< HOME / news

The ERC's Call for Proposal Writing Integrity in the AI Era: The Indispensable Role of Human Expertise

December 27, 2023

Danielle Wallis
Marketing Manager

The ERC's Call for Proposal Writing Integrity in the AI Era: The Indispensable Role of Human Expertise

A recent statement issued from the European Research Council (ERC) has warned applicants to retain academic integrity if they are using AI in the grant writing process.  

In essence, the ERC Scientific Council have said that while it “recognises” many scientists use AI “to brainstorm or generate ideas, to search the literature, and to revise, translate or summarise text.” The use of AI in writing a research proposal, “does not relieve the author from taking full and sole authorship responsibilities with regard to acknowledgements, plagiarism and the practice of good scientific and professional conduct.” This statement indicates that a firmer stance, including stricter regulations and monitoring of AI use, will soon be taken by the ERC, along with other funding bodies.  

While generative AI (GenAI) is becoming a staple tool across industries and has great potential in a wide variety of use cases, using it for grant writing has many limitations. These issues aren’t only around the integrity of your application, but also around the ability to submit a compelling, well-reasoned and persuasive proposal. In other words, AI is most probably jeopardising your chances of securing funding, particularly if it's completely displacing the human element.    

Here’s why:

The Generative Pretrained Transformer (GPT) does not know what the Funder's or Competition’s aims are: Understanding the unique aims of each competition, alongside the aims of the funder is crucial. Generative AI tools can't grasp these subtleties; therefore, it can’t achieve the degree of reasoning required to present a compelling solution.

The GPT will never customise to specific requirements: Every grant application needs a tailored approach. AI-generated text often lacks the specificity required for different grant providers.

The GPT does not know or understand the context: The grant writing process requires a deep understanding of the specific applicant's context, something beyond AI's capabilities.

The GPT only provides text, no guidance: AI can provide an abundance of text, but not the guidance, strategic insights and analytical depth necessary for a successful grant application.

The GPT will fabricate references and other facts: AI can make up stats or claims, often providing the most statistically plausible answer, that even if wrong, still looks good. This means that people are putting their trust in the response, without checking the facts.

The GPT can make errors: Sometimes, its calculations are incorrect, but again, they look good. Meaning that they remain unchecked.

The GPT struggles to persuade: Grant applications need persuasive narratives. A human writer can craft a story that resonates emotionally with funders, whilst being evidence-backed and logical.

The GPT struggles to interlink the narrative: Grants often require specific sections to be interlinked – in order to add that extra layer of cohesivity and reasoning. A human writer will naturally revert to a previous statement when applicable. For example, they might substantiate their proposal’s ‘value for money’ with a point made previously about its advancement over the state of the art.  

 

Whilst we recognise that GenAI tools can help generate initial ideas around specified concepts, construct frameworks for discussion or be useful in research - arguably, its use in the grant writing process should be avoided. Human expertise, insight, and the ability to tailor the proposal to the unique requirements of each competition remains invaluable, and will be crucial to your grant success in 2024 and beyond. Furthermore, considering the ERC’s recent statement on AI in research proposals, it's clear that human expertise is more crucial now than ever.

At Inventya, our grants team excels in developing and writing bespoke, compelling, and successful grant applications that truly resonate with the competition and funder’s requirements. If you have a project in mind or a competition you would like our help to apply for, contact us for a consultation by email info@inventya.com, phone: 01925 506100 or on our website: Contact (inventya.com).

December 27, 2023
← back to news
Thank you! We will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More of our news

Simplify CRM with Bigin by Zoho: The Ultimate CRM Solution for R&D-Focused Small Businesses
At Inventya, we can be your partners in implementing Bigin into your operations, setting your team up with a system tailored to your bespoke business needs while ensuring scalability with your business growth. In essence, our Zoho and digital growth experts will guide you through effective implementation, leaving your team to concentrate on what it does best.
May 23, 2024
Navigating Early-Stage Funding, Financing and Growth: Insights from Phil Crosland, Senior Innovation and Growth Specialist
As most entrepreneurs and innovators are well aware, transforming a concept into a market-ready product is loaded with challenges, especially regarding funding and financing this process. The insights I gleaned from a recent conversation with an expert from the Innovate UK Business Growth Programme, Phil Crosland, shed light on the complicated path many early-stage companies find themselves on, emphasising the critical distinction between growth and scale-up phases and exploring strategies to navigate these challenges.
May 9, 2024
Navigating the risks when scaling a business
Despite the inherent risks, scaling a business quickly is not necessarily a recipe for failure. With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a focus on sustainability, businesses can mitigate these risks and achieve long-term success. Prioritising quality over quantity, maintaining a customer-centric approach, and ensuring financial prudence are essential principles to guide the scaling process. Moreover, businesses should strive for organic growth that aligns with their core values, vision, and capabilities, rather than succumbing to external pressures or unrealistic expectations.
April 26, 2024
The EIC Pathfinder Programme 2024 – An Overview
If your project has the potential to significantly impact the technological landscape and societal progress, Inventya can be your partner. Our expertise in helping companies write and submit European funding applications positions us uniquely to support your ambitions. We're here to assist in aligning your project with the most suitable EIC Pathfinder opportunity,
April 11, 2024
Strategies for Sustainable Growth when Scaling Your Business
Scaling a business is an exciting but challenging endeavour. It's the phase where your company transitions from a small operation to a larger, more efficient organisation capable of handling increased demand and expanding its market reach. However, scaling isn't just about growing bigger; it's about growing smarter and ensuring that your business remains sustainable in the long run. In this blog, I'll explore some of the best strategies for scaling your business effectively.
April 3, 2024
The Role of Case Management A Seamless Client Journey for B2B Companies: From Pre-Sales to Post-Sales
In today's competitive landscape, business-to-business (B2B) companies are constantly tasked with refining their operations and elevating the level of service they provide to their clients. A critical aspect of achieving this balance is the effective management of the client journey, from the initial engagement in the sales pipeline to the delivery of services and beyond. Inventya, leveraging the capabilities of Zoho software, has created custom solutions that address this very challenge, ensuring a seamless, efficient, and profitable client management process.
March 22, 2024