As my first experience as PostDoc begins in London, I already had the possibility to write my first couple of Grant proposals. It was a very instructive experience in my scientific career, particularly because my expectation of what a Grant application looks like turn out to be substantially different from what a Grant actually is.

The Art of Grantsmanship

This is how I thought my Grant may have looked like:

  1. Summary
  2. Background
  3. Research Objectives
  4. Outlook
  5. Researcher CV
  6. Supervisor CV

I have learned that THIS is how my Grant should actually look like:

1. Summary

2. Excellence of the Action [the Grant] via the proposed research and the research of a proposal. In particular:

2.1 Quality, innovative aspects and credibility of the Action

2.2. Inter- and multi-disciplinary aspects of the Action and its multi-cultural impact in our understanding of

2.2a the world

2.2b the Euro crisis

2.2c the Arab’s Spring

2.3 Clarity and quality of the transfer-of-knowledge process and the training-through-research programs of the Action, all organised to maximise the development of the Researcher in light of the research objectives. In light.

2.4 Quality of the Action.

2.5. Quality, impact and resources of the Supervisor.

2.6. Quality, impact and resources of the Hosting Organisation, if not a university or a Third Institution that, at the time of the call deadline, it is a class B or C1 for the EU rank of Rank, and ONLY if the institute applied later then April 2012 for Science Excellence Self-Assessment, or its third letter is an “F”*.

*please note: this is different from previous calls, where the letter was “R”

3. Excellence of the Action and the Action of the Excellence, in particular:

3.1. Capacity of the Researcher to reach and reinforce and to firmly hold onto and never let go a long-desired stable position.

3.1a if position will be obtained within 5 years, justify why.

3.2. Capacity of the Career Development Strategy to help the Researchers in the multidisciplinary and innovative aspects of self-assessments.

4. Impact of the Action on the skills, working and interdisciplinary resources of the Researcher. In particular:

4.1 Enhancement of the research- and innovation-related human resources, skills, and working conditions in order to:

4.1a Realise the potential of individuals;

4.1b Provide new career perspectives to the Researchers and – when applicable – the Supervisor.

4.2 Impact of the Effectiveness of the Action.

4.3 Impact of the Impact of the Effectiveness of the Action

4.3a Specify how to assess the Impact of an Impact

5. “Put in security” of the Action, in particular:

5.1 Strategy to ensure the Action succeeds, even if

5.1a the Researcher thinks it will fail

5.1b the Supervisors thinks it will fail

5.1c the Division thinks it will fail

5.1d it fails

5.2 Detailed plans for the exploitation of results in the contest of intellectual property. If not intellectual properties are envisioned, specify how do you think the proposal will repay for the money it will take.

5.3 Impact of the Action (or vice versa) in the career of

5.3a. The Researcher

5.3b. The Beneficiary

5.3c. The GD, the GFG and the DDF*

5.3d. The Administrators of the Beneficiary – if Third Individuals

*GD and GFG are the same legal entities as specified in the Commission Deliverable 20342/005 and updated in the Standardised Harmonisation of the Difference Ways Countries do Things approved by the Parliament on 25th Sept. 2013. Your DDF will be different according to which Action you apply for. For more information, follow the link

6. Implementation of the Action:

6.1 The overall coherence and effectiveness, success, productiveness, potency, power, benefit, advantage, value, virtue, usefulness and formal efficacy of the working plan, including appropriateness of the allocation of the Researcher’s free time.

6.2 Appropriateness of the management structure and procedures, including:

6.2a Quality management and Risk management

6.2b Project organisation

6.2c Management structure

6.2d Progress monitoring

6.3 Appropriateness of the institutional environment

6.4 Appropriateness of the Action

6.5 Appropriateness (please specify)

7. Competences, experience and complementarity of the Participating Organisations and the institutional commitment. In particular:

7.1. How the Action will be beneficial for the Action

7.2 How the Action will be beneficial for the Action’s Partners, in particular (but not restricted to):

7.2a The Researcher

7.2b The Beneficiary

7.2bb Someone in between the two mentioned above

7.2c The Supervisor

7.2d The Excellence of the Action itself

7.2e The Excellence of the Third Country specified in 2.4

7.2f Yourself and, when opportune, your self-esteem

7.2g The biotech industry

7.2h The general society

7.2i Angela Merkel

7.2k Our general understanding of Science


Please note: this post is designed to be a funny, relaxed critic on the way bureaucrats tweak Grant applications to maximises their political impact rather then simplify the Researcher’s life and promote the best science. Happy writing!

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