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  (Senior Grant Advisor) Nicholas Ollivere  (Guest)
Training course
The workload for this course amounts to 21 hours, including attendance, preparation and homework (If you write a full flexed proposal, it will take more time)
Start dates 2024
14 March, 23 May, 12 September, 7 November

Why this course?

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). 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.


Please note that registration of a session opens on the start date of the previous session. This means that registration of the session of 25th of May opens on the 16th of March. 

Course dates

Please find below an overview of the course dates that will take place in 2024:

Course 1: 
Session 1) 14 March 2024 09:00 - 14:30 hrs
Session 2) 11 April 2024 09:00 - 12:30 hrs

Course 2:
Session 1) 23 May 2024 09:00 - 14:30 hrs
Session 2) 20 June 2024 09:00 - 12:30 hrs

Course 3:
Session 1) 12 September 2024 09:00 - 14:30 hrs
Session 2) 10 October 2024 09:00 - 12:30 hrs

Course 4:
Session 1) 7 November 2024 09:00 - 14:30 hrs
Session 2) 5 December 2024 09:00 - 12:30 hrs

Please note that you can only follow this course if you:

  1. Are affiliated with the University Leiden/LUMC
  2. Having a PhD degree or are at least in the last year of your PhD
  3. Have a (rough) idea for a research proposal                                                                      
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