Practical tips on EU grant writing

Practical tips on EU grant writing

Posted 9 months ago

Proposal writing for EU funding is a difficult and demanding job. You can have the most innovative ideas, but if the proposal itself isn’t clear and structured it won’t get you anywhere. Unfocused and poor writing can ultimately ruin chances to obtain funding. Luckily there are several things you can do to improve your success rate when it comes to writing a successful proposal. We have put together a list of EU grant writing tips to learn how to curate a clear and comprehensible grant proposal. 

1/ Write for the reviewer

Almost all grants are assessed by reviewers with generic knowledge who have to read multiple proposals in a short period of time. Explain your project in plain language, without any nonsense. Unnecessary technical jargon and complex language lead to vagueness and therefore lack of understanding. Wherever it is possible, simplify the language and use words that are easy to use. Your project plan needs to be comprehensible to reach a positive decision. If crucial information is missing, the chances of a negative decision are high. For this reason, outline topics and be specific. 

2/ Inform yourself about the grant

Nothing is more important than properly informing yourself about the grant. Read through the grant provider's website thoroughly and always ask yourself the question: Why does my project qualify? The answer to that question should be put on paper. In any case, map out the following components:

  • Purpose - What does the grant provider want to promote?
  • Target group - Who can apply for the grant?
  • Activities - What type of activities are central?
  • Criteria - What are the requirements for you as an applicant and for the project plan?

3/ Always start with a good summary

A good summary consists of the basic details of the application: the reason, purpose and core of the project. It gives the reviewer a first impression of what to expect: what is the project about? Avoid long background texts and get to the point as soon as possible. Making a great impression on the reviewer from the start can help increase your chances of getting positive feedback throughout the review process. 

4/ Your text must be a coherent entity

Nothing is more frustrating than reading a text that jumps from one thing to another. You get off track and the message of the text remains blurry. Therefore, make sure that all text is logically structured. You can do this by distinguishing main and secondary elements, using reference words, breaking up sentences and creating paragraphs by using headings and subheadings.

If you are in a writing flow, it is usually smart to keep writing and not to keep reading back to check if everything is correct. That way, you throw out all the info and creativity, which can be put to good use when you start 'shaping' the text.

5/ Provide a visually attractive text

Provide a pleasing format that makes the content of your proposal shine. You can make a world of difference to the evaluator who decides whether or not you will receive a grant by making the text pleasing to the eye. There are plenty of ways to brighten up your project proposal. Think about using: headings, boxes, page numbers, colours, bullet points, images, a table of content and graphs.

6/ Ask others for feedback to sharpen your proposal

A fresh pair of eyes works wonders. Preferably ask someone critical and knowledgeable about the content you are writing. Consider negative feedback as a constructive means of improving your grant application. 

Could you still use some help with the application process and/or do you prefer to outsource the proposal-writing? We can get you in contact with a professional team of grant writers that can help you significantly improve your chances of getting EU funding for your proposal.

Or perhaps you have an excellent idea for a product or service that you need to co-finance to make it happen but you feel overwhelmed by the amount of EU programmes, calls and campaigns, and need help?

Make sure to get your 7-day free trial of GrantApp and sign up today to find a suitable EU programme for your project. Grantapp is a smart European grants matching service with an intuitive & powerful search!