This week I received some great feedback about my project. Besides some suggestions via e-mail from friends and colleagues (thanks everyone!), I took part in a coaching session with three professors at the department of philosophy in Utrecht, one from each discipline group: practical philosophy, theoretical philosophy, and history of philosophy. This was a very intense session and it became clear that I still have a lot of work to do, both regarding the form and regarding the content of my project application. In order to be successful, I have to be able to convincingly get my main points across both to a broad, non-specialist commission as well as to specialized referees. This seems paradoxical, but it can be done if you split up the content of the proposal in general and specialistic sessions. Fortunately, I came across several completed application forms for NWO research projects which had some great examples on how to do just that.
First, however, it is probably a good idea to take a step back and get more clarity on the goal and strategy of the project as a whole, instead of plunging straight into repetitive rewriting of the project. As I have been concentrating mostly on my research project the past few weeks, this will also give me some more time to work on my book. I currently have around 250 pages of material, including an edition of an unpublished manuscript that is of great importance for Husserl’s early development (more on that later). Also in the case of my book, I need to look at the big picture now, set up a sensible structure for the chapters and then re-read, re-order and re-write the material as required.