Grant proposal writing - How to design and communicate your project convincingly

Short description

Succesful grant proposal writing offers you the opportunity to drive your career as a researcher, to fund your own research, to get you into independence early after obtaining your PhD and to grow your research group. Also, outside of academia it plays an important role for funding research and innovation activities.

There are plenty of national and international funding programmes with different funding schemes. Although there are differences between the funding schemes that influence what each winning proposal would look like, the process of how to turn your idea for a project into a proposal is the same.

Therefore, this workshop focuses on a) How to develop your idea for a project into a sound work programme; b) how to match it with the requirements of a particular funding programme; and c) how to facilitate communication with the reviewer by presenting your complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way.

Target group

This training is dedicated to researchers with little or no experience in grant proposal writing. 



At the end of the workshop, the participants will have:

  • An overview of funding possibilities and helpful sources of information
  • A list of contact points, websites and phone numbers which provide support and detailed answers to questions
  • A set of tools for efficiently developing research ideas into research projects and designing them to a funding programme of interest
  • Examples of proposal building blocks, as well as comments on these
  • Concise building blocks for different parts of a proposal: Work plan, Pert-diagram, objective, innovative aspects, impact.


SESSION 1: Funding programmes and how to read the documents (3.5 hours)
• The triangle of projects
• Overview of funding opportunities
• Background information on funding programmes and evaluation processes
• How to read the official documents
• The funding scheme fingerprint

SESSION 2: Developing your idea into a work plan (3.5 hours)
• Elements and structure of a work plan
• The Disney method
• Developing your idea for a research project into a first work plan
• Visualisation of the work plan

SESSION 3: Communicating your project convincingly (3.5 hours)
• Matching your idea with the funding programme of choice
• Communication with the reviewer
• Objectives and how to get the details to make them SMART
• Innovative aspects

SESSION 4: Impact and budget (3.5 hours)
• Where to put which information in the proposal and how to write about it convincingly
• The eagle’s perspective on research projects
• Impact
• Budget calculation
• Coordination of the grant proposal writing process



  • Dr. Sabine Preusse decided to quit academia in 2006 after obtaining her PhD in Astrophysics and moved on to the project management of European Funded Research projects in the Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum. Besides writing grant proposals and being a project manager in the field of production technologies, she has also trained herself as a business economist (IWW) and a professional business trainer. With this she founded her own company RaumZeit e.K. Coaching Training Beratung in 2011 and is now (also as a professional business coach) supporting researchers from all levels and disciplines in grant proposal writing and the implementation of research projects, dissemination and exploitation of project results, as well as open educational resources.

    Since 2011 Sabine Preusse has given more than 150 two-day workshops on grant proposal writing and more than 80 coaching sessions with respect to grant proposal writting, design of research projects and career-building for young researchers, postdocs and professors.

    Instructor photo © Dean Vrakela; website photo © Sabine Preusse