Workshop Writing Successful Grant Proposals

Course date: 16 December 2015 - 16 December 2015
Location: Erasmuc MC Ae-327/ Ae-318

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Workshop Writing Succesful Grant Proposals

A One-Day Practical Workshop including a pre-workshop assignment (which is obligatory!).


Dates: 16 December, 2015



The Postgraduate School Molecular Medicine organizes together with ZonMW this one-day Workshop.


Writing a research proposal to apply for a grant requires skill. You are bidding for what is a limited amount of public funding, and you need to convince the funding agency that it is precisely your project, which should be awarded a grant. You need to show that your project will be successful and, more importantly, you need to demonstrate that your project will be finished on time. You also need to persuade the agency involved that you – you, and not the hundreds of competitors and rivals - are the one for the job.


Aim of the workshop
This workshop aims to give you the background and tools you need to write a successful grant proposal. Experts/speakers from various backgrounds will give you information and tips on how to structure your proposal. We will also look at some of the following questions:

  • What does a reviewer look for in your proposal?
  • How do you “sell” your project to him or her?
  • Why is it so important that your abstract is well-written, well thought out and interesting?
  • What happens if you are rejected first time around?
  • How do you re-write your proposal?

The focus of this training day is on practice rather than theory (though we’ll touch on some theoretical matters). You will be divided into two groups, and will receive feedback on the abstract of your own proposal, from two experts and your peers. We have chosen to focus on the abstract relating to your proposal, because once you have written your  abstract you are half-way writing your proposal: writing a clear and interesting abstract forces you to think your project through carefully, and to structure your thoughts and the text. Reviewers start by reading the abstract relating to a proposal.




Completing the preliminary assignment before the workshop is obligatory for participating in this workshop!




Practical Exercises (feedback on participants’ abstracts)
The two practical exercises in the program will be done in groups of 8 participants. Two teachers, Prof. Dr. Frank Grosveld and Dr. Joy Burrough, will coach both groups. Prof. Dr. Frank Grosveld will look at the content of your abstract; Dr. Joy Burrough at the way your abstract is written (the English). The program consists of the following four parts:

  1. Reading the abstracts (with the help of a projector)
  2. A short presentation of each summary by its own author, followed by a discussion of the summary. The teacher and all of the participants give the author suggestions for improvement.
  3. The author takes notes as he/she receives feedback. The same person must then incorporate at least three of the points raised in a revised version of the abstract.
  4. Writing down the conclusions of sheets to present in the whole group.

The aim of this exercise is not only to give participants practice in constructing abstracts relating proposals and justifying them, but also to provide them with the skill to accept constructive criticism professionally.


This workshop is open to PhD students and postdocs of the MolMed Postgraduate School and other schools and universities who are writing or about to start writing a grant proposal for a grant program, such as “Veni” (NWO) or any other funding body. Because of the practical nature of the workshop, a maximum amount of 16 participants can take part.


To participate in the workshop, it is necessary that you complete the pre-workshop assignment in order to participate.

Preliminary Assignment: before the workshop starts, you are asked to do a practical assignment in order to prepare yourself for the workshop. As you will be working with this material during the workshop, this assignment is compulsory. Please make sure to reserve enough of your time to compose the text on beforehand: (at least) 2 days! Should you not complete the assignment in time, you will unfortunately not be able to take part in the workshop. 
Think of your research proposal and answer the following three questions in one sentence:

  • Why this project?
  • Why me?
  • Why will my project be finished on time?

2) Then, bearing the answers to these questions in mind, write a 250-word summary (abstract) of your research proposal. Please follow the instructions below carefully. Please closely read the included guidelines for reviewers JDRF/NIH before you start writing. They will give you an idea of how reviewers read grant proposals.

Divide up your summary into the following sections:

  1. Title
  2. Background.
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Aims
  5. Methods
  6. Expected results and impact/relevance
  7. The environment should also be made evident in the project/abstract
    So essentially: “Why me and why now“.

If possible, make sure to make it explicit what each paragraph is about. So if you are describing the aim of your project, say, for instance: “the aim of my project is to….“


This course including homework and preparations is 0,5 ECTS.


Attendance fees
The subscription fee of non-commercial participants for the Course is € 200,00.
All participants from the research schools MolMed and MGC receive a discount of 100 % and pay € 0.
Due to the expensive nature of this course, we cannot give discounts for PhD-students and others.


Please make sure to send your assignment to Sharesma Ghiraw, Secretary of the Postgraduate School Molecular Medicine, at:


General information
Financial regulation of the Postgraduate School Molmed

From August 1st, 2012 the following financial guidelines are applied in general, but they may differ per course still, look at the course fee of each course to be sure which discounts are really applied:

Non-commercial course, symposium or workshop fee: €200/day, €750/week

• Participants of the postgraduate school MolMed: discount of 100%.
• Other Erasmus MC participants, e.g. of MGC, COEUR, NIHES: discount of 50%.
• PhD students and Master’s students, regardless of institution: discount of 50%.
• Master’s students who are paying the fee from their personal budget: discount of 75%.

There is one fee for the entire course. There is no reduction for partial participation.

The SPSS Course and the R Course have shorter course days. The SPSS Course counts as a 2-days course and the R Course as a 3-days course.

Commercial participants & sponsors: companies are invited to inquire about commercial participant tuition fees and about sponsoring.

Those who register for a course, symposium or workshop agree with these financial conditions.



Completing the preliminary assignment before the workshop is obligatory for participating in this workshop!



More information
If you have any questions, please call Sharesma Ghiraw or Frank van Vliet (010-70 38 053 or 06-5474 6408).



Click here for details of programme
Click here to register for this course

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