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CAD WALK Joins Top Researchers In Brussels

(May 29, 2017) - CAD WALK's lead researcher, Dr. Brian Booth, was invited to speak in Brussels today as part of a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship information session. The session was organized by the FWO (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Scientific Research Fund) Foundation, which finances research in the basic sciences in Flanders. In attendance were various doctoral students and experienced researchers hoping to get an understanding of what was required to earn a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship.

Dr. Booth's main message to the audience is that the Marie Curie Fellowship application was very different than your typical grant application. "Usually, you focus solely on your strengths as a researcher when writing a grant application. However, the Marie Curie Fellowship's main goal is to improve the skill set of researchers", says Booth. "You have to instead focus on some gap in your skill set that you would like to improve. You have to show how your proposed project fills that gap".

Dr. Booth was joined by fellow Marie Curie Fellowship winners Dr. Federica Bressan (DaphNet, UGent) and Dr. Neha Sherstha (UCL), as well as expert evaluator Dr. Anne Thoul, to provide application advice and answer questions from the crowd. A common theme among the speakers was the need to pay attention to detail. In 2016, fellowship proposals needed to score anywhere from 91% to 94% in order to receive funding. The difference between a perfect application and an unfunded one was as small as 7%. These results emphasized the message of all presenters that the application guide should be thoroughly and carefully studied.

Ultimately, Dr. Booth was quick to point out that the Marie Curie Fellowships, like all research funding, is not a one-way street. "These organizations are investing a lot of money in us. They clearly would like to see some return on that investment", says Booth. "It is important to know what they are looking for in return and to focus your application on providing that return. That is the best way to make sure that a funding organization is comfortable investing in you".

(photos courtesy of Dr. Federica Bressan)

Additional Links

Information Session Website (FWO)

Dr. Booth's Presentation

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 746614.