How to write a winning grant proposal

How to write a winning grant proposal

grant writing

Leuven, Park Inn Hotel

Start date:

31 May 2021


General context

Most scientists find their own funding by applying for grants. Obtaining such a grant is not simple: the success rate is low and writing a proposal takes a lot of time and effort. Obtaining a competitive grant in life sciences requires you to formulate a bold  biological question, to write down your ideas in a structured and clear manner, to build a strong research plan, and cope with deadlines. This is where this course comes in.

This course focuses on finishing PhD students and post-doctoral researchers who plan to submit a funding application within the next 12 months. Participants will gain many insights into all the above aspects of grant writing.


The key mission of this course is two-fold. First, emphasis will be put on writing a strong abstract. This includes individual guidance and feedback on abstracts written by the participants. Second, we will learn how to compile an excellent CV. In addition to these key components, all other aspects of a grant application will be discussed: objectives, state-of-the-art work packages, and methodology, along with the evaluation criteria that are used to assess them. Finally, the applicants put on reviewers’ glasses and learn to find the strengths and weaknesses via unique hands-on exercises with real VIB grant applications.

So, starting with limited experience in grant writing, at the end of the course participants will understand the basic principles for writing (international) competitive individual grant proposals based on criteria for excellence.


This interactive training explains the basic principles for competitive grant writing. You will get access to several real-life examples and learn how to develop and improve your own proposal.

During the course, you will get feedback on your CV and a short abstract, which we will ask you to submit during the registration process.

During the morning session, we will focus on the general principles of grant writing such as the abstract, CV, language and questions to address in a grant proposal.

In the afternoon, the participants will gain insight into MSCA individual fellowships based on real VIB examples and their evaluation summaries.

Hence, participants that will apply for an MSCA IF are strongly encouraged to attend the whole course while participants that wish to apply for national funding can skip the afternoon.

Event intended for

PhD students and postdocs planning to submit a research proposal in the coming near future.

Extra information
  • This training is free for VIB participants.
  • Registration fee for non-VIB participants is € 50 (VAT incl).
  • The course is not open for industry.
  • Note that upon no show without valid justification you will be blacklisted for the VIB training program for 1 yea r. Click here for more information.


Lieve Ongena
Senior Science Policy and Grants Manager at VIB
Elien Vandermarliere
International Grant Officer at VIB

Practical info

Location & Venue

01 June 2021

Park Inn by Radisson Leuven

Martelarenlaan 36
3010 Leuven

Public transport

01 June 2021

Park Inn by Radisson Leuven
Public transport

The hotel is located 300m from Leuven Central Station. The hotel connects to Leuven Central Station by a pedestrian bridge.

Route description

01 June 2021

Park Inn by Radisson Leuven

Park Inn hotel has no own parking. It is possible to park underground in P1-Parking Station Leuven, Martelarenlaan 4, 3010 Leuven.

Venue contact

01 June 2021

Park Inn by Radisson Leuven
Location contact

+32 16 61 66 02