Claudia Eggers October 13, 2021 Proposal
Hi, I think what people are looking for in a fellowship proposal are three things, the person, the place and the project. And especially for a fellowship, the person has to be absolutely force first and foremost. You have to make the case, why you as an individual are the best person for this project. And the best person to get the fellowship. And sometimes that can be hard for people, because reading a fellowship is a little different from how we normally write science.
So a lot of the time when we're presenting results, it's the project that is the result of a collaboration. And that is actually part of the exciting part of doing science is being in a collaboration. So, we use a lot of words like we found this. And when we analyze these data, this is what we found. But in a fellowship application, what's really important is you have to sell yourself as the scientists. So, I have this skill, I have this expertise which I can apply to this particular problem, which is really essential. And I think that's the biggest difference.
I think that, people sometimes struggle with at the beginning, and then of course, the science has to be absolutely robust, it has to address strategic priorities. And you have to be really clear, and very concise about how you present that. And then the place is significant as well. Why is it significant that you do this project in this particular institution. And then, if you can cover those three areas, then you're well on the way.
1st person experience
I did definitely look quite closely at the handbook. So again, just you know basic eligibility, and then sort of what the process was to actually put the application together, understands of sections I'd be needing to write. And then, the other thing I found very useful, then really closely look throughout the website on their information about the things, like the strategic at priorities and the kind of areas that are really sort of a hot topic for them.
And I could then really see how my research fit within those strategic priorities all those certain areas. And that actually helped me write the application, because as I was writing I was thinking about these key terms, that are actually put out there, is in terms of what their research interests are. How I could actually make sure I'm making that really clear that I'm actually hitting those kinds of targets with this particular work program.
2nd person experience
One of the advertisements that I got from my mentor was, uh, make it simple, like don't complicate things, don't try to put everything into. Like, three or four work packages. So I have three questions that are easy to follow. And make application kind of like it's ambitious, at the same time it is feasible.
So I think that was very good advice. The other advice I got from the other colleagues who have gone through this kind of process, or different fellowship applications. So, one of the advice I got was about not making three objectives dependent on each other. So, because if you have like one first objective phase, then all other objectives also failed, so do not make like a cascade thing. So, there is a connection between three objectives, but at the same time they shouldn't be like heavily dependent on each other. So that was a very good advice that I got.
And also another thing I got from my supervisors, was about have a backup plan for each objective. So like in case, if you were planning to do this experiments, and if you want to achieve that in a short period of time, and if that fails what kind of backup plans you have. So that was also very good of advice I would say.
I think the first one is the most obvious fix something that you're really excited about. This is going to be your career, if you get it for the next three years. So, it's important that you pick something that really excites you. And then that will also come across in how you write, and present the project. The second thing I would say is that it's essential to speak to people within your institution, the finance people, the Admin folks on how to make sure that you meet all the eligibility criteria. And that you get everything, all the forms, all the attachments correct.
And then the third thing I would say is really essential, and this is absolutely critical, is getting as many people as you can to read your application. Both people who are expert in the subject that you want to explore, but it's also really essential to get people who are not expert in that subject. Because what you think might be really clear in your application, and obvious, and not we're stating is probably not. And so it's those people who are not subject-matter experts, who are going to be able to help you identify those areas.
More people you can get to read your application the better, and not just necessarily people that are directly experts in the field that you're actually writing about trying to get a sort of quite a broad range of people to read it. So let's see, if you can actually get your message across in a coherent way, I think it's actually quite good to get people and not experts in that research area. If they can read it and understand what each product, say why you think it's really exciting and important research to fund? And I think that's a excellent thing.
So, first it would be developed a coherent and impactful application, building upon your prior track record. But, at the same time that have opportunities for you to develop your skill set. The second it would be developed a very good or strong supporting network, a collaborative network, and justify that well in your application. And third, how this fellowship proposal fits within your career plan. And how that will make you transition into a group leadership at the end of your fellowship.
Good luck, and enjoy the process. And it can be challenging, but regardless of whether or not you are a successful, it will still be a useful process.
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