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Effective Grant Development and Writing for Young Scientists (315)


19 April and 17 May 2023

Lang EN Workshop language is English

Dr Michael Toscano


Writing grants is a difficult process but essential for modern-day scientists who wish to have a successful research program. The process is even more critical for young investigators whom are seeking to differentiate themselves from their colleagues and need to demonstrate independence from their supervisors while developing their own novel ideas and concepts. Using a very hands-on and interactive approach, the course will seek to provide doctoral students with the skills to develop their idea into a proposal for funders, and write in a clear and technical manner.

The course will seek to provide an engaging environment for doctoral students whom will be provided a 3-hour lecture on basics of grant-writing and then they write a brief, two-page grant application or summary. The application will then be reviewed by the lecturers and class peers in a second meeting to provide relevant feedback. After this second meeting, students will hand-in a final proposal which will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis by the lecturers.

The course will not focus on the scientific background or methods of the proposal but addresses the structure and content with respect to funders requests and the technical skills of writing research proposals.

The course is intended for students in the middle or end of their doctorate who are intending to continue in academia or another role where grant-writing is requisite. The course is relevant for all scientific disciplines.


Learning Outcomes:

By the conclusion of the workshop, students should understand:

  • the importance of grant-writing in their academic career
  • specific steps in developing a basic concept into a mature research proposal
  • what information is available to better target their proposals at potential funders
  • how to identify weaknesses of their proposal and resolve them
  • different styles and techniques of technical writing.


Preparatory and Transfert Work:

In preparation for the course, students should have a basic concept of a research proposal and be confident in their ability to explain the methods clearly to non-experts in the field. Students will also be asked to read an article and two grant proposals that will serve as example templates for the course; being familiar with the proposals would aid the students' understanding of the course material.

Following the first lecture and before the second, students will be asked to submit a 2 page summary of their idea and review the submissions of two of their fellow students.

Following the second lecture, students are expected to hand in a full proposal or minimum 5 page draft based on their ideas, feedbacks of peers and information from lectures. This final proposal will be reviewed by the course lecturers and returned with feedback.




University of Fribourg


Date: Wednesdays, 19th April and 17th May 2023

Schedule: 9 am to noon on 19th April ; 9 am to 5 pm on 17th May

Place: University of Fribourg



Dr Michael Toscano has attracted over 22 million CHF in funding from a variety of sources, including government funding bodies, charities, and industrial partners across Switzerland, Europe and North America. Focusing on behavioural and physiological measures of welfare in livestock, he currently serves as Group Leader for a research group at Universität Bern (Group Website:, and developed the course based on his own experiences and interactions with students and colleagues.





Participants are eligible for reimbursement of incurred travel expenses by train between the city of their university and the location of the workshop (half-fare card, 2nd class).



Délai d'inscription 12.04.2023
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