20 tips and hints for writing bids


So it has been bid mania time again, discount writing proposals for the Lifelong Learning programme. So I thought it would be useful to write down some of my experiences and tips and hints for successful bid writing!

  1. Get a good strong consortium together, order which has the necessary expertise to cover the different elements of the bid. Finding the right partners can take a lot of time and legwork. A good place to find potential partners is at conferences. Use conferences as a means of networking and getting to know people, tadalafil which you can later call on to be bid partners.

  2. Ensure that you like the people you are working with! Sounds trivial but it is not! You will be spending a lot of time with them if the bid is successful and also it is much easier to work through conflicts during the project if you have mutual respect and trust.

  3. Make sure you have a good idea and a clear elevator pitch! If you can explain the idea to someone else in a few sentences and they say ‘that sounds good’ then that is half the battle.

  4. Try to think up a catchy acronym and one, if possible, that is unique

  5. Make sure you have a clear and pragmatic work programme and set of work packages. Always ensure you include: project management, evaluation and dissemination

  6. Show how the project builds on your previous projects and research

  7. Ensure that the budget is realistic and that adequate resources are allocated to the work activities

  8. Spread the management of the work packages across the consortium members

  9. Demonstrate how the project will contribute to knowledge and indicate how it will have impact

  10. Include indicators of success

  11. Have clear evaluation criteria, both for any trials being undertaken and for evaluation of the overall success of the project

  12. Try and be quantitative; for example how many participants will be involved with or affected by the project

  13. Be creative in terms of dissemination; in addition to conferences and publications, show how you will use social media

  14. Make sure the project proposal is well written, structured and that arguments are clearly backed up by relevant research literature (this also shows that you are knowledgeable about the field)

  15. Include clear statements about the expertise of each partner

  16. Make sure you have very clear aims and objectives and ensure that these map to the programme of work

  17. Include clear milestones and deliverables at key points in the project

  18. Make reference to the proposal call and show how your bid meets the criteria set out in the call

  19. Try and do as much as you can in advance, but be realistic; no matter how well prepared you are these things are invariably last minute so make sure you clear your diary as much as possible as the deadline approaches

  20. Get to know your research support office, their involvement is vital, get them in the loop with the bid as early as possible and keep them up to date

5 Responses to “20 tips and hints for writing bids”

  1. Mark Childs Says:

    All excellent tips. to which I’d add one more. If you need a legal signature on the document, make sure the legal representative keeps their diary clear near the deadline too. Oh and 22 it helps if you live near the offices of the National Agency if you’re *really running behind on your submissions.

  2. Sheila MacNeill Says:

    Hi Grainne

    Really useful list of tips. Hope you are successful with all our recent bids too.


  3. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks Sheila thought I better get it down on paper as it were whilst it was fresh in my mind…. Some good proposals and great people to work with - here is hoping!

  4. Patrícia B. S. Bassani Says:

    Hi, Grainne, if you need a partnership in Brazil…I’m interested in…
    I work at Feevale University (www.feevale.br). We are in the south of Brazil, in a city called Novo Hamburgo.

  5. Gráinne Says:

    Thanks Patricia will keep that in mind! Would be great to get some collaboration going with Brazil! :-)

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