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ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced  Grant concept development course

'We offer a personal, individually tailored and educationally focussed journey of excellence.'

At Whitehorne, as part of our ERC services, we share our many years of experience and expertise by coaching and mentoring potential ERC applicants on enhancing their concept development skills in readiness for writing a future or upcoming ERC grant.

This course has been designed for ERC Starting, ERC Consolidator, and also more senior ERC Advanced grant applicants.

The course can be run either individually, or in small groups - and is a personalised course - suited to each individual.

The course includes:

  • Explaining the ERC process

  • How to work towards developing up a strong concept for an ERC proposal, and the steps involved for this

  • How to refine and strengthen an ERC project concept

  • What are the strong aspects within the concept

  • Development up of the proposal concept: Why is this research now needed; Why is it now relevant; Why can the research now be done; How can this concept overcome the bottle neck in the current State of the Art; What are the underpinning recent results that support the feasibility; What is the aim; What are the objectives; What is the skeleton for the workplan; What elements of the workplan need collaborators.

  • Applicants will develop up their own ERC proposal concept and have this personally reviewed by us with a focus on: Where is there lack of focus, depth and definition; What is unclear in the proposed concept and how can this be remedied; Where are the inconsistencies; including what are the areas that could be strengthened and suggestions as to how to achieve this, with further refining then to be undertaken by the applicant.

  • Personalised review and feedback on participant's drafts of specific course components ('homework').

We also offer comprehensive and individualised ERC grant services,  with ERC grant writing individual support and ERC interview support.


  • Preparing for an ERC grant is a challenging and time consuming process - on top of the everyday challenges of academic life. Our focus is on making this process as enjoyable and as stress free as possible - for all individuals that we work with.

  • When any of our clients interact with us, they will find us to be down to earth and approachable professionals, who have a real passion for what we do, and we understand and appreciate how busy the life of an academic can be.

  • All of our work is based on a strong process-driven foundation.

  • We believe in honesty and transparency, and in building strong and healthy relationships with our clients.

Your course facilitators are Fire Sanders or Willem Bouma, both qualified and experienced senior trainers. Both Willem and Fire have experience working with all panels and areas of research, and have worked with numerous applicants and institutions throughout around Europe and beyond. 

We have over 15 years (specifically) working on European, Dutch and other national research grant proposals - and over 25 years experience with scientific promotion cases, research grant applications, interview training, review and editing of high impact research journal articles and writing nominations for prestigious prizes and awards. We specialise in what we do and offer – and ERC grant writing is no exception.

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Hello. Thank you so kindly for your message and query. We will respond to you within 24 hours, and most often quicker than this. Kindest of regards, Fire and Willem @ Whitehorne