We helped frame and develop an application for funding within the European Research Council’s (ERC) Advanced Grant scheme.


Client brief

Johan Rockström and his team sought our help to frame and develop an application to fund an ambitious research programme that aimed to explore the biophysical and social determinants of Earth’s long-term stability, with an emphasis on non-linearity and abrupt changes. The research project was conceived of with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement in mind.

What we did

Our support ranged from helping to develop the concept to shaping a submission-ready proposal. Specifically, we:

  • Discussed with the authors how to frame the research programme and grant proposal
  • Provided detailed editorial feedback and guidance on the initial drafts of the application
  • Performed substantive editing to ensure that the proposal was clear, complete and coherent, and that the novelty, feasibility, and significance and impact of the proposed research were clear

The proposed research programme, “Earth resilience in the Anthropocene”, was successfully funded; it was one of only 10 ERC Advanced Grants awarded to researchers in Sweden.


Help to frame and shape ERC grant application


Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University)


We advised on the framing, provided editorial feedback and undertook substantive editing.

How the project was received

“Elevate helped us in preparing a major funding proposal for a five-year, policy-oriented sustainability science research program. Research in this area is very multidisciplinary, so funding applications are always a complicated mix of methods, concepts, techniques and discourses. Elevate helped us to decide on our focal messages, structure the proposal to support that clear focus, and helped immensely with sharpening the text itself, getting rid of jargon and keeping the narrative flow. The proposal was funded (€2.5M), with very positive review comments. We are now recruiting a new team of researchers to work on global sustainability issues, with high-profile international collaborations.

I would certainly recommend the Elevate team – they have such a strategic perspective on the whole scientific process, with experience and insight that goes well beyond ‘just' science communication. They provided very specific and positive edits and suggestions, rather than just highlighting problems that needed fixing. They helped us see our documents with fresh eyes, a vital process in making the whole proposal a vibrant research plan.”

J. Rockström, Professor, DirectorStockholm Resilience Centre (Stockholm University)