Top tips if you want to apply for an ERS fellowship programme

  • Identify the most suitable ERS fellowship programme aligned with your research project and profile. Ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements.

  • Start early and familiarise yourself with the application guidelines as well as the online platform (e.g. documents to collect, page limit). Contact in case of any queries or doubts.

  • Identify the best host centre/supervisor to fulfil your objectives. If you do not know where to start, ask your current supervisor or colleagues, look at publications in your field of interest, carry out Internet searches, attend relevant conferences or congresses and network. Keep in mind that the best host centre for a particular project may not necessarily be the most famous or largest host centre in the host country.

  • Explain how you are addressing a need/gap within respiratory health and provide evidence (e.g. using statistics, policy papers, recent literature). Highlight the potential benefits of your project (e.g. innovation, patient outcomes).

  • Understand the scoring criteria for each programme and ensure that you address every single point in your application.

  • Present your project in a clear, well-structured manner, making it easy for reviewers to follow. Get feedback from the proposed host supervisor but also other colleagues (e.g. statistician).

  • Present a project that is feasible within the timeframe of the specific fellowship programme and do not forget to include contingency planning (e.g. potential risks, alternative ways forward).

  • If requested, explain your methodology in detail, also covering power calculations and ethical considerations.

  • Pay particular attention to the keywords and the order of the keywords that you provide. Your application will be assigned to a reviewer panel based on those keywords, taking the keywords in order of importance.

  • If you have an interview, stick to the allocated presentation time and demonstrate that you “own” the project.

  • Do not give up and re-apply integrating feedback received: in the past, several successful candidates were selected only after two or even three attempts.

Whilst these tips may be useful for all programmes, they are particularly relevant to Short- and Long-term Research Fellowships, Clinical Training Fellowships and RESPIRE applications.