The CHESS workshop “Writing successful project proposals” was held from 2-3 May 2022 at GFI/Bjerknessenter in Bergen. A total of 17 participants joined the workshop.
The main objective of the course was to enable early-career climate scientists to successfully apply for external funding of their research. Participants should 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 should 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, ten participants presented their project ideas in a short oral presentation. All participants then chose 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 group got feedback from the workshop leaders and the other students.
A joined online document was used to perform the group work tasks, a measure we kept from 2021 when the workshop was held online. This tool streamlined both group work and plenary presentations, and enabled the workshop instructors to better follow the progress of each group and thus, better assess when to offer help or when to leave alone, the working groups, for enhanced creativity and productivity.
The participants, whose ideas were chosen to be developed into draft proposals during the course, confirmed that their ideas were developed substantially during the workshop, and they now felt confident to submit them as full project proposals within the coming year. The other participants reported that they had obtained the skills and competence which are necessary to develop research ideas into proposals.
The feedback from the participants was very positive, both during, directly after the workshop and in the workshop evaluation.
Text: Friederike Hoffmann, Nadine Goris and Mahaut de Vareilles