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27 Feb / The ERC CoG preparation timeline

The support bottleneck

ERC is a personal grant, but the proposal preparation process is not. Many researchers need assistance in various aspects of the proposal preparation, either technical or conceptual – from initial discussion on the concept through editing and proofreading the proposal, budget planning and even handling the online submission system.

Most supporting personnel – research managers and administrators, financial officers, language editors and consultants – deal with numerous applications in each deadline. As the deadline approaches, time runs short while more and more applicants become aware of their need for support. This generates the support bottleneck.

The supporting personnel strive to provide high quality support to all applicants, whether the support is technical or conceptual. However, once we get to the bottleneck, the pressure accumulates, negatively affecting their availability and attention.

The supporting personnel are there for you. It is in your best interest to fully and efficiently benefit from their skills. Approach them as early as possible to get the highest support quality.

The CoG and the Holiday season

The ERC CoG 2017 deadline was scheduled for early February. This was the same last year and is expected to be so next year as well. In order to meet the high standards of ERC, proposal preparation typically requires 2-3 months of conceptualizing and writing.  The proximity of the CoG deadline to the holiday season warrens more careful planning of the proposal preparation process of this highly competitive grant.

Applicants who didn’t plan ahead of time may find that starting the preparation only after the holidays, effectively leaving them a month to prepare, does not allow adequate maturation of the project idea and presentation.

On top of its effect on the quality of the final result, this also calls for intense and stressful work and numerous sleepless nights before the deadline…

Bottom line is: Preparing early is always recommended in ERC. If you are a potential CoG 2018 applicant, mark your calendar for October 2017 to begin the process.

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By Yoram Bar-Zeev in ERC posts