The CHESS workshop “From idea to project: Writing successful project proposals” was held on 13-14 April 2021, for the first time in online format. A total of 13 participants joined the workshop, coming from the universities of Bergen, Oslo and Tromsø.
The main objective of the course was to enable early-career climate scientists to successfully apply for external funding of their research. Participants gain knowledge about the different components of a project proposal, about different templates for project descriptions, and about the most relevant funding sources for early career climate scientists. They obtain skills to present a project idea shortly and concisely, to develop the different components of a project description, and to draft a project budget. The newly generated knowledge should enable the participants to independently write a project proposal, and to identify relevant funding opportunities.
At the beginning of the workshop, five participants presented their project ideas in a short oral presentation. All participants then voted to select only three of these ideas to be developed step by step into draft proposals in group work during the workshop. Results from each group work were presented and discussed in plenary, and each of the three groups got feedback from the workshop instructors and the other groups.
Group work in virtual break-out rooms worked well. Group work tasks were developed using a shared online document. This enabled the groups to collaborate online, and the workshop instructors to follow the progress of each group. We will keep this shared format also for future in-person workshops.
The three participants whose ideas were chosen for development into draft proposals, confirmed that their ideas were developed substantially during the workshop, and they now feel confident to submit them as full project proposals within the coming year. The other participants felt that they had obtained the skills and competence which is necessary to develop research ideas into proposals.
The feedback from the participants was very positive, both during, directly after the course and in the course evaluation.
Text: Friederike Hoffmann, Nadine Goris and Mahaut de Vareilles; photo: Mahaut de Vareilles