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  • Sample Interview Questions
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These were given to me ahead of my CAF interview earlier this year by somebody who had already been awarded a CAF. None of these questions came up directly, but they cover a sufficiently broad range that you can handle a lot of general questions by having answers ready for them. Ideally, have these sorts of questions in mind when formulating the proposal so that you can answer them in a proactive way.

  • What would be the best possible outcome of your research programme?
  • What would be the worst possible outcome of your research programme?
  • What happens if you do not achieve your goals?
  • How will you achieve excellence?
  • How will you know when you have achieved excellence?
  • How will you manage the project?
  • What (if any) are the foreseeable problems in managing the project?
  • Why you? Why should we invest in you (and this project)?
  • What are the main challenges/risks with your proposed research?
  • What will be the roles of the other researchers?
  • How will you help your researchers develop their own (independent) research career?
  • How big will your group be in 5 years time/at the end of the fellowship?
  • Is your work well received?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
  • What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • How is your research different to that of your current and past supervisors?
  • Is the level of industrial support appropriate? How do you plan to make it successful?
  • Communicating research – how and when?
  • Why did you choose your institution?
  • Why don't you continue as postdoctoral researcher?
  • Where do you get funding from in 5 years after your fellowship?
  • What do you do if one of your collaborators stops working with you?
  • Who are your competitors in the UK and globally?
  • What is the most significant problem in your field at the moment?
  • What’s the second?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to raise?
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