12 April, 2016
ERIN, a Horizon 2020 (Individual European Fellow) project, is a two-year postdoctoral fellowship valued at 184,000 Euros. It was launched in September 2015 and will be completed in August 2017. Its subject is the Irish writer-musician Thomas Moore (1779-1852), in particular establishing the European cultural networks arising from two of his song series as named in the full title of the project: 'Europe's Reception of the Irish Melodies and National Airs: Thomas Moore in Europe'. Dr Triona O'Hanlon, the IEF, is collaborating with Dr Sarah McCleave (QUB) to create a series of open-access electronic resources founded on collections of Moore's works available in eight European repositories, namely: Queen's University Belfast, the British Library, the Royal Irish Academy, the National Library of Ireland, Paris Bibliothèque Nationale, the University Library Leipzig, the Bavarian State Library, Munich, and the Berlin State Library. Further outputs will include a podcast and a co-edited volume of essays.
McCleave had attended a few Marie Curie workshops, and was encouraged by the terms of the Horizon 2020 call to develop a bid that would showcase the world-class collection of Thomas Moore in the Special Collections unit of the McClay Library at Queen's. (Since 2004, McCleave had been developing this collection through the supervision of various postgraduate projects and through her own research.) In June 2014 she approached Dr O'Hanlon, whom she had examined for a PhD in 2012. O'Hanlon's historical and bibliographical research on the Mercer's Hospital Music Collection, Dublin, as well as her participation in the online cataloguing work of RISM Ireland, suggested her as a highly suitable candidate with which to develop this particular project.
The Research Development EU team was involved in the applications process for ERIN from the beginning. Initially McCleave consulted with the officer responsible for Humanities applications, Inmaculada Higueras, regarding eligibility criteria. McCleave and O'Hanlon began work on the bid, attending a particularly helpful MSCA workshop organised by the Research Development EU team in July 2014. The workshop covered practical and strategical aspects of conceiving a grant proposal. After this we were in regular contact with each other and with Dr Higueras via email. She read several drafts of the proposal, answered queries about the applications process, and sourced information which was key to articulating the institutional profile of Queen's as the host instituion for the project. This is a very important aspect of the bid. We benefitted enormously from the detailed feedback we received. We submitted the bid by the online portal in September 2014, received news of our success in February 2015, signed the paperwork in April 2015, and launched the project on 1 September 2015.
We learned how to engage successfully with a detailed grant proposal; with the support of our EU Research Development officer we were able to work the precise demands of the particular application format to our advantage. Paying attention to the particular funding scheme's remit (through close study of documentation provided by the EC through its research portal) was another important aspect of the learning experience.
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