Writing Grant Proposals, 2018-2019

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Writing Grant Proposals, 2018-2019

Teaching staff
Marieke Adriaanse (UU), Denise de Ridder (UU)

Type of course
Methodological and Practical Courses

February 1 and June 30, 2019

Utrecht University

The course will take place in Semester II, the exact date will be announced.

1 day


0,5 EC will be appointed for participation in the complete course

Increasingly, junior researchers such as postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors are expected to acquire external funding to support their research. By getting funding from external agencies, such as NWO and the European Research Area (ERC, Horizon 2020), young researchers are able to demonstrate their individual competence in independent thinking about important scientific themes and translate their ideas into testable hypotheses with innovative designs. At the same time there is a (inter)national tendency to address important scientific themes with societal relevance with top down research programs that incorporate large (and sometimes multidisciplinary) themes. Most of the time, young researchers do not participate in these large consortia. Notwithstanding this, it is important to realize that major funding opportunities are not necessarily geared to individual researchers but embedded in programs that address the ‘grand societal challenges’. Individual grants are more successful if one way or another they speak to these challenges and are focused on a particular topic that fits in the (inter)national research agenda.

With this one-day workshop, we address when and why one should apply for grants and how one writes successful grants. During the introduction we will discuss the necessity of participation in consortia and submit large grant proposals. However, as young researchers not always are in a position to contribute to such proposals, the practical part of the workshop is geared towards writing an individual proposal. Specifically, we (i) review the various grant possibilities that exist and are accessible to early-career scientists, (ii) discuss which types of grants one should aim for, (iii) discuss the procedures that grant proposals go through, and (iv) provide inside information about the ways applications are evaluated and distributed. Ultimately, students attending the workshop should become better in targeting their grant application efforts, and in drafting proposals that have a better chance of being successful.

To accomplish these goals, we ask students to prepare an Abstract of their (imaginary) grant proposal (e.g., VENI; Rubicon). This Abstract (with a maximum of 300 words) conveys to a non-expert (but scientific) reader/evaluator what the proposal is about, why this is exciting and important, what methodology will be used and why, and what key implications for science and practice are. Abstracts will be shared in small-group discussions, and highlights (do’s and don’ts) will be discussed plenary.

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