Writing a grant application requires a balance between broad outlines and the understandable and structured writing down of the right details. Many of our customers tend to jump straight into the deep and start with the details. This is understandable but not the best strategy. To avoid “drowning” in the details, it makes more sense to first take a step back and establish a strategic overview of your project.
The most important point of your grant application: what is the problem? Why does this problem exist and why has it not yet been possible to solve it? What else are you going to do in your project to (partly) solve the problem and how far do you expect to come? A list of the answers to these questions is very useful to have during the writing process.
Connection to the call
Many grant programmes are in line with a specific demand, often with a social or economic focus. The grantee would like to finance research that specifically solves this question. So start by studying the call carefully. Next, make sure that your proposal can tick off all checkmarks and specifically mention this in your application.
Knowledge utilisation and impact is becoming increasingly important. What do you want to achieve with your research project and how will it lead to follow-up research? Who will benefit from the research results and when? And how are you going to communicate this to these people and agencies? Asking these types of questions and involving so-called stakeholders helps to put your research, however fundamental, into perspective.
If you are going to work with other partners, it is important to think about who is going to do what and what a particular party is adding to the project. Many projects start with a large group of partners who all want to have input into the content. This easily becomes chaotic. It is better to first shape the project with a core team, put the broad outlines on paper and then focus on finding partners at your consortium who really add something substantial to the project.
Budget and time span
Most grant programs have a maximum budget and time span. It is important to take a good look at the possibilities within these prerequisites. Who can you hire/pay? What kind of equipment and analysis methods can you purchase? And are there other considerations that need to be considered? Only then can you determine what is realistic within your project.
Passing the stages of this strategic process is essential for a solid and competitive grant application. If the above questions are considered before you start a grant process, you are already well on your way. We at Evers + Manders have years of experience with strategic project development and can convert your idea into a promising grant application!
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