A pile of coins from which a small plant grows to symbolize growing funds. Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Major Grant Application submitted


The last couple of weeks, I was very busy finishing a major grant application. So busy in fact, that I simply couldn’t write any blog entries. But yesterday, I submitted and suddenly feel very free. Although grant applications are hard to get and the probability of being successful is not very high, I am happy to have completed the first step.

The writing process

Well, I can’t go into detail what the project is about, as I’d rather wait until it eventually gets funded. But what I can do is write about the writing process itself. It was not easy, I can tell you that. So it all started with the idea to the project and of course how one can adapt to the funding scheme. I co-authored the application with a colleague and friend, so we were bouncing ideas back and forth. Eventually we had a good angle and started writing.

Unfortunately, there are restrictions on what you can write and how much. So we constantly needed to check that we stayed within the guidelines of the funding agency. These included fonts, font sizes, maximum pages, and so on. It was a bit stressful to be honest, because it puts you into a tight dress. But we managed eventually.

The constant fear of formal errors

The strange thing was, we were pretty confident about our idea. It sounded (and still sounds) pretty good! But I probably have read the proposal, cost calculation, time schedule and abstract a 100 times, because I was really afraid of a formal mistake. I recently read a book called “The Grant Writer’s Handbook” and it also mentioned the fact that formal errors can actually decide about your application.

So we were in constant contact with the funding agency and asked them at least 20 questions on what we are allowed to do and what not. They were very friendly though and patiently answered all our questions. Additionally, I also utilised the Research Management Division of my university. They kindly also read the application and gave as positive feedback. That was very helpful.

What now?

Well now we have to wait. I think I will hear back from them by the end of this year, as our proposal now needs to get evaluated. After evaluation, the funding agency decides if we are worthy of funding or not. Thinking about how much effort we put into the application, I certainly hope we are, but I also know that this is also up to fate. Everyone puts a lot of effort into their application. At the very least, I have now time to write some blog posts again.

Also, the next application waits. As the process is pretty unforeseeable, I plan to write another application right away. Just to double my chances…

Cited Book

Crawley, Gerard M., and Eoin O’Sullivan. 2016. The Grant Writer’s Handbook. How to Write a Research Proposal and Suceed. London: Imperial College Press.
  1. Reply



    Good luck with your grant Application. Please keep us updated about the outcomes!

    • Reply

      Sebastian Hageneuer


      Thanks! I will!


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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. Every Friday.

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