Category Archives: Funding applications

Six Good Practices to Learn from When Writing Applications with an International Team

This spring I have been working on a large EU application in the area of eHealth together with a large team of people from different countries. I’ve never been a part of such an effort before and so far, it has been a good learning experience to see how to get such a large application written. Before this writing process I knew only one of the other researchers, and Jonas Moll from the HTO group is joining me in this effort.

The writing process has been coordinated by two people who work closely together with writing everything, and sections of the text has been mailed to all the participants and work package leaders to review.

The writing process has had good support from UU innovation and the EU coordinators at Uppsala university. Among other things they have funded the application team so that we have had the chance to meet a couple of times to discuss and write.

This week the whole application was sent out to us for review, and next week it will be sent to people who will do a pre-review of the text. The deadline for the application is not until later on this spring, so there is time to rewrite and improve the text after this pre-review.

Some good practices to learn from in this application writing process are:

  1. Meet and discuss IRL. It’s really good to meet and discuss and not just using Skype. There is funding available for such meetings at our university. Perhaps also at yours?
  2. Distribute meeting notes. There are always meeting notes sent out after each meeting. These have clear indications of what is expected of you to do.
  3. Have clear deadlines. The mails with documents with sections of text always contain a deadline when the text is to be sent back.
  4. Have one person in charge. There is really one person writing most of the text which makes it look like “one voice” (of course).
  5. Have someone to do a pre-review. Having a pre-review process with an external reviewer who reads and comments is really a great idea.
  6. Start in good time. The time planning of this work is really good. We started the process already before Christmas, and we have almost 6 months to write the text.


Let’s see how the pre-review goes, and let’s hope that this project is funded 🙂

Some Thoughts after Reviewing Funding Applications

Laltely I have spend quite a lot of time reading funding applications for the Research Council of Norway. I must say that the process is very rigorous, and both criteria and evaluation instructions are very carfully described.

I thought that I would give you some advice based on the experience of reading nine applications, as a complement fo the learning experience of writing my own applications presented previously:

  1. Describe carefully what you are going to do in the project. Be very detailed and think it through.
  2. Try to illustate your ideas in different figures. It is a bit complicated to understand applications and images help.
  3. When writing text about the gender perspective of your application, do not only write the number of women and men. That is not sufficient.
  4. Explain how the different partners will contribute to the project you are applying for, and describe how the collaboration will work.

Some of the things I found very interesting were:

  1. There were indeed many action reserach projects among the applications! I didn’t realize it was such a popular methodology (or perhaps this was a strange sample that I reviewed)
  2. There are indeed many good applications out there.

I am looking forward to the discussion in Norway next week. It will be a great learning experience.