How to write a winning grant proposal

How to write a winning grant proposal

grant writing

Ghent, Locus Building

Start date:

03 June 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

03 June 2021

UGent-VIB Research Building Locus

Technologiepark 75
9052 Zwijnaarde

Public transport

03 June 2021

UGent-VIB Research Building Locus
Public transport


At Gent St Pieters station you can take the following city buses: Buses 70, 71 and 72 ("Tramstraat"). You get off at the stop marked "Bollebergen" (on the Grote Steenweg Noord). The Technology Park is straight in front of you on the other side of the soft verge. Walk into the park to the roundabout and then straight on. The UGent-VIB research building is the first building on the left.

There is also a shuttle bus between Gent-Sint-Pieters and Technologiepark, more information can be found here.

Route description

03 June 2021

UGent-VIB Research Building Locus

Route description

There is free parking available in front of the building.

Venue contact

03 June 2021

UGent-VIB Research Building Locus
Extra information

Room L4