Workshop Outline

Writing Winning Scientific Proposals

Session 1 (9.00am–10.00am): Opening session

  • Introductions
  • Discussion of grant-writing culture
  • Icebreaker activity

Session 2 (10.00am–10.40am): Understanding the funding agency

  • Mission and drivers of the agency
  • Eligibility and selection criteria
  • Reviewers and assessors

Session 3 (11.00am–12.00pm): Developing a compelling message

  • Writing for your readers
  • Staying focussed, being direct and writing clearly
  • Identifying your main message (context, value and significance, outcomes)
  • Getting started and planning each section of the proposal

Session 4 (12.00pm–1.00pm): Writing your research proposal

  • Key elements of a proposal
  • Getting your proposal noticed
  • Writing the first paragraph of a research proposal

Session 5 (1.45pm–2.30pm): Justifying your research proposal

  • Your track record
  • Strengths of your team and host institution(s)
  • Previous research (including effectiveness of methods, preliminary results, etc.)

Session 6 (2.30pm–3.15pm): Managing the application process

  • Host institution’s strategy, processes and requirements
  • Working with team members, collaborators and managers
  • Time management
  • Cost estimation and budget justification
  • Seeking and responding to feedback

Session 7 (3.30pm–4.30pm): Expert Panel Q & A [optional]

Session 8 (4.30pm–5.00pm): Summing up and strategies for continuing proposal development

General Information
The workshop is interactive and includes a mix of lectures, video clips of CSIRO scientists giving their insights on proposal-writing, discussion and facilitated exercises. A question/answer session with an expert panel can be included if requested. Participants will be expected to bring with them a prospective or current proposal, which they will work on during the exercises. This will ensure relevant practice in the topics presented and provide an opportunity for immediate feedback from the facilitator and co-participants. Exercises will focus on understanding what the award assessors are looking for, creating a compelling story, highlighting the outcomes and significance of the research, writing in plain English for an scientific but non-specialist readership, and project-managing the proposal.

Participants will be provided with a course manual containing the presentations, key points in preparing a successful application and a list of additional resources.