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Junior researchers

Become a UoC Academic Expert and expand your network abroad

The aim of the DAAD-funded training course “Proposal Writing for Research Grants” (ProGRANT) is to support upcoming researchers from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to perfect their proposal writing skills according to international standards and to design, write and budget a competitive proposal for national and international research funding.

The University of Cologne offers this programme to young researchers in countries in the Global South since 2013. It is continuously scouting for young, still experienced academics on campus to support the programme. It represents a win-win situation for both sides involved: young researchers are encouraged to join our seminars to share their expertise on important academic skills and advice with participants and to network onsite to build their academic network in the region.

Future Perspectives for young international researchers

ProGRANT takes a holistic approach to proposal writing. Research and knowledge management should not be considered as solely academic exercises but also be seen as an income-generating and team building activity for researchers and institutions. By offering a platform for researchers to exchange and interact, ProGRANT participants can create regional and international networks and gain intercultural experience. As a result, ProGRANT is also very helpful with regard to career development and opportunities, proving to be especially beneficial for female career development. You will find more information on how the individual workshops worked in the past in the examples below.

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  • Foto: Hei Wong
  • Foto: Hei Wong

South Africa: Individual consulting helps to take the next step

In addition to acquiring general grant-writing skills, proposal writing is a highly individual process. Proposals must be adapted to specific disciplines and tailored to the guidelines of the financing agency in question. In order to achieve this, individual consulting is an important element of the courses. Participants can approach trainers at the end of each day during the seminar for individual consulting, as well as during the entirety of the e-learning phase. The most common themes during these consulting sessions are: developing the research idea, clarifying the aim of the project, and building up confidence in one’s own grant proposal.

The course in South Africa was remarkable in that individual consulting was requested intensively. Some of the participants frequented the individual consulting regularly throughout the entire duration of the ProGRANT course. One participant from South Africa improved his proposal writing skills by revising the proposal text over and over again with the support of individual consulting. In 2015, he received a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

 “The course really empowered me. Amongst other things, the grant writing skills came with other benefits beyond getting some successful grant application: I have been appointed Head of School of Human and Community Development.” Dr. Mzi Nduna, South Africa