I am postdoc in computational biology field and writing one grant proposal. One of the section of the application expect applicant to show

how he/she will reach maturity to become an independent researcher?

This further expect me to show 'leadership' quality and should be supported by content from my CV. How shall I write this section?

I found this answer which suggests some points for the developed researcher looking for permanent position. At my current (early career) stage, I do NOT have any of following,

Having written and administered a grant proposal
Having been invited to sit on a review panel
Having been an invited speaker
Having organized a conference session
Having published a review paper

I have only mentored few students (but don't have any proof). Any suggestion?

2 Answers 2


'leadership' quality

The achievements and skills that you describe are more capabilities of an independent and respected researcher in your field.

Evidence of leadership usually pertains to roles at different groups. The more traditional "leadership" activities are usually representative or publicity roles for your department or college. Committees, uni groups, local community groups that reflect your research area and you are able to represent your uni/college. Representative roles at your professional association, invited government roles, leadership roles at conferences or journals, etc. This university gives some examples of the expected evidence for each academic level - James Cook University Academic Promotion Evidence

There are "non-traditional" activities that has done well for other professors that I know. One professor's blog became a world leader in the field with a great list of contributors and research stemming from her blog which supported her academic promotion. Another professor runs a great Facebook group that has become a defacto society/research group for her small field. Anything that points to respect and trust from a group seems to be good indicators for leadership.


There are plenty of points can be highlighted to justify someone an independent researcher. Here are few may help you:

  1. Publications in peer reviewed journals
  2. Professional strength (You can highlight that you guided few students, if you are a representative in your department during your PhD etc..)
  3. Academic achievements (anything related to your research and academic e.g., awards, scholarships, number of publications etc..)
  4. Highlight the projects you are associated with and your potential role during implementation
  5. Teachings experience
  6. Research experiences
  7. Collaborations (you have collaborations with other institutes etc..)

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