I'm currently a postdoctoral fellow applying for an assistant professor job in Europe. The application requires me to include funding options in my research plan. The job is for five years and tenure depends on how well I perform.

I believe my research plan is good, but I'm having trouble finding the right funding. I've looked into both European and national funding opportunities, but unfortunately, I don't qualify for any of the open calls. The big European programs like ERC are mainly for experienced researchers, and national options often need collaborations with researchers from other countries, which I don't have yet. I'm not sure if I need them to apply for funding.

I know I can mention past closed funding calls in my proposal, but this doesn't really help me learn how experienced researchers find grants.

I've tried using my university's internal system and checked papers from local researchers in my field, but no luck so far. I'm worried that if I do get a job in academia, I won't know how to find the right funding opportunities for my research.

I'd really appreciate any simple tips or general advice on where to find grants. Thank you so much for your help!

  • Your last paragraph threatens to make this a "shopping question" which would be off topic here. I suggest you ask for more general advice.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:28
  • I'll also note that your competition for an assistant professorship is also inexperienced so has the same issues with things like ERC.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:29
  • Thank you, I edited the last paragraph. Why do you think that my competition is inexperienced?
    – enne
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:38
  • Since it is for an assistant professor position.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


Would you not be eligible to the ERC Starting Grant? Even if you haven't done 2 years of postdoc yet, you can still include it in your (future research) plan.

Hard to say which other grants you might be eligible to without knowing the country or your research field. What I'd recommend is looking at the profile of assistant / associate professors in the place you're applying to and checking out their funding sources. If these are not visible, you could ask by email. Make a big list and check which ones you'd be eligible to.

PS: You could also try to ask on the Future PI Slack.

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