Connecting European Neuroscience

FENS-Kavli Scholars’ survey on how to get the perfect grant

08 March, 2017 in FENS News

The opinion article based on the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence’s survey, led by Tim Vogels, Matt Grubb, Carlos Ribeiro and Yiota Poirazi (chair of the Network) has been published in the 9th March issue of Nature.

The article summarises the work of the FENS-Kavli Scholars who asked more than 300 Europe-based researchers for input into a survey about the problems and difficulties in grant applications, , and how best to get financial support.

Young scientists face more pressure, expectation and dwindling financial support. So what makes the perfect grant?

Yiota Poirazi argues that more funds need to be ring-fenced to support individual young and mid-career scientists as opposed to large, multi-investigator teams. Nowadays there are few opportunities for single-investigator grants in Europe. With success rates for most European grants very low, this makes it extremely challenging for younger scientists to support an independent research team.

Moreover, the competition is simply too high for young researchers in Europe: limited track records and experience at coordinating large grants along with generally small networks of collaborators bias most — typically multi-investigator — funding schemes towards senior, well-connected principal investigators.

Findings coming out of this survey aim to help scientists build a career but also to improve the application process of the funding scheme, stressing the importance of this last point, which is a key pillar for European science and innovation. 

To access the full article, please click on the following link:

For more information, please check the FENS-Kavli Scholars web page.


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