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My winning proposal: Time is of the essence for Rutherford fellows

Astronomers shouldn’t carry the sense of timelessness gained from contemplating the universe into grant applications

Top tips

  • All applications should broach this question: ‘Why now?’
  • Apply to several potential host departments.
  • Make sure your grant is accessible to non-specialists and carries a sense of excitement.
  • If reapplying, be sure to incorporate developments in your field since the first bid.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s flagship Ernest Rutherford Fellowships scheme for early career researchers is open again. This year, the council will support up to 10 five-year fellowships in astronomy, solar and planetary science, particle physics, particle astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear physics or accelerator sciences. There is no upper limit on funding but the total available funding of £6 million (divided by the 10 fellowships on offer) gives an indication of the amount that scientists are expected to apply for. The deadline for applications is 13 September.

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