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Research Support Portal

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Grant Proposal Preparation Phase

How to write an excellent grant proposal? Preparing a budget. Writing a data management paragraph. How to publish future results open access. When to think about ethics or privacy. Getting the right signatures. Submitting your proposal at the funders.

This timeline guides you through the whole application writing process, additional requirements for submission and intermediate evaluation steps. For submission you may need the correct institutional registration numbers, an account, a signature or other administrative information.

Research funding support

Leiden University offers a broad range of support for finding, writing, and applying for research funding.

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Leiden University registration numbers

For submitting grant applications, you might need a registration number or account. There are several university wide registration you might use for your grant application. Have a look at this overview of registrations for quick reference. 

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Practical submission process

Submitting a research proposal is not always straightforward. These points will guide you through the process.

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Writing an excellent grant proposal takes some skill, which increases with the complexity of the grant. Your local research office is your first stop, expert grant advisors (GO-LU) can be consulted as a second line of help. In case of complex coordination, a writing team of support staff will be formed.

Basics of grant writing

The key to writing a successful proposal is knowing what the funding agency expects and distinguishing yourself from your peers. 

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Writing for an individual grant

Have you started preparing an individual grant proposal and would you like some guidance? These tools will help you on your way. 

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Writing an application for a collaborative grant

Have you started preparing a collaborative grant proposal and would you like some guidance? These tools will help you on your way.

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Exploring the budget in an early phase with your local project controller helps you to shape your project. The project controller also makes sure that your final budget is in order.

Financial administration

Is your project financed by second and third sources of funding (national / EU grants and the private sector)? Then you should consult the Regulations on Working for Third Parties to find out about issues you will need to take into account.

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Project control: procedures and guidelines

Are you looking for procedures and guidelines in place to support efficient and effective financial management of externally funded projects? These procedures and guidelines can be found on the SharePoint site ‘Project Control’ (in Dutch). Frequently used forms and standard overviews are also available. 

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Open access publishing is required by most funders. Check this, you need to allocate budget for this.

Open access: funding

You should include the cost of open access publication in your grant application and project budget. Open access publication does not have to be costly; sometimes you can even publish for free. The Open Access Team at the Centre for Digital Scholarship can advise you on your options. 

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Open access

Open Access provides free and unlimited online availability of research output. Are you looking for policies, training, support, and services for Open Access publishing? Get in touch with the Centre for Digital Scholarship. 

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If you are planning on buying equipment or buying services from other parties like consultants from the grant, you need to take into account procurement rules. It is obligatory to consult with the procurement office.

Procurement rules

The purchase of research equipment and services and the hiring of temporary staff falls under Procurement Law. Both the legislator and the funding body insist on strict compliance with this law. You are also required to comply with Leiden University's own procurement rules. 

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Data management is mandatory for NWO and EU. Start with your local data steward to guide your through this process from data management paragraph to a data management plan. The Centre for Digital Scholarship provides expert advice.

Data management in grant applications

Most research funders ask you to include a section on data management in your grant application. The Centre for Digital Scholarship can advice you on how to write the data management section of your application.

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In some projects, privacy of data and/or other ethical considerations play a role. An expert team of data privacy officers, data stewards and ethical officers help you think this through and guide you through the formal process.

EU Ethics review

Before starting your EU project you will need to subject your project proposal to an ethics review. Check this list for all things to consider. 

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Assessment by Ethics Committee

Do you want to know how to do research in an ethically responsible way? An Ethics Committee can advise you and assess your research proposal for ethical issues. 

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A good research project also covers the potential impact it has on society, economy and/or the research community and a plan for communicating about the results to stakeholders.

Impact, valorisation and exploitation in research grants

Most grant applications now require you to think about the impact of your research. Find out what is expected and how to describe the impact of your research in your proposal. 

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Science communication

Science communication can help your research, inaugural lecture or publication reach a wide audience. Find out what your faculty’s communication department and the Science Communication Adviser can do to help you with communication about your research, and what you can do yourself. 

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Some grants have an additional evaluation stage where you will be asked to react to comments of reviewers in the form of a rebuttal or will be invited for an interview.

Preparing a rebuttal

Have you been provided with feedback on your grant proposal by the funding agency? Now you have the opportunity to submit a rebuttal. Make the most of this opportunity with tips and advice.

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Preparing for a grant interview

Congratulations! You have reached the interview stage of the grant application process. Now you have to prepare your pitch. Read more to find tips for preparing and dealing with an interview.

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