work together – will you take these into consideration?
Absolutely. Once we begin the preparation process, 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.). In case of unplanned events or constraints that may occur during our work which require readjustment of the plan, we will make all efforts to accommodate these changes as much as possible and adjust our schedule to fit your needs.
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.