Webinar Report: How to plan research grants that further your career

Panellists in two webinars share their strategies for managing projects that lead to successful grant applications.

Securing research funding is pivotal for group leaders to run their lab in a sustainable manner and for postdocs to become independent researchers. Since project grants and personal fellowships are only awarded for a few years, it is necessary to carefully plan out research projects with scientific outputs that lead into new project ideas and generate (preliminary) data in time for the next grant application. This requires researchers to be highly skilled in both project and time management.

In two separate webinars, speakers discussed how to strategize obtaining data that feeds into the next project proposal, how to balance research and project management with grant writing, and how to tailor your CV for grant success.

Webinar 1

In the first, speakers from China, Australia and India shared their experiences of applying for grants worldwide.

The best time to have started thinking about it is two years ago – but the second best time is today.

– Anne Fletcher, Monash University

Moderator: Benjamin Schwessinger, ARC Future Fellow, Australian National University and member of eLife Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG)


  • Anne Fletcher– Senior Research Fellow, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University
  • Sabyasachi Rakshit– Assistant Professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali
  • Chee Wai Chua– Principal Investigator Shanghai Jiao Tong University China
  • Jeffrey Erlich– Assistant Professor at NYU-ECNU Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science at NYU Shanghai

Webinar 2

In the second webinar, researchers in Brazil and the USA shared their data management strategies and grant writing timelines. We also heard about the support available from Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions for early-career researchers based in Europe.

Start from an excellent idea, and make it clear from the very start why it's attractive to the evaluators.

– Stijn Delauré, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions unit

Moderator: Lotte de Winde, Postdoctoral research fellow at MRC Laboratory for Molecular Life Sciences and member of eLife Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG)


  • Olivia Rissland, Assistant Professor at Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado
  • Daniel Mansur– Principal Investigator at Laboratory of Immunobiology, Federal University of Santa Catarina
  • Stijn Delauré– Policy Officer, European Commission, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions unit

We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Interested in our full selection of #ECRWednesday webinars, on topics such as preprints, finding funding and more? Take a look at the collection of past reports and recordings.