FWO Postdoc Grant Writing Course


Career management

Target group

Members of the Doctoral Schools and Ghent University postdoctoral researchers, who are applying for a FWO Postdoc Fellowship (junior or senior) in December 2023.

We strongly encourage that you only apply for this course if you intend to submit an FWO application. Given the limited number of spaces, we may need to reject enrolment applications from PhD candidates who are not preparing FWO applications should that be necessary to guarantee places for those who are.


To support FWO Postdoc applicants in writing their grant proposal.    


Grant reviewers often say that many excellent projects do not get funded because the idea was not communicated clearly enough. Strong science is not enough for writing a successful proposal: to get funded, you also need excellent persuasion skills. So how do you make sure the advantages of your work are understood and appreciated?

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  1. Interpret correctly the FWO application form and scoring grid in order to respond accurately to the expectations for a competitive research grant.
  2. Use strong structure in the key proposal sections: State of the Art, Objectives, and Methodology & Work Plan.
  3. Provide clear, convincing answers to the key evaluation criteria of originality, high-risk, methodological ambition, and project impact.
  4. Present persuasively your academic record, and convey a strong message about your growing maturity and research independence.


Day 1

  • Session 1: Opening lecture with analysis of the FWO application and evaluation format, and a broader discussion of persuasion strategies in a funding context.
  • Session 2: How to structure the 10-page project outline, with focus on the Rationale, Objectives, and Methodology sections.

Day 2

  • Session 3: The Work Plan in your proposal: planning project management and your own career trajectory via deliverables, milestones, timelines, mobility, and (inter)-national collaborations.
  • Session 4: The candidate’s profile: CV sections and motivation statement.

All sessions include lecture time, group discussion with Q&A, and analysis of examples of best practice based on open-access funded proposals shared online.

    Time schedule per thematic research area

    Thematic research area Dates Time Venue
    Life Sciences and Medicine group 1 2-3 October 2023 09:00-13:00 Online
    Life Sciences and Medicine group 2 6-7 November 2023 09:00-13:00 Online
    Natural Sciences, Math and Engineering 5-6 October 2023 09:00-13:00 Online
    Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences group 1 9-10 October 2023 09:00-13:00 Online
    Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences group 2 12-13 October 2023 09:00-13:00 Online

    Registration procedure

    Follow this link for the registration and waiting list. 

    Registration fee

    Free of charge for the members of all Doctoral Schools and UGent postdoctoral researchers.

    The no-show policy applies.


    Julia Staykova-McKinnon, PhD (Founder of Scriptorium). 


    Blended format and time commitment.

    • Self-study: a lecture series available in podcast format; 190 mins listening time.
    • Online meetings: 2 meetings of 4 hours each. Not recorded for future use.

    Teaching method and materials

    Materials: link to podcast series active for 1 month after the workshop ends; PowerPoint slides for live meetings and podcast lecture series.
    Technology: Zoom for conference calls, Scriptorium website for self-study materials



    Number of participants

    Maximum 25 participants per course

    Evaluation criteria

    Participation in all sessions (including self-study through podcasts).

    After successful participation, the Doctoral Schools will add this course to your curriculum of the Doctoral Training Programme in Oasis. Please note that this takes up to one to two months after completion of the course.