Step 1: Rules, requirements and procedures
Check the rules and requirements of the grant provider:
• Get acquainted with the aim of the grant provider, the funding opportunities of the call and the application process.
• Read the guidelines
• Does your project fit the aim(s) of the grant?
• When is the deadline?
• Submission of the application in hard copy or electronically?
• Are there any requirements of font, size, margins, number of pages etc.?
• Does the grant provider have a template they suggest or require that you use?
• Who will read/evaluate your application?
• Does the grant provider ask for any appendixes?
• How will you organize the project? Is there any requirements for how many and which partners you should include?
Check the procedures of SDU:
• Who must sign the budget?
• Is your application in correlation with the conditions and the practicalities of the department? Talk to the head of the department.
• Get an overview of which appendixes you need to include in your application early on in the application process. Often appendices need contributions from others i.e. written assurance and signatures from internal and external partners, which can take time to get.
• Identify the project partners and agree on which parts and tasks of the project they will be in charge of. If the project includes research visits to another institution, company or other, make sure to get a written invitation and confirmation – preferably on stationery carrying the official seal and signatures.
Step 2: Budget
• Draft the budget before you write the project description.
• Make sure that the level of the budget match the project as described in the project description. Is it clearly stated that you can achieve the aims of the project with the available resources (applied + co-financed + other sources)?
• Outline your need for the applied resources either in the project description or in the notes of the budget.
• Is co-financing required?
• Is the project co-financed by the department/SDU
• Is the project co-financed by other, external sources?
• Does the grant provider cover indirect costs?
• Remember your budget must be approved and signed by the head of department!
• The budget also needs to be signed by Research Support – Finance (Forskerservice Økonomi, SDU). They will need the budget at least four workings days before the deadline. Remember it is not possible to make changes in the budget once Research Support – Finance (Forskerservice Økonomi, SDU) has approved it.
As a rule of thumb TEK-ØkonomiService would like to meet you face to face and help you go through your budget. Generally, the budget has to be very detailed and numerous rules and guidelines have to be kept. TEK-ØkonomiService can also help to get the budget signed by Research Support – Finance (Forskerservice Økonomi, SDU). If you prefer to work with the budget on your own you can use SDU's budget sheet. You can find the 2016 Overhead rules for SDU here.
Step 3: Project description
The project description typically has 1) a scientific part 2) a part describing how the project is organized and a timetable and 3) a part about the potential impact of the research.
• Help your reader/evaluator by communicating in a concrete, short and a clear manner. Keep in mind that this person might be reading numerous applications in a few days.
• Find out what the research focus of the grant provider is.
• Sell your idea so it fits the purpose and research focus of the fund. "Sell, don't tell".
• Does the grant provider provide a template? If yes - use it.
• Read and use the public evaluation criteria. You can ask TEK Research Support to help you find them.
• Remember that the nature of an application is different from a scientific article.
Step 4: CV and publication list
• Modify/adjust your CV to the specific project you are applying for.
• Are there any requirements to the CV and publication list, regarding length, content etc.?
• Highlight the key publications related to the project you are applying for.
• Plan how to fill in potential weaknesses in your CV - do you need more publications, more experience in supervising or other kinds of leadership training.
Step 5: Abstract
Most grant applications should include a short summary of the project in a plain language. The summary should cover the most important aspects of the application and emphasize key elements of the project:
• Problem: What is to be studied and why?
• Results: What is the expected outcome of the study?
• Effect: What is the expected impact of the study for the research community and for the society in general?
• Most evaluators read the summary before the project description. Therefore, it is important that you sell your project clearly and accurately in this text.
• Try not to be too technical in the summary.
• Try to get someone to read and comment the abstract. Preferably someone who is not in the same field of research as yourself.
Step 6: Quality Control
• The final application should be discussed and evaluated either with your colleagues, TEK Research Support or other research support functions at your department, previously evaluators for the applied program or persons involved in the call.
• If the evaluation criteria are public then compare them to your application.
Step 7: After sending the application
Once you have submitted your final application, please also send your application to TEK-ØkonomiService. TEK-ØkonomiService collects all final applications and related documents in the registration databases PANDA and SDU Pro. Also please send related documents like i.e. the grant letter, the rejection letter or other relevant correspondence.
The databases are confidential and scientists at the faculty can only see their own applications. The faculty uses the databases for statistical analysis and to gather "best practice" for different applications.