Workshop Writing Successful Grant Proposals

Course date: 22 April 2021 - 23 April 2021
Location: Online Teams

Click here for details of programme
Click here to register for this course
This course is fully booked! You can still register, but will be placed on a waiting list.


Workshop Writing Succesful Grant Proposals

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

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 two day training 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!   


Please make sure to send your assignment to the English teacher and to the Secretary of the Postgraduate School Molecular Medicine, and

Please send us your assignment 13th of April at the latest.

Completing this assignment on time is really important for your participation 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.

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…."

Audience and participation

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.


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

Date, Time & Location

Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd of April



Full participation is  0,5 ECTS.


Course 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

If these financial requirements should pose a problem, please contact Frank van Vliet, managing director of the Erasmus Postgraduate School Mol Med, at:

General information

Financial regulation of the Postgraduate School MolMed, from January 1st 2021, the following financial rules apply, 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%

• However, the Personal Leadership course and the workshops Photoshop/Illustrator/Indesign have to be paid from the ‘personal budget’ of employees, MolMed members and PhD students included. So they will receive an invoice from us which you have to pay and which will be reimbursed by your Department. When you will pay from your personal budget you need to provide us your home address details for the invoice. 

If there is no personal budget left, the MM-members get a discount of 100%.

• PhD students and Master’s students, regardless of institution: discount of 50%.

•The course fees of research master’s students will be paid by their master program at rate of €100/ECTS. For not I&I master students: please inform your master program in advance whether they agree to pay.

•Master’s students who are paying the fee from their private budget: discount of 75%. When you will pay from your personal budget you need to provide us your home address details for the invoice.

•However, 2 courses in statistics are paid centrally by the Dept. of Research policy for all PhD students from Erasmus MC! These are R and the SPSS course. So for Erasmus MC PhD students, these courses are always free, provided you are officially registered as a PhD student.

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

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

All invoices will be sent by email to the mail address that you filled in upon registration. If this address is not correct we use your Erasmus MC address.


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


Click here for details of programme
Click here to register for this course This course is fully booked! You can still register, but will be placed on a waiting list.

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