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Grants In Practice 2018




Grants in Practice 2018

9&10 July: EU Delegation, Tokyo ACCESS
11&12 July: KANDAI Me RISE 8F, Osaka ACCESS

Presentation files available now!


What is this event?

Here, students, researchers and research administrators can learn directly from experts and current grantees or alumni:

  • What types of grants there are and when are the calls?
  • What kind of documents and skills are needed for application?
  • How can researchers and institutions benefit?
  • How does the evaluation process work?
  • How to write a good proposal?
  • How to optimise your proposal, how to find hosts, and how things work once you get the grant!


Which grants?

This event will focus on two grants: the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships (IF) and European Research Council (ERC) grants. These are both grants for individual researchers wishing to spend several years in Europe either in a research team that already exists (MSCA IF) or by creating their own research group (ERC).


Event features

The event's main feature is a double seminar and interactive workshop proposed by professional trainers who come especially from Europe.
It proposes, over a full day (either in Tokyo or in Osaka), a comprehensive training for researchers willing to prepare a proposal for either MSCA IF or ERC grants.
Grantees and alumni will also provide experience feedback and support the discussions and the different workshops with their know-how.


Where and When?

This year, we propose four full days of training:

  • 9 July, EU Delegation Tokyo: MSCA IF training
  • 10 July, EU Delegation Tokyo: ERC training
  • 11 July, KANDAI MeRISE Osaka: MSCA IF training
  • 12 July, KANDAI MeRise Osaka: ERC training


Attend, and you're sure to improve your grant proposal writing skills!




Host & Support:




About the MSCA IF grant

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowships (IF) aim at supporting the international mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU. The grant usually covers two years' salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution.

IF is for experienced researchers of any nationality, i.e. researchers holding a doctoral degree or at least four years’ full-time research experience by the time of the call deadline; in any discipline (no age limit).

Individual researchers submit proposals for funding in liaison with their planned host organisation. Proposals are judged on their research quality, the researcher's future career prospects, and the support offered by the host organisation.

There is a yearly call for applications which opened on 12 April and will close on 12 September 2018.

Further materials about MSCA IF:

Grant details, Tips & tricks for application, Interviews of grantees on EURAXESS website

Official MSCA website


About the ERC grants

The European Research Council (ERC) is a funding organisation for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by funding the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, and supporting their innovative ideas. Researchers from anywhere in the world can apply for ERC grants provided the research they undertake will be carried out in an EU Member State or Associated Country. ERC grants are becoming more and more internationally recognised as awards for scientific excellence.

Research projects funded by the ERC can last up to five years and can cover frontier research in any scientific domain, including social sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary studies. The grants may help both emerging research leaders ('ERC Starting Grants' and 'ERC Consolidator Grants') and already well-established and recognised scientists ('ERC Advanced Grants'). Find out more about the different ERC grants.

If you are moving to Europe from a third country, you can apply for additional funding, which can total up to €2 million for a Starting Grant (instead of €1.5 million for those already established in Europe), €2.75 million for a Consolidator Grant (instead of €2 million) and €3.5 million for an Advanced Grant (instead of €2.5 million).

There are three calls per year according to each category. In 2018, the call deadlines are: October (yet TBA, Starting Grants); 9 February (Consolidator Grants); 31 August (Advanced Grants).

Further materials on ERC grants:

Grants details, Possibilities from Japan, Tips & tricks for application, Interviews of grantees on EURAXESS website

Official ERC website







MSCA IF Trainer:
Cristina Gomez, NCP for MSCA, Spain

Cristina Gomez joined the International Projects Unit of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) in 2009 to coordinate EURAXESS at national level and also carry out the monitoring and support to other FP7 and international projects. In January 2014, she was appointed National Contact Point and Expert at the Programme Committee for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, becoming part of the European Office, whose objective is to encourage the participation of Spanish Institutions in Horizon 2020. She has over 9 years of experience in national and European research landscape, with a focus on career development and mobility of researchers.

As an MSCA NCP since the beginning of Horizon 2020, Cristina participates very actively in the international NCP network and contributes to the promotion of the programme by delivering a large number of informative and hands-on training sessions in Spain, Europe and worldwide. Besides, she offers direct support to researchers and institutions, including personalized pre-screen service of MSCA proposals. As part of FECYT European Office communication Strategy, she has widely contributed to the promotion of Spanish institutions funding offers (MSCA and others).

LinkeIn profile | Twitter account


ERC Trainer:
Stefanie Schelhowe, NCP for ERC, Germany

Stefanie Schelhowe leads the team of the German National Contact Point for the ERC in Bonn. With more than 10 years work experience with European research policies and funding, she is specialised in ERC proposals since 2009. Besides dealing with daily questions of applicants, she has trained researchers in several information and proposal writing events as well as in specialised ERC interview trainings.

Core areas of expertise:
- Over 10 years work experience with European research policies / funding
- Since 2009 National Contact Point for the European Research Council (ERC), since 2013 head of team
- From 2010 to 2013 National Contact Point for the Joint Research Centre (JRC)
- Advising on proposal writing, evaluation process, grant management, interview preparation
- Organisation of high-level events, information and proposal writing events, interview trainings
- Detailed specific and generalist understanding of Horizon 2020
- Active as a trainer since 2009.



Alumni & facilitators:

Grantees and alumni from ERC and MSCA IF, but also researchers with experience in writing the grants will participate in the event with short feedback on their experience, and as facilitators to the interactive sessions.


Our experiences with the MSCA IF grant:

Takeshi Yoshimatsu
MSCA IF Fellow May 2017 - April 2019
School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, UK

(Tokyo and Osaka events)


Takamitsu Watanabe
Deputy Team Leader, RIKEN Centre for Brain Science, Japan
Former MSCA IF Fellow: University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UK

(Tokyo event)


Richard Obexer
Postdoc, University of Tokyo, Department of Chemistry
Future MSCA IF Fellow, October 2018 - October 2020: University of Bristol (UK)

(Tokyo event)


Taichiro Iki
Assistant Professor, Osaka University, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences
Former MSCA IF Fellow, March 2013 - Feb 2015: ETH Zurich (Switzerland)

(Osaka event)



Our experiences with the ERC grant:

Takamitsu Watanabe

Deputy Team Leader, RIKEN Centre for Brain Science, Japan
2nd stage evalation (interview) experience on ERC Starting Grant

(Tokyo event)




Registration desk opens 30 minutes before programme starts. Please come early!

  MSCA IF grants training: 9 July Tokyo - 11 July Osaka

Welcome address
Introduction to Horizon 2020 | EU Delegation Japan
About the National Contact Points | NCP Japan
(NCP Japan and EU Delegation only in Tokyo)


Introduction to MSCA IF

General introduction to MSCA (15 min) | Tom Kuczynski, EU Delegation Japan

NCPs and Net4mobility+ support (10 min) | Cristina Gómez, MSCA NCP and Expert – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).

Explanation of MSCA IF 2018 Call (+ FAQ) (65 min) | Cristina Gómez

11:30Coffee break


How to successfully participate in MSCA IF

Specifics for Japan (10 min) | EURAXESS Japan

Experience of MSCA Fellows (25 min) | Alumni and Fellows (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

How to prepare a competitive MSCA IF proposal (40 min) | Cristina Gómez

13:00Lunch break


IF Proposal Writing Training (I) - Interactive session

How to get the Abstract + Excellence Section right (40 min) | Cristina Gómez & facilitators (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

Dissemination and Communication activities (50 min) | Cristina Gómez & facilitators (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

16:30Coffee break


IF Proposal Writing Training (II) -Interactive session

Implementation: Gantt Chart and work plan (50 min) | Cristina Gómez & facilitators (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

Take home messages and wrap up (30 min) | Cristina Gómez & facilitators (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

18:30Networking reception

  ERC Grants training: 10 July Tokyo - 12 July Osaka

Welcome address
Introduction to Horizon 2020 | EU Delegation Japan
About the National Contact Points | NCP Japan
(! Only in Tokyo, in Osaka programme starts next row !)


(08:30 in Osaka)

Introduction to ERC grants
Stefanie Schelhowe, ERC NCP and Team Leader, EU-Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research  and the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations

- Basic principles of the ERC
- Who can apply
- Funding schemes and deadlines

11:00Coffee break (10:00 in Osaka)


(10:15 in Osaka)

ERC application process

Stefanie Schelhowe

- Details on different parts of the proposal
- How to convince reviewers
- Includes exercise on proposal writing

13:15Lunch break (12:15 in Osaka)


(13:15 in Osaka)

ERC evaluation criteria and evaluation process

Stefanie Schelhowe and experienced researcher (see 'trainers & facilitators' tab)

- Evaluation criteria for ERC proposals
- Structure of evaluation panels, role of internal and external reviewers
- Includes exercise on reviewing abstracts and/or exercise on interview (2nd stage)


(15:15 in Osaka)

ERC administrative and financial questions

Stefanie Schelhowe

- Which costs can be covered by the grant
- How to set up a team
- What needs to be clarified with the host institution
- Includes exercise on calculation of costs

17:15Wrap-up (16:15 in Osaka)