eCSE Panel Meeting - Behind the scenes

The ARCHER2 eCSE programme provides funding to carry out development of software used by the ARCHER2 user community.

As part of our commitment to encouraging and developing Early Career Researchers, we offer a small number of early career researchers the opportunity to attend the eCSE Panel Meeting as observers. The aim is to give early career researchers a better insight into this competitive selection process, to assist them with preparing their own funding proposals in the future.

At the Panel Meeting in November, five Early Career Researchers attended as observers. Laia Delgado Callico, a 4th-year PhD student at King’s College London, tells us about her experience:

“As a final year PhD student, I am very keen on gaining experience in different aspects of the academic life, so when I read that ARCHER2 was opening a call for early careers researchers to attend an eCSE Panel Meeting as an observer, I decided to apply. I didn’t know much about what would be expected of me, then I started wondering: was I experienced enough to be in the meeting? Did I have the right background to understand the proposals? Turns out I had nothing to worry about, I was only expected to briefly introduce myself, my research and my experience using HPC. I got to sit silently during the whole meeting, being literally just an observer. Who might have guessed that?

The meeting was held online, the observers were only granted access to the funding proposals on the same day, while the panel members had already read, assessed, and provided a score for each application. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the reviewers had given similar scores to the same proposals. Meanwhile, every time a member of the panel had a conflict of interest with any of the proposals, that member would leave the meeting while that proposal was being discussed. Overall, I saw first-hand what makes a proposal fundable and what distinguishes a good proposal from an excellent proposal.

In conclusion, I enjoyed the experience and I would recommend it. It was the first time I had participated in a grant panel. Now I realise how time-consuming it is: not just the meeting itself but also previously reviewing each application. This is certainly an essential contribution to the community, so I would like to use these lines to thank all reviewers who have ever read, or will in future read, one of my applications.”


eCSE Panel Observers, 24th November 2020:

  • Evgenij Belikov, Applications Consultant, EPCC, University of Edinburgh
  • Pieter Boom, PDRA, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering (MACE), University of Manchester
  • Laia Delgado Callico, PhD student, Department of Physics, King’s College London
  • Laura Ratcliff, EPSRC Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Materials, Imperial College London
  • Marina Strocchi, PhD student, Department of Biomedical Engineering, King’s College London

We plan to run another Early Career Researchers Observers call during 2021. This will be advertised on the ARCHER2 website and in ARCHER2 mailings.