It looks like the time of senescence as, leaves are falling down the trees, animals get into hibernation, and plants disappear. In contrast, the European commission announced the work programme of Horizon 2020 of the remaining years 2018-2020. The c. 1000 pages of the programme encompass a high diversity of calls allocating 30 billion Euros to scientific institutions, companies, and other organisations. Are you prepared to apply for this great funding? If not, how do you become ready? You read it here.
Adopt the right approach to funding.
Manage proposals as a circle increasing your research potential from cycle to cycle.
Determine the research potential in your research group, institution/company, and your network.
You may notice that a lack of collaboration among researchers reduces the research potential substantially. So, you need to screen your team, your consortium, carefully on the ability to collaborate.
Select carefully opportunities for funding.
A wealth of funding opportunities exists. Your proposal should, however, fit a specific call very precisely. You should spend sufficient time to select an appropriate call. A research support desk at your institution/company may help you. Alternatively, you may use a service of DRS for free.
Build a firm and complementary consortium.
Scientists tend to invite scientists in their relatively narrow field of expertise to participate a consortium. It does, in general, not fit calls for multidisciplinary, multi-stakeholders, projects. The expertise of partners should be as complementary as possible fitting perfectly in the scope of a call. In contrast, a consortium should not hinge too much on a single partner. You should assemble a complementary, but also firm consortium. A challenge!
Adopt a novel approach.
Reviewing proposals is a rather boring exercise, especially the massive ones. So, you should surprise the reviewers with a novel approach to science, or innovation. The enthusiasm of the reviewers needs to be triggered.
Guarantee the impact of your project.
Scientists tend to focus on the science, the innovation, part of their proposal. The ranking of a proposal does, however, depend partially only on the scientific, or innovation, excellence. The results of a project should have impact on, science, society, or business. You should propose measures to guarantee the impact of your project.
Do not underestimate the value of implementation.
Finally, you arrive at the boring, technical, part of budgets, facilities, human resources and timelines. The part implementation is, in general, not the loved one among scientists. It, however, determines substantially the final score of your proposal. You may propose excellent science with great impact, it will not pass, if the reviewers do not judge it as feasible to implement. You may notice here as well the value of a complementary and firm consortium as a basis for implementation.