I just got another ERC Consolidator!

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Well, not personally, of course. But in the last ERC Consolidator round, a project proposal which I have edited got funded. As all my work is strictly confidential, I can’t tell you which proposal it was – only that it wasn’t from a Dutch University.

I’m sometimes asked about my ‘success rate’. Well, as far is the institute of this latest ERC Consolidator grant is concerned, it is 2 out of 2. Not bad! But to be honest, this says more about the quality of this research institute than about my abilities as an editor. An editor will not get your proposal funded – but an editor might increase your chances of getting the grant.

Editing can’t make your science any better. But it can make your science stand out better. After all, your grant proposal is one very long sales pitch. You are selling an idea, a plan, not a result. It is important to do this convincingly and that’s where an editor comes in.

I’ve given the interactive lecture/workshop ‘The Art of Scientific Storytelling’ many times now, to different groups of aspiring grant writers. The general idea behind this lecture is that a grant proposal isn’t just about the data. It is about telling a story, based on the data, about how your innovative idea came into being and what it could lead to.

As a scientist, you may be too involved in the details to really tell the bigger story behind the data. In my experience, a few gentle nudges from an editor can put you on the right track. Also, as an editor and a non-specialist in your field, my focus is on the bigger story, not on the specialist detail. That’s why an external editor gives you different comments than a colleague from your own research environment.

If you’re interested in hiring an editor, feel free to inquire how I could assist you.

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