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Hands-on Training ‘Read- My-Proposal’

Transversal Goup Meeting

Mentoring Event – Part 1: Introduction to competitive grant proposal and manuscript writing

Date: 6 July 2023

Venue: Zoom

RegistrationEventbrite registration


13.30 – 13.35 CET. Opening remarks by Dr. Maria Pilar De Lara-Castells, COST-COSY Action Chair & Dr. Serim Ilday, COST-COSY Inclusiveness Coordinator

13.35 – 13.55 CET. “Go for your research idea – apply for an ERC grant!” by Dr. Janka Mátrai, Scientific Advisor, European Research Council (ERC) Executive Agency (ERCEA)

13.55 – 14.00 CET. Questions & Answers

14.00 – 14.20 CET. “An Insider’s View of Nature Journals” by Dr. Alberto Moscatelli, Chief Editor, Nature Nanotechnology

14.20 – 14.25 CET. Questions & Answers

14.25 – 14.30 CET. Closing remarks

Description of the event:

Obtaining competitive research grants or publishing in top-tier journals can be highly competitive. As the COST-COSY action, we can think of several reasons why some countries may have a lower success rate in securing such grants or publishing high-impact papers with broad appeal. Here are a few factors we think may contribute to this fact:

1.Research Infrastructure and Capacity: The requirement for access to state-of-the-art facilities, cutting-edge technologies, and a strong research ecosystem is critical for scientific impact. Countries that have invested less in research infrastructure may find it difficult to meet the requirements for executing the necessary research.

2.Research Culture and Science Capital: Countries with a less-developed research culture, science capital, and limited previous success in securing competitive grants or publishing in top-tier journals may face scepticism over the potential for impactful research output from reviewers.

3.Limited International Visibility: High-impact research is often fed by international collaborations allowing researchers to work across borders and disciplines. Countries with limited international collaborations and networking may struggle to demonstrate the potential for groundbreaking research that transcends national boundaries. Limited international visibility may limit competitiveness.

4.Awareness and Preparation: Careful preparation, strategic planning, and a deep understanding of the evaluation criteria are critical in grant applications and paper submissions. Countries that have limited  awareness or lack specific support mechanisms for researchers in preparing ERC applications or framing and communicating their research output may struggle to produce high-quality proposals/manuscripts that meet the expectations of the evaluators.

5.Language and Communication Barriers: The language of the application process can pose challenges for researchers from non-English-speaking countries. Strong English writing and communication skills are essential for effectively presenting research proposals. Researchers from countries where English is not the primary language may face additional difficulties conveying their ideas and research potential.


With this event, we would like to highlight that while some countries may face specific challenges, there are initiatives at the European level to support researchers from less research-intensive countries. We will concentrate on the “Awareness and Preparation” part of our list and focus on capacity-building for early- and mid-career researchers from these countries.

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