As the last calls for ERC Starting and Consolidator grants closed recently, it is time to reflect on gained experience and summarize brief lessons learned. In this article, we aim to bring reader´s attention to four best practices, which we consider beneficial to ensure high quality and competitiveness of the ERC proposals; however, we have often see them underestimated or completely neglected. There is no doubt that the preparation of an ERC project requires a lot of time, commitment and diligence. However, the long nights in solitude spent solely on writing and contemplating the proposal are no guarantee of success. We encourage future ERC applicants to keep an open mind and pay due attention to the following advices based on real-life experience of your colleagues scientists.
Anyone planning to submit a grant application under Horizon Europe should know about the possibility of using the complex services of national contact points (NCPs) in their respective country. Here we present an interview with NCP for ERC and MSCA for the Czech Republic, Mrs. Zuzana Capkova. We appreciate that she took the time to explain to our readers how she as NCP can help young scientists applying for ERC and MSC IF and which training workshops she organizes for them this year.
We discussed with Katerina Cidlinska, PhD various factors influencing careers of early career scientists in the Czech Republic, relatively low scientific mobility, main reasons for quitting the scientific career and possible solution that could prevent it all. Katerina Cidlinska PhD. is a sociologist who focuses her research on studying working environment in academia, support to early-career researchers, mentoring, gender inequalities in academia, exits from academic career, intersectoral mobility or professional identities.
European Research Council (ERC) is considered the flagship of European research funding. To date, ERC has supported almost 10 000 breakthrough scientific projects and ERC grantees have won prestigious prizes, including 7 Nobel Prizes, 4 Fields Medals and 5 Wolf Prizes. It is great news that the key features to which the ERC owes its uniqueness will remain unchanged even during forthcoming framework program Horizon Europe.