Research grants: Opportunities and core skills

Professional skills

Course information

ECTS: 1,5
Number of sessions: 2
Hours per session: 3 
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 300,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School)

In the academic year 2023-2024 this course will take place offline.

Edition 1 (offline)

Session 1
March 28 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Session 2
April 4 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Enrolment available from the end of October.

Edition 2

Dates for edition 2 will follow

Aims and working method

The objective of this workshop is to introduce PhD candidates envisaging a career in academia to the Dutch and European research grant landscape and to the skills that underpin grant capture.

Applying for research grants at the national or European level, or from alternative sources, is central to academic life. Grants open up pathways for academic career development and are often the means by which the employment of junior academics is funded. Grants are, however, competitive. It is important as an early-stage researcher to understand the research landscape, and to start developing essential skills for grant success.

This workshop is comprised of two sessions and focusses on the Dutch and European research funding context and the grant opportunities that immediately follow the PhD award, including the Dutch Research Council’s Rubicon and Veni grants, and the European Commission’s Skłodowska-Curie Actions.

Making use of examples of successful grant proposals, participants will learn about the key components and challenges in writing a successful grant proposal. The workshop will also develop and practice new skills in writing research proposal summaries for a generalist academic audience and in creating academic CV narratives specifically for grant applications.

Entry level

There are no specific prerequisites, but please note that the workshop is specifically relevant for PhD candidates in the second half of their PhD program.

Learning objectives

After this workshop you will:

  • be familiar with the main research grant opportunities available to (recent) PhD graduates;
  • know how and where to begin a successful grant application;
  • know what the important aspects and challenges are in developing a research proposal;
  • know how to write research proposal summaries for a generalist academic audience and an academic CV.

Sessions descriptions

Session 1

  • Introduction, expectations and current knowledge about the challenges in obtaining a grant
  • An overview of key research grant opportunities (Dutch Research Council and European Commission) for new PhDs
  • Getting started: Where to begin plus do’s and don’ts
  • The research grant proposal and the importance of the abstract
  • Assignment: Writing your own grant proposal abstract (to be completed prior to session 2)

Session 2

  • Peer review of grant proposal abstracts
  • 50 word-summaries: A hallmark of NWO
  • Aspects of the academic CV for research grants: from theory to practice (participants are to bring a copy of their CV to the workshop)
  • Reflection on new skills

About the instructors

Patricia Chaudron is the funding officer at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC). She provides guidance on upcoming funding opportunities and helps PhD candidates to prepare key parts of their grant proposals. 

Nathan Albury is the Research Grants Advisor at Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). He is also an experienced strategic policy advisor with a doctorate in sociolinguistics.