Applying for research funding has become increasingly important now that regular funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education and Research is gradually diminishing.
Funding applications are not only attractive from a financial point of view; they also give a serious boost to the academic career of researchers. Furthermore being awarded an ERC or a NWO VENI, VIDI or VICI grant is a nice achievement worth mentioning on the CV of the respective researcher.
Moreover being awarded an ERC or a prestigious FP7 project has a positive impact on the reputation of the entire faculty and the university as a whole.
Applying for funding however requires serious effort from the applicant while the success rates are usually low (between 10 and 25%). In order to compete and succeed in submitting a successful application it is crucial to write a well-structured proposal that is appealing and stands out.
The process of composing a competitive proposal is painstaking and requires drafting, discussing, rewriting and most of all asking feedback from both insiders and outsiders.
Mission of the ERIM FAB
In order to increase the quality of funding proposals and hence also increase the success rate of funding applications ERIM has established a Funding Advisory Board. The main objective of the FAB is to improve the structure and quality of a proposal by giving constructive feedback, by asking questions about aspects that may be unclear and by giving suggestions on how to improve the attractiveness of the proposal.
The ERIM FAB consists of senior researchers that have ample experience with applying for and obtaining research funding or have experience as a peer reviewer or evaluator for EC or NWO funding schemes.
The ERIM FAB consists of:
FAB target group
The FAB primarily looks at draft proposals to be submitted in the following funding schemes:
- NWO VENI
- NWO VIDI
- NWO Research Talent
- ERC starting grant
- ERC consolidator grant
Researchers who wish to apply for an ERC advanced grant or a VICI, may optionally submit their draft proposal to the FAB and ask for feedback, although they do not belong to the primary target group of the FAB.
FAB meetings will take place approximately one month before the deadline of the above mentioned funding schemes. Draft proposals are sent to the FAB Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) electronically one week prior to the scheduled FAB meeting.
For each proposal two FAB members are appointed as key advisors. They are responsible for reading through the entire proposal in detail and asking the applicant questions during the FAB meeting. One key advisor will originate from the research group of the applicant and one key advisor will deliberately come from a different research group.
The applicant is invited to attend part of the FAB meeting. The FAB secretary will approach each applicant and schedule their attendance.
Each applicant has 10 minutes to briefly explain the objective and outline of his/her proposal and to answer specific questions of the FAB members appointed as key advisors. The applicant starts by giving a three minute pitch about his/her proposal. The applicant is not expected to give a PowerPoint presentation, but should limit his presentation to a 3 minutes pitch.
The remaining 7 minutes can be used by the applicant to ask specific questions to the FAB or vice versa. After 10 minutes the applicant leaves the FAB meeting and FAB members continue to discuss the proposal and give feedback.
All comments and suggestions are written down by the FAB secretary and are sent to the applicant in the form of a letter after the FAB meeting.
If an applicant is unable to attend the FAB meeting, he or she is requested to get in touch with the two FAB members appointed as key advisors.