As it turns out, signing a contract with the ERC is a marathon, not a sprint. The message from the ERC that they would fund BROKEX was delivered without much fanfare (“your proposal has been retained for funding in this call”). In fact, I had to read the email several times to be sure that it delivered good news.
Then there were a bunch of Ts to cross and Is to dot. Yet, the signature date for the final contract with the ERC set to November 17 2018 seemed so far away. Surely, we’d be able to work things out way before then!
Today, November 16, I was informed that the BROKEX grant agreement and been signed and counter-signed. We’re entering a new phase where building a team and collecting data is the main focus. I’m very excited to be recruiting two postdocs and a PhD student to work with me on this project!
The signing itself is done electronically. It did not make for good visuals. Instead, I include an image of a genius patch they sold at the corner store outside my home in Guangzhou when the school year began. They stopped selling it after students had moved from summer holiday mode to bright-and-studious mode. I too am definitely awake now that the actual research can begin!
Heidi Østbø Haugen. Guangzhou 16 November 2018.