Universiteit Leiden

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Writing an excellent research grant proposal for PhDs and postdocs

It is essential for researchers to be able to obtain independent research funding in order to advance in their career. This training course will provide you with both the tools and the opportunity to practice with writing or improving your own research proposal for an individual grant.

Target group
Postdoctoral researcher
PhD candidate
Anna Coyajee-van Rietschoten  (Interim Staff Member) Nick Ollivere  (Senior Grant Advisor)
Training course

Please note: dates for 2021 will be announced soon ­


Please note that you can only follow this course if you already have an idea for a research proposal to work with and are employed at Leiden University or LUMC.

During this course you will practice writing or improving your own research proposal for an individual grant. You will have the opportunity to work on a grant proposal that you intend to submit (Rubicon, Veni or Marie Curie fellowship).

For whom

Postdoctoral researchers, PhD candidates in their 3rd year or up who already have an idea for a research proposal
(Junior) researchers employed by Leiden University who are submitting a research proposal for an individual grant. It is also open to PhD candidates and postdocs of LUMC in their 3rd year or up, as well as LUMC postdocs.
You can only attend this course with permission of your employer.


The course will focus on everything regarding writing a grant proposal, varying from the structure of your proposal to the purpose of the grant and how to accomodate your reader.

What you'll learn

  • This course will familiarise you briefly with the different grant opportunities, before focusing on individual grants.
  • We pay special attention to the purpose of the grant as envisioned by the grant organisation and how to make the proposal fit perfectly.
  • You will learn how to present your research project in the best possible way. This involves making the proposal both structured and concise, presenting yourself and the envisioned host institution properly and emphasising aspects such as innovation, uniqueness and relevance.
  • You will learn how you can accommodate the reader(s), in order to leave a good impression on the judging referees and committee.


The course consists of two sessions. After the first session you will apply your newly acquired knowledge to your own proposal. The home work assignments at the start of the course and between the two sesssions give you the opportunity to work on and improve your own research proposal.


The workload for this course amounts to 14 hours including attendance, preparation and homework. If you write a full flexed proposal, it will take more time.

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