Skills and competencies
grant-writing, analysing a call for proposals, preparing a research-project budget, managing teams, uploading a proposal, giving and receiving feedback

Duration and scheduling
Groups work on a proposal for the duration of the week, with these input sessions:

  • Introduction to developing a proposal in teams
  • Team management and group dynamics (2–4 hours)
  • Budgeting a research proposal (2–4 hours)
  • Proposal evaluation and feedback (6–8 hours)


Students work in multidisciplinary teams to develop a fundable project. A fictitious or mock call for proposals serves as the basis for interactive group work as small groups compete with each other to develop the most promising proposal. The exercise involves the whole process from the germ of an idea through to having a proposal ready for submission. Writing a grant as a team means increased productivity, innovation and efficiency.


  • To become familiar with how to participate in and organise a journal club
  • To develop the ability to read critically and discuss a paper
  • To learn how to present a ten-minute overview of a journal article
  • To acquire skills in peer review and discussion
Session: Introduce proposal development

Select or design a mock call for proposals
Source or develop presentations to:

  • outline the structure of a proposal
  • introduce planning tools

Distribute the mock call
With the assignment in mind, discuss project cycle, logframe and milestones, budget, timeline, milestones, M&E
Share and explain planning tools
Form groups of four or five students from different institutions

By the end of this session, students should be able to:

  •  Distinguish between the different phases of a project life cycle
  • Utilize planning tools for the development of a project
Session: Team management and group dynamics

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” When individuals collaborate in unison, they achieve more together than they could individually. What makes an effective team? Working groups and teams are dynamic constellations that go through different phases in order to work together as effectively as possible. Whether in short-term project teams or long-term working groups, the effect of a team is reflected in, for example, quicker work processes or the improved quality or more personal responsibility.

Success depends on various factors and tasks:

  • leadership
  • setting of goals and procedures
  • decisions making
  • distribution of roles
  • mutual cooperation and collaboration
  • handling of difficult situations

Introduction to group dynamics and teamwork
Conflict management – Perception and handling conflicts
Theoretical frameworks of human behaviour and their application to teamwork
Self-reflection and self-assessment of team dynamics and effectiveness at Fellows’ own work place to identify knowledge gaps and further training needs
Building blocks of effective team management
Communication and feedback techniques

Find or prepare presentations on

  • effective teamwork
  • conflict management
  • theoretical frameworks of human behaviour, in relation to teamwork
  • group dynamics (dealing with feedback, cultural differences, resistance)

Find or create and distribute worksheets on individual strengths

1. Strengths and experience
Introduce the topic of effective teamwork to the full group
Working groups and teams are dynamic constellations that go through different phases in order to work together as effectively as possible. Success of teams depends on various factors such as: proper leadership, how goals and procedures are set, decision-making, role distribution and attitudes towards cooperation and collaboration
In pairs in break-out rooms, students identify personal strengths, available resources, and previous experience in groups and teams
Pairs report back in plenary

2. Working culture
Introduce the topics of conflict management and theoretical frameworks of human behaviour re teamwork
Students reflect on and assess team dynamics and effectiveness in their own workplace
They share these points in groups of four
Around their group table, each student introduces the strengths of her/his neighbour

3. Group dynamics
Introduce the building blocks of effective team management, communication and feedback techniques, diversity and dimensions of cultural differences, dealing with resistance
Discuss challenges and success factors – including working as a virtual team

4. Code of conduct
In their project groups, students develop a team code of conduct on a flipchart or powerpoint
The code sums up the way the team proposes to work together effectively and deal with any conflict
A team spokesperson presents the code of conduct for each group

By the end of this session, students should be able to:

  • Identify their personal strengths, available resources, and experiences in groups and teams
  • Analyse and integrate their own working culture into the work of their proposal teams
  • Identify group dynamic processes and success factors for effective teamwork
  • Evaluate the relevance of effective teamwork and possible challenges of working in teams

Team-management presentation

Session: Budgeting a research proposal

This session equips students with the skills and knowledge to deal with budgeting issues relating to grants and grant proposals.

Source budget template/s, video/s and PowerPoints on this topic
Read the budget requirements for the mock call for proposals
List any queries or questions for discussion

1. Introduce the budget
The budget is a key element of a grant application, itemising the projected costs of a proposed project.
The budget plan indicates to prospective funders how you will organise the project and spend the money over a given period. They can see where their money would go.
The budget justification demonstrates that your project is well conceived. It minimises the risk that sponsors will arbitrarily reduce or eliminate budget categories. Sponsors/ funders have a good idea of what a project should cost, so they can generally tell if you are over or under-budgeting.

2. Identify the necessary resources
In the call for proposals, and in any additional guidance by that funder, read and discuss the sections on resources and costs.
Invite students to raise any queries they have.
Share any additional resources (video, PowerPoint)

3. Work in groups
In their grant-writing groups, students discuss:

  • Budget template for the grant call
  • Budget items
  • Budget costing

Groups fill in the budget template for the call


You can download these guidance notes and resources

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