Beyond standard texts: writing grant proposals and review articles

8 November


The objectives of this workshop are to explore quality criteria and text structures of grant proposals and review articles. In addition, we discuss efficient writing techniques.


Philipp 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.


Grant proposals
  • functions of grant proposals: planning, communication, persuasion, contract
  • refining research ideas, choosing and narrowing topics
  • section structure of proposals: problem statement, aims and objectives, literature review, methodology, timetable, budget, etc.
  • differences between proposal writing and paper writing
  • characteristics of high-quality proposals: clarity, correctness, consistency, conciseness, confidence


Review articles
  • narrative reviews versus systematic reviews
  • text structure of systematic reviews
  • text structure of narrative reviews: storyline, sections, paragraphs
  • writing process: when to start, steps to consider, software to use
  • text quality: quality criteria, recommendations
  • publishing reviews: journals, topics, co-operations

Pre-course assignment

  • Please think of a research question you want to tackle in your next research project. Describe the problem your research is going to solve (a few sentences are fine). Please bring your notes to the workshop.
  • Please ask your supervisor or your colleagues for a well-prepared grant proposal. Note the section structure of the proposal and bring this information to the workshop.
  • Please choose a review article typical for your discipline. Bring a copy of this article to the workshop.

General information

Date: 8 November 2019

Schedule: 8.55-17.00

Venue:  University of Neuchâtel, Faculté des Sciences, Emile-Argand 11, UniMail, building A, room A218

ECTS: 0.5 (Communication)

Evaluation: Full attendance and active participation

Information: Please contact the doctoral program coordinator Dr Sara Santi

Registration fee: Free for PhD students of the Interuniversity doctoral Program in Organismal Biology

Travel expenses: For participants of the Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology (DP-biol ): see reimbursement conditions

Make sure to sign the attendance sheet and take your certificate of attendance at the end of the course (no certificate will be sent by mail)


  • This course is free and open to all PhD students, however until 12 October priority is given to "Interuniversity doctoral program in organismal biology" participants.
  • Post-docs are welcome as long as places are available.
  • Maximum number of participants: 14 people (minimum 8 people)

Registration through the web only: Closed. The course is fully booked.

Please note the cancellation policy (CHF 40).

Deadline: 26 October 2019