FWO Postdoc Grant Writing Course


Career management

Target group

Members of the Doctoral Schools and postdoctoral researchers, who are applying for a FWO Postdoc Fellowship (junior or senior) in December 2021.

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 wonderful projects do not get funded because the idea was not communicated clearly enough. Excellent science is not enough for writing a successful research application: to get funded, you also need excellent grantsmanship. So how do you make sure the advantages of your work are understood and appreciated?

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

  • Interpret the FWO application form and scoring grid correctly, in order to respond accurately to the expectations for a competitive research grant.
  • Use strong structure in State of the Art, Objectives, and Methodological Programme – the key scientific sections.
  • Provide clear, convincing answers to the key requirements of originality, high-risk, methodological ambition, and project impact (added value).
  • Make the most of your academic record, and find ways to fit it into the FWO application, which does not include a separate CV.
  • Comparisons will be drawn with other contexts, such as applying for EU funding or for a full-time position at a research institution.


  • Meeting 1: Opening lecture (2 hours) - Discussing the three tiers of a grant proposal: science, management plan and rhetorical structure.
  • Self-study/ preparation workshop: reading assignments ( 1-1.5 hours) and listening to the podcast series (3 hours junior, 4 hours senior postdocs).
  • Meeting 2: Workshop (2 hours) - Analysis of grant examples, brainstorming on your own proposal and tips on how to strengthen it.
  • Meeting 3: Final discussion with Q&A and summary of lessons learnt (2 hours). 

Time schedule per Doctoral Schools

Members of the Doctoral Schools Arts, Humanities and Law

  • To be announced

Members of the Doctoral Schools Natural Sciences

  • To be announced

Members of the Doctoral Schools Life Sciences and Medicine

  • To be announced

Members of the Doctoral Schools Social and Behavioural Sciences

  • To be announced

Members of the Doctoral Schools (Bioscience) Engineering

  • To be announced



Registration procedure per Doctoral Schools

To be announced

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 and 80 mins extras.
  • Live meetings: 4 meetings of 2 hours each, held on Brussels time. 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

Doctoral candidates can add this course to their curriculum after participation in all sessions (including self-study through podcasts).