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Just some of the feedback we have received from clients that we have worked with..

‘I wanted to express my gratitude for your input and help with the grant resubmission. Thank you very much for taking the time and reading/correcting the proposal several times. Your input was really helpful for me, the way we worked on the proposal will definitely change the way (for the better!) I will approach larger grants also in the future. Furthermore, I learned much about the way I need to write proposals.’ Professor, Technische Universität Chemnitz

‘I am very grateful to both of you as you played a key role in the process. Thanks to you, this was the first time I felt I have control during interviews of this kind. I have been always proud of my science but never of my presentation and thanks to your specific advice I felt that this is also an area that I can gain control over.’ – Professor, University of Fribourg

'Thank you very much for the amazing coaching!' Professor, University of Freiburg

‘I really wanted to thank you because it's really thanks to you -  your questions, your patience, and I would never have succeeded without our sessions! I still remember laughing during the interview when they asked me the question about the relationship between [one of the tasks] with the rest of the project. Exactly the same question that you asked me. Your preparation for the questions was more than crucial to winning this ERC!’ Professor, University of Montpellier, France

‘We certainly look forward to working with you (again) into the future. We very much enjoy the collaborations and enjoy very much you working with our applicants.’ University de Deusto, Spain

'I so enjoy our collaborations together. I really enjoy it! Thank you.' Professor, University of Twente, The Netherlands

‘I wanted to thank you for all this super advice which brought my project from a jumbled mess to a real proposal. I am grateful to you both.’ Professor, University of Bordeaux

'I thank you very much for your support and review work that you have given me over the last number of months. Thank you again. You know your work and I learned a lot from you in the process. It was a pleasure working with you.’ Professor, University of Deusto, Spain

'I'm surprised at myself as [at the interview] I was not nervous, but very sure and enthusiastic, and this is thanks to the work we did together! So, thank you very much for this, what I learnt is priceless.’ Researcher, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

'Earlier on this year I worked with Willem in some online coaching sessions. There had been some major changes in my professional environment, where I was struggling with how to move forward from a leadership perspective. Willem was able to help me to look at the situation from a different perspective, and also helped me to better analyse the group dynamics that I was faced with. This led me towards making some significant procedural changes within my group, as well as a change in my own leadership style. I am most grateful for this learning and now look forward to the year ahead with new perspectives and a new freshness.’ Professor, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

'Let me thank you two all your support along these months. I am certain of the difficulties in getting a positive outcome from this process. If it does not work, it will be clearly a problem of my ideas and CV, not of the application that, for me, looks better than ever. Thank you.' Professor, Spain

'I am very grateful for your [ERC interview] preparation: it was excellent and you really pushed me beyond my comfort zone.  Thanks to your preparation, I had excellent answers for all the questions that in the end I was asked. So, thank you so much!’ Associate Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles

'I’m just so enthusiastic and happy with all the online services that Mandaram offers, I don’t know where to start praising! Suggest you just join Mandaram and see for yourself!' Professor, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

‘I just want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for your work with our researcher’s application – it has really boosted the application and helped in structuring and focusing it!' Head of Section, Aarhus University

'You have accomplished a fantastic and exceptionally professional job. I wanted to thank you and send you my deepest appreciation for your services.' Research Officer, Universidad Publica de Navarra 

'Let me say that it has been a real pleasure to work with you, I have learned a lot on these very challenging projects and I have appreciated a lot your patience!' Professor, Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven 

'It was wonderful to have your support, critical birds eye and guidance at all stages and times (evenings, weekends and Christmas included!). It is important to feel that we are in good company while writing such ambitious grant applications. Despite being not successful for the submitted grant, what I learned will be applicable to any grant and a valuable addition to every scientist's portfolio.' Professor, University of Bordeaux 

'The collaboration has yielded a proposal that I am very happy with. Your input was very valuable and stimulating, which not only came because of your well thought through processes, but also by your attentive and professional attitude.' Professor, Developmental Psychology, Tilburg University 

'I worked with Fire Sanders and Willem Bouma for the preparation of an ERC consolidator grant proposal. Their wise advices considerably brought coherence to the project’s presentation. As researchers, it is sometimes difficult to highlight clearly the objectives of our work. Thanks to Whitehorne, every information is clearly recognizable in the written document, which greatly facilitates the reading for the reviewers. I also had the opportunity to work with them for the preparation of the oral presentation. In this context, we worked a lot on the form, in particular on the attitude to have to succeed in front of the panel. For this, the contribution of Fire and Willem is indisputable. Their very complementary skills allowed me to optimize the presentation, while their professionalism and their desire to take you to another level definitely brings you an incredible energy and confidence. Thus, I truly recommend Whitehorne for everyone who wants to get ready for a competitive grant, who might need it.' Assistant Professor, CNRS, University of Bordeaux, France   

'I am very happy to have worked with you. I have learnt very valuable information about proposal preparations that I will also keep for the future. Many thanks for your work and your support' Researcher, University of Seville, Spain   

'To my knowledge, Whitehorne provides the best professional preparation service for the interview step of the ERC grants. Fire Sanders and Willem Bouma offer a personalized guidance, they identify your strengths and weakness and assist you to effectively present your proposal and answer the potential questions. For me it was a pleasure to work with them. I strongly recommend their services to anyone who might need it.' Researcher, Institut Catalá de Paleocologica Humana, IPHES, Spain   

'I must say that your help has been really valuable at all steps of the process and it has made writing the proposal a very efficient and enjoyable process. As a result, I would like to thank you for all your helpful comments, corrections and suggestions for the last couple of months.' Assistant Professor, Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie, Inserm 

'I really want to thank you for all your great work. I greatly enjoyed your support, sharp criticism, and encouragement. You’re true, pleasant professionals who push applicants in the right way, and beyond themselves. Many thanks for that!' Professor, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen 

'I would mostly like to thank you for your work: it was most helpful. I highlight in particular the way you helped me to make all the different deliverables enchain so nicely. I should also share with you that I got some very positive feedback from fellow scientists to whom I asked to make a reading and comments!' Researcher, University of Bordeaux 

'The help of Whitehorne has been instrumental for preparing my ERC Consolidator Grant Proposal. Their suggestions and comments have very much improved the documents. The communication was very fluid throughout the process and I felt I had a strong support during weekends and up to the last minute before submission.' Group Leader, CIB CSIC (Spanish Research Council)

'I approached Whitehorne to help us prepare for the final step (interview) in the application for a 30M Euro grant. There is no doubt that Fire Sanders and Willem Bouma added true value to the preparations of our consortium, and I fully recommend their services to any fellow scientist facing a similar challenge as we did. I was particularly impressed by the combination of analytical depth, strategic insight, speed, professionalism and commitment with which they coached me and my five co-applicants. Not only did they provide crucial guidance in elaborating an effective 10-minute pitch of our proposal, they also played a fundamental role in helping us to become a true team. They are highly experienced in coaching individual PIs and their group of co-applicants, and they are highly effective in setting up efficient trajectories to improve coordination and effective communication of teams (and in our case all this on very short notice and under severe time constraints). They are extremely flexible (I could approach them anytime, including evenings and weekends). They have an eye both for broader strategic issues and for more fundamental micro-processes and group dynamics. This combination of competences proved extremely powerful (and is very rare). During all phases of our collaboration it was also evident that they had built up a huge amount of experience in coaching large scale consortia during similar trajectories. In fact I really regret not having contacted them at an earlier stage of this project.' Professor, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen

'This was my first experience with Whitehorne and it was also my first time writing a big strategic national grant which is quite different from a truly scientific grant. I was impressed by the way Whitehorne assisted me in the strategic issues that were extremely important for this grant and the way they helped me to structure the content in a logical way. I very much enjoyed the way of working: quick and very clear feedback, support of both content and structure, helping out with logistic and political issues as well. I can certainly recommend the help of Whitehorne if you have a challenging and complex grant to write.' Professor, Department of Genetics, University Medical Centre Groningen

'The work of Whitehorne was very helpful. Their advice is to the point and they are very much involved in shaping up a strong ERC proposal. They show strong knowledge about the funding process in the EU.  Importantly, they are very fast, but remain to have an excellent quality.' Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen

'Whitehorne does an amazing job of organizing your own thoughts and writing it into text that flows as easily as the ideas in your own head. Their attention to detail is what separates a solid proposal/manuscript built on sound science from something that is a pleasure for the referees to read. They offer insightful comments that really help the flow and balance of a document. In the last few days before a deadline, when you're juggling budget requests and your colleagues are sending numerous last-minute corrections, it is invaluable to have Whitehorne pick over the details of layout, the wording in a particular section, or notice an inconsistency in a table or figure. And their willingness to work late, over weekends, and up to the last minute before submission reflects their experience and understanding with deadline-driven scientific writing.' Assistant Professor, Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, University of Groningen

'Reporting advances in statistical analyses of complex data to bear on equally complex ideas, tends to make our language terse and uninteresting. Whitehorne helped us a great deal to get our results, and our messages, across in transparent language, which required a serious effort on their part to not only see the language, but also the story.' Senior Research Scientist, Department of Marine Ecology, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

'We would like to thank you on behalf of all the partners in our consortium for the excellent and professional advice and modifications you proposed. You showed us how to make the proposal so much stronger. We are sure that we will profit from your advice also in other proposals to be written in the future. Thank you!' Professor, University Medical Centre Groningen

'Experience with grant writing and funding schemes, coupled with your excellent judgement, made Whitehorne an invaluable partner in developing and finalising our research proposal. Your input throughout the process was consistently insightful, critical and constructive. Thank you for working with us so efficiently and productively.' Manager, Groningen Energy and Sustainability Programme, University of Groningen

'Thank you very much for your valuable and constructive comments, editing and support through the preparation phase. It has been a very pleasant collaboration and we will definitely seek your advice on future collaborations.' Professor, University Medical Center Groningen

'Thanks a lot for the excellent feedback - with clear guidelines and critical notes - to improve our proposal. The consultancy was very professional and feedback was always given within one or two days to allow sufficient time for us to finalize the proposal before the deadline. It was a pleasure to work with you!' Professor, Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University Medical Center Groningen

'Each time we collaborated with you, your contribution by far exceeded our expectations. We had expected valuable suggestions for textual improvements, and your suggestions were indeed excellent. What we had not anticipated was your critical bird's-eye evaluation in relation to the intentions of the granting agencies. Your suggestions on the general setup and structure were remarkably efficient. I have learnt a lot from these collaborations.' Director, Groningen Graduate School of Science, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

‘We found the collaboration with you very smooth, professional and  constructive. Your critical review and suggestions led to a much stronger proposal and we especially appreciate that you were able to accommodate also close to deadline reading requests.’ Associate Professor, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

‘I wish to thank you for the excellent contribution you have made to my research grant interview preparation. Your coaching has been very valuable and I think that it has improved my chances significantly.’ Senior Researcher, Spatial Ecology Department, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ)

‘Within an impossible time frame given to you (3 days) you did a magnificent job in improving this huge (60 pages) and complex proposal for the funding of a large scientific consortium … Your excellent job in text editing, making strategic remarks and identification of potential weaknesses really strengthened the probability that the proposal will be funded.’ Professor, Centre for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

We love our work - and are passionate about what we do. But we also love balance in our lives.

Photos and places of things we have found and places nearby where we live.

* Some of the main photos you see at the top of each page, are places around the world that hold a special meaning to us.