ERC Interview Training: Starting Grants 2018

Background: the Interview is a crucial step in the evaluation of the quality of the proposal and candidate. The success rate in step 2 is approximately 35-45%. The Invitation Letter for the interview does not provide any information about how the proposal is ranked. Therefore it is important to prepare for the interview well to increase your chances

The Groups: the participants will be divided in to 2 mock panels to avoid competing candidates in the same panel. Each mock panel is chaired by a dedicated trainer and consists of a maximum of 5 participants. When not presenting, you are part of the mock panel and actively involved in interviewing the presenter on his or her ideas. Your presentation needs to be prepared in accordance with the specific instructions of the ERC Panel that has invited you for interview.

Feedback: the trainer and the mock panel members provide their feedback on how to improve the presentation as well as how to answer questions during the interview. The trainer provides more detailed feedback on important aspects not well emphasized in the proposal. The training also includes half an hour of personal advice by a dedicated skills trainer on how to improve your performance: including posture, speaking pace.

Come prepared

Study Annex I of the Invitation Letter with the exact instructions of the Panel with regard to your interview, such as the duration of your presentation, number of slides, and duration of the question and answer session.

Review your B2 and use our instructions for preparing a presentation to present during the training.

Prepare a draft presentation because we expect you to present this in a mock panel (see programme)

Send us

  • The B1 and B2
  • The presentation

after receipt of our confirmation of your participation in the workshop, so that the trainers can prepare their feedback.

Confidentiality: All documentation will be treated in strictest confidence by the trainers and will be used only for the purpose of providing individual feedback. By joining the training you have agreed to treat all information from the other participants with the strictest confidence.

Training objectives

To get a thorough understanding of the buildup of your panel’s interview set up and specific requirements;

To design and present a complex project proposal in detail as a 5, 7, 8, 10 or 12 minute presentation.

To prepare yourself for the scientific questions and how to answer them.


Lotte Jaspers, Mette Skraastad, Jet van Dijk, and Aya van den Kroonenberg have extensive experience in pre-submission reviewing of ERC, Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants. They have successfully trained candidates for the ERC interviews since the second FP7 Call. Their solid knowledge and experience in pre-submission reviewing of ERC proposals is an important aspect of their success in interview training. A dedicated skills trainer will be present as well.

Programme (for training in three groups)


Begin interview sessions

Introduction on the interview and procedures

Explanation on the individual training sessions; presentation exercise: present yourself; procedure of step 2 evaluation; impact of the interview; do’s and don’ts in Brussels; information on the Panels; the structure of a persuasive presentation (this will occur for each group)


Individual Presentation in Front of Mock Panel

Each participant will present and be interviewed by the mock panel members, including feedback on: presentation/ppt/handout


Lunch break


Individual Presentation in Front of Mock Panel Continuation


End of day

Course fee, feedback after the training

Course fee is € 815,00 per participant, including the opportunity to send your revised presentation after the training to the trainer for further feedback.

Please include in the booking form if you would like to bring a support person to assist you during the day. There is no additional charge BUT each support person can only participate once per Call.

The fee for an in-house training for up to 8 participants in house is € 4.570,00. Any additional participant is charged at € 430 each. This price does not include travel, subsistence, accommodation, and VAT costs are excluded.

Date, Location, Booking

Date(s): not scheduled, available as in-house event

Time: 09:00 – 16:30

Location: Yellow Research, Veembroederhof 5-7, 1019 HD, Amsterdam


Click on the blue button ‘Book this course’ on the top of this page to book online. For questions about this course, please contact Sarah Jones at jones[at]yellowresearch[dot]nl .