Table of Contents

This page is for storing hints and tips on how to write project grants.



  • It will be read by one or two experts, but the programme manager will not be an expert. Make sure it is aimed at both.
  • You have one minute of reading time to get their attention.
  • Give it to lots of people - if they misunderstand, rewrite. What you are trying to achieve and its value must be clear to non-experts.
  • First page should act as stand-alone summary of entire proposal. Most readers won’t get further. Concentrate on: what you want to do, why it’s important, why you will succeed, how much it will cost etc.
  • Major criteria your proposal will be judged against:
    • Is it a research problem, or just an application of known techniques?
    • Is special funding necessary to solve the problem?
    • Must have a “good idea”. Not enough to offer a wish-list of desirable goals. Significant technical substance and detail to explain it.
    • Explain clearly what work will be done, what results are expected and how they will be evaluated. Is it possible to judge project success?
    • Evidence that you know about the work others have done on the problem. Include short review with references.
    • Track record of publications on the topic.
  • Evidence of industrial interest, current and future is good. Should include some ‘route to market’ plan, to show you have thought of how project can become product.
  • Look at ‘Technology Foresight’ panel reports and include quotes if you can.
  • Make it clear why the problem is worth addressing. Motivation.
  • Must not be about development, must be research and not too close to commercialisation.
  • Provide evidence that you will succeed where others have failed:
    • Describe idea and your preliminary work
    • Show track record
  • Mention related research, even if only to dismiss it.
  • Don’t just reference your own work.
  • Rival solutions must be presented and their inadequacies revealed.
  • Don’t try to do too much for the timescale and funding requested.
  • Should the proposer’s institution be funding it?



fhfint_grantwriting.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/08 10:11 by leigh
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