One thing that we regularly come across in our work is applicants underestimating the time it takes to develop a groundbreaking concept and convert this into a full ERC Starting or Consolidator proposal – that is competitive at ERC level.
A competitive proposal takes a lot of time and effort in drafting and redrafting, sending drafts to colleagues for review and more redrafting.
In respect to a timeline:
– We would recommend that at least 4 months prior to the deadline applicants have already begun to develop their concept (preferably even 5-6 months beforehand).
– With at least three months to go applicants should be writing a basic blueprint/skeleton plan of the proposal, and then using this to create a first draft version of B2. (We recommend that applicants start with B2 and when this is fully finished, only then use B2 (15 pages) to create B1 (5 pages)).
– With at least two months to go we would expect applicants to have a good solid (full) draft of B2 ready and is sending it to colleagues for review and feedback.
– With 6 weeks to go we would expect applicants to have an advanced draft of B2 ready and is sending it to colleagues for further review and feedback.
– With 3-4 weeks to go we recommend that applicants have B2 fully finished, including budgets and staffing, CV and Track Record summary etc. and be ready to create B1 from B2.
– With two weeks to go before the deadline applicants should have the full proposal completed (both B1 and B2) and be working on final checks and minor revisions only.