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When you apply for funds from a research council for a postdoc position, and the potential host is a university/organization that you don't know, do you share your research proposal with the PI of that university/organization beforehand?

I want to avoid plagiarism, so I'm planning to have a quick chat with the PI only, or simply apply for funds first, and discuss with the PI later if I get the grant.

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    If you expect plagiarism, you're applying to the wrong place or mingling with wrong people... Commented Jun 11, 2021 at 1:10

3 Answers 3

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If you don't share the proposal with the prospective host, you are missing out on the chance of getting feedback from them. Detailed expert feedback on a grant application is not easy to get, and very useful.

If I would distrust a colleague so much that fear of them stealing my ideas outweights this potential benefit, I'd be very, very reluctant to consider them as a postdoc mentor.

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All the calls for ad hominem postdoc fellowships that I've seen require, as part of the application pack, a letter of support from a senior person at the proposed host institution, and a copy of the host institution finance team's detailed estimates of the "indirect costs" associated with carrying out the project at that institution. I can't see how that could be done without people at the host institution seeing the proposal.

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Seconding the answer by Arno, I'd like to add that if I'm an academic staff member at the host institution, I want to know in detail what a postdoc is going to do in "my" group before any non-reversible actions are taken. To the very least, I want our research interests to be aligned (to some extent), and to verify this, I'd absolutely need to read a proposal of the applicant.

If I learn that the applicant does not trust me enough to show me their proposal, that would be a clear no.

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