Tips from a funding expert

How to avoid surprises with your project proposal

Preparing a project proposal is hard work. It can take months to collect all the information you would like to include in your proposal. Then there is fine-tuning the work plan, complying with the instructions, and making sure that you fulfill all eligibility criteria. Adding all the regular daily workload on top, it is naturally easy to neglect the submission process until the final hours before the deadline.

Specifically, when an applicant is coordinating a consortium project, the amount of work can easily multiply and can become overwhelming. In addition to the efforts to align the proposed work plan, applicants may need to prepare additional documents that the project application portal is asking for.  It is a frequent mistake to underestimate the time needed for portal preparation and project submission.

Overloaded Portals
Keep in mind that on the day of the deadline, portals are often overloaded. Uploading documents may take longer, or even fail, due to this heavy digital burden. The best way to avoid this frustration and the risk of missing the deadline because of technical difficulties, is to prepare and upload your documents ahead of time, at least 48 hours before the deadline.

In order to avoid last minute surprises while submitting your project, here is a check list that we advise following starting at least 3 weeks before the deadline:

Accounts & registration

  • If you do not already have one, create a portal account and note down your login details.
  • Make sure your project partners are registered on the portal.
  • When relevant, complete the eligibility checks (financial eligibility, SME status, etc.) – start at least 2 weeks in advance as you may need to retrieve information from other departments.

Create a project and review the portal to understand what kind of information you are asked to provide apart from uploading the proposal document. This can include:

  • CVs of you and your project partners;
  • Financial documents of your company and those of your project partners;
  • Project summary or abstract (be aware of character limits);
  • Keywords determining who will review your proposal;
  • Support letters;
  • Clinical trial protocol as an annex;
  • Business plan.

Remember that completing the project portal for submission can take 2-3 hours. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need support in your application process.

Sedef Iskit, PhD


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