How do I manage the proposal writing?

Coordinator: Writing a full proposal - you are the editor

  • You need 150 to 400 hours to do the writing
  • You need one principal writer or editor - plus a writing team (2-3 persons)
  • You must organize input from the partners
    • Input to objectives
    • Input to SoA from their specific fields
    • Input on available data and methods to be used
    • Get each partner to write their own WPs and tasks including resources needed (PM)
  • Find external readers that can give you feedback on draft text (different people see different things so you need more than one)
    • Idea development and overall understanding
    • Logic, structure; objectives-SoA-WPs-results-partners-impact
    • Science, references, data and methods
    • The text itself (This is the most time consuming)

Writing the proposal

  • Use the writing team; spread the work load. In particular get help on the non-time critical parts
  • Get an overview of how much text you need to produce for each section, it is surprisingly little, in most cases a page or two max. (How to eat an elephant)
  • If you ask for text from partners be clear on the page limits and max length needed for each piece of input
  • Get help on the budgeting
  • Get help on  EC formalities and online systems

Practicalities

  • Keep a strict control on doc versions save old versions and go to a new version frequently
  • Do backups, the easiest backup is sending the document to yourself or a colleague by mail
  • Use a simple formatting, do the final formatting late in the process, wait with page shifts
  • Use Word features for headings and references 
  • If you copy from other docs do not import their styles and formatting if you can avoid it
  • Keep all budget data in a single spreadsheet where all data is linked and the source is put in once

Coordinator: Non-time critical issues

Things you can do independently of the time critical writing (do it asap - don’t wait):

  • Gather all background information needed; references, articles, legalisation and directives, standards
  • Deal with ethical issues, and write necessary text, get approvals
  • Gather budget information i.e. salaries and personal costs of partners, gather info for consumables costs, clinical trials costs (unit costs), cost of lab facilities and other costs needed
  • Set up advisory board, organize supporting letters
  • Get CVs, partner presentations, publication lists, project references; write chapter 4 and 5 of the proposal
  • Fix all formalities in your own organization; approvals, signatures, resource issues regarding extra personnel
  • Patent searches and freedom to operate issues

 

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