Writing grant proposals

5 September 2013 (afternoon)


Dr Philipp Mayer, science-textflow, Winterthur

Philipp Mayer has studied geoecology and received a PhD in forest science. He is trainer for scientific writing and has broad experience both in research and in adult education.


The objectives of this workshop are:

  • to understand characteristics of grant proposals
  • to know how to prepare grant proposals.

Content and pre-course assignment

Writing grant proposals is demanding because evaluation committees expect concise and well-structured texts. In addition, grant proposals differ in structure and style from other forms of academic writing.

This workshop covers the basics of proposal writing:

  • Functions of grant proposals: planning, communication, persuasion, contract
  • Refining research ideas, choosing and narrowing topics
  • Section structure of proposals: problem statement, aims and objectives, methodology, timetable, budget, etc.
  • Differences between proposal writing and paper writing
  • Characteristics of high-quality proposals: clarity, correctness, consistency, conciseness, confidence

Pre-course assignment :

  • Define a research question you would like to tackle in your next research project.
  • Describe the problem your research is going to solve (a few sentences are fine).
  • Ask your supervisor or a colleague for a well-prepared grant proposal). Note the section structure of this proposal.

Send your research question, your problem description and the section headings of your sample proposal to Philipp Mayer  before 28 August 2013.

General information

Dates :  5 September 2013

Schedule : 13:00-17:00

Location : University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des sciences, UniMail,   building C , room C001

Credit points : 0.5 credit point (Communication)

Evaluation : Active participation

Information : Please contact Dr Philipp Mayer or the doctoral program coordinator Dr Christiane Bobillier

Travel expenses : see reimbursement conditions

You are not a member of DP-biol? Why not register now? It's free!


  • This course is open to all Ph.D. students with priority to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology" participants until 30 June 2013.
  • This course is free. For information the effective cost is approx. CHF 60.00 per person
  • Minimum number of participants: 8, maximum: 12.

Registration through the web only: course full.

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 20)

Deadline: 15 August 2013