When you do not know where to start…
It is normal that, at the beginning, you simply do not know where to start. We advise you to make a list of your priorities for your project and search among all possible resources. Make a list of which types of funding would be available for your project and do not close your mind to only one single option. Flexibility is a plus here!
When you decide to commit to a project…
Take into account that obtaining funding is not only about the funding itself but about the whole project. And to execute all the steps of the project you will need a large variety of skills which you should start practicing as soon as possible: project management, leadership, accounting, etc. are only a few of them. Check our learning materials for further information.
When you are applying for a grant…
Every project is different and so are the different funding schema. However, some tips apply to all programmes:
1. Understand how your programme works: each programme has different rules, ensure you are aware of these and understand them.
2. Allow enough time to prepare: submitting a proposal needs time to prepare the perfect proposal. It might look easy at the beginning, but the grant design and grant writings are long processes.
3. Read necessary documentation: every published call is accompanied by important documentation. Download Work Programmes, Guide for Applicants, and any relevant legal documents for your call on the webpage. Make a call checklist to determine that you meet the criteria in order to apply for a research grant.
4. Look at what has been done before: often themes described in the work programme have a history of previous projects. Locate these on the proposer’s website and review who participated. It can be a good way to find partners for your project and identify potential competitors for your project.
5. Attend information, networking and brokerage events: institutions usually organise public information events on calls. There you get a chance to discuss with Scientific Officers and Evaluators. You might meet potential partners and competing groups.
6. Pull together the perfect consortium: a strong consortium is a key factor for success. Build your consortium early. For European-based grants, make sure you get the best partners that are well known in Europe. It is likely that you will need to go outside your normal partner network. You must build a European consortium, with partners who fit perfectly to achieve the tasks and deliverables for each partner.
7. Write the perfect proposal: your proposal must also a marketing document. Your proposal must excel in terms of how it describes S&T, Management and Impact. All proposals are peer evaluated by experts. You only get one chance to sell your proposal. Be clear and consistent. Make sure all your objectives are consistently described.
8. Stick to the evaluation criteria: follow and stick to the evaluation criteria in the guide for applicants for your call. Write your proposal in a way that makes it easy for the Evaluator to fill out their evaluation forms. Remember – every half mark counts!
9. Ensure the proposal meets with the eligibility criteria: some topics may have strict eligibility criteria, such as SME participation or budgets. Proposals will be rejected if they do not meet these criteria. Follow them carefully.
10. Submit on time a complete proposal: call deadlines are absolute deadlines and one minute too late is too late!
Source: based on http://www.halbertresearch.com/horizon-2020-top-tips.html