Session abstracts

Read more what to expect during the Grant Application Course.

Grant application 101
General advice and tips on applying for grants.
You are on the brink of (considering) taking the lead in research and looking for funding. In this opening session the main funding opportunities will be unfolded. We will discuss what kind of research is funded by the different funding agencies and what are key factors determining your success. This will be followed by how to assess which funding agency best fits your project idea in view of the research topic, research phase and methodology or vice versa. We will also discuss how to approach drafting an excellent proposal. In the next sessions key topics will be discussed in more detail, giving you the tools to write a successful proposal.

Which funding options are there at the NWO and how are proposals evaluated
In the current funding landscape it is sometimes difficult to find and obtain grants which are interesting for early career researchers. Yet, grants are an important step forward to build an independent career in research. In this talk, I will address the most important NWO grants for early career researchers. In addition, I will discuss the evaluation process of grant proposals at the NWO and how this influences the content and aim of your application. This will help you gain insight in which grants are interesting for you and what points you need to take into account when writing an application.

Which other funding options are out there?
This talk will expand on the previous session of the NWO and go into detail on the most important national grants, besides the NWO, and on European grants for early career researchers. This will help you gain insight in which grants could be of interest to you.

How to write an appealing grant summary
The title and summary may be the most important sections of your grant applications, as they are your only chance to leave that ever-so-important first impression. Yet, we seem to always leave this part to last… In this session you will gain insight in the importance of writing an outstanding grant summary to increase your chances of success. I will provide practical tips and tricks to write a summary that sells your story. By attending this lecture you will become equipped to draw your readers’ attention and trigger them to read on.

Grant structure: budget, work packages, and personal statement
During this 1 hour presentation, you will get insight in the function and importance of the work packages, budget and personal statement for grant proposals. I will tell you what the essential components of these sections are, and provide you with tools on how to write them. By attending this meeting, you will get the required knowledge and skills to draft an award-winning budget and work packages section. We will complete the meeting with a session on “how to sell yourself on paper” to convince reviewers to award you with a subsidy.

Life lessons regarding successful grant applications & Ask your questions to an accomplished academic researcher
In this session an overview will be presented of successfully receiving grants. Therefore, this will be an interactive lecture where the audience can ask different types of questions. For example we can discuss how to apply for your first grant, how to apply for grants for consolidation of your research, and discuss how funding decisions are made in panels of funding bodies. Please prepare questions!

Applying for Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship
In this session, we will introduce the MSCA-IF grants, and review the submission and the evaluation process. We will deconstruct the MSCA-IF proposals, and study the exact evaluation criteria for each section. Finally, we will put ourselves in the reviewer’s shoes and discuss examples of badly and well-written parts of grant proposals.

The reviewer perspective: what evaluators expect to find in your proposal
In this lecture we will discuss what is important for the reviewer to positively evaluate your grant proposal. During this session, you will learn a number of tips and tricks to design and execute your grant writing process in a way that responds to the call’s specifications. As a result, you will be ready to give the reviewers what they are looking for: a good read and answers to the questions they are instructed to find.

How to implement a convincing writing style
This one-hour-long lecture will give you the necessary skills to write well-structured, clear, concise, reader-friendly and persuasive grant proposals. I will give you tips and techniques on how to improve your story line to enhance the clarity, structure, cohesion and simplicity of your text. This workshop will show you how to produce a grant narrative that convinces and enthuses a grant committee of educated, yet non-expert reviewers.

You made it past the first round. What to expect and how to prepare for a grant interview.
Evaluators of many of the most important personal grant schemes use a two-step approach for evaluating proposals. First the written proposals are evaluated and ranked, after which a first cut is made. Those who make it through to the next phase are then invited for a personal interview in front of a panel of experts. After this session, you will know why interviews are used, how best to prepare and how you can present yourself to the best of your ability to obtain your personal grant. 

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