- The ERC-grant will help to push my research agenda to a new frontier
- I aim at filling the gap between different views about justice and concrete policy recommendations, says Paolo Giovanni Piacquadio, Associate Professor at the Department of Economy. He received an ERC Starting Grant for the project Value Judgements and Redistribution Policies.
Feedback: The feedback from colleagues and the research administrative staffwas in particular crucial for my preparation to the interview in Brussels, says Paolo Giovanni Piacquadio.
- How did you react when you learned that the ERC-grant was yours?
- I would say a mix of surprise for the unexpected news; satisfaction for learning that my time investment and that of many colleagues at the department - both academics and the research support team- brought its fruits; happiness for achieving such an important result for my career; and some apprehension for meeting the expectations connected to such a large Project.
- What concrete will the grant be used for?
The grant will mainly be used to create a research team to work on the project. Moreover, it will be spent to finance a workshop, travels, and journal submission fees.
- What does it mean for your research?
- The project pushes my research agenda to a new frontier. Until now, I have been mostly working on the analysis of theories of distributive justice. With VALURED, I aim at filling the gap between different views about justice and concrete policy recommendations.
In essence, I want to associate the best policy associated to several different views of justice.
At the same time, I aim at identifying the values a person abides by when proposing a specific policy. Which policies? I will deal with few, but fundamental, redistribution issues: the taxation of labor income; the taxation of capital income; and the taxation of inheritance.
- What advice would you give to others who want to follow in your footsteps and succeed with an ERC Grant application?
- I am really not sure I can give general advice on this, but I can tell what I did to prepare the application.
I knew my chances were quite thin: my CV is not stellar and, statistically, very few applicants get the grant at the first attempt.
Thus, I put a lot of effort and time on the application writing (three months of intense work). I didn't follow the suggestion of writing the B2 before the (shorter) B1. Instead, I first wrote the B1, aiming at convincing the readers that the project is innovative and interesting; then, I wrote a completely different B2, where I tried to explain the expert referees why I believe my solutions to long lasting problems are possible, innovative, and can have a major impact.
A crucial aspect of the preparation was the feedback from colleagues and the research administrative staff.
This feedback was in particular crucial for my preparation to the interview in Brussels. The first mock interview was a disaster. I believe no one attending it could remotely guess that I would eventually get the grant. Only after three more mock interviews I had a clear, concise, and convincing set of slides.