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Success of first online Grant Writing Workshop

Researcher at work

We are thrilled to have successfully delivered our sixth ‘Essential Grant Writing Skills Workshop’ in December and January. Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, this was our first ever entirely virtual workshop.

The programme was delivered over eight 3-hour sessions during the weeks of 14 December 2020 and 11 January 2021, and was attended by a total of 31 people, including 4 facilitators, 16 participants, 6 invited guest speakers and 5 of AREF’s staff.

Attendees joined from 8 different countries, including Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.

Workshop content 

Our workshops aim to enable talented early-career and health-related researchers to build skills to develop their own research and fellowship proposals of the quality required to win competitive international, regional and national funding.

Topics covered by the workshop included:

• Why competitive-proposal writing matters
• Understanding funders’ requirements
• Formulating your compelling research question
• Writing in plain English
• Writing your Letter of Intent / Concept Note / Preliminary proposal
• Key parts of a typical Case for Support / Project Description
• Planning your proposal project plan and budget
• Principles of managing your collaboration and team
• Understanding and practicing peer review
• Preparing for a Fellowship interview.

When asked what they valued most about the workshop, participants said: 

“The feedback I received from the facilitators on various assignments such as the concept note and impact statement were very valuable as I was able to get very constructive feedback that will help me improve my grant writing going forward.”

“This workshop is very enlightening for me. I learnt a lot of things for the first time. Another plus from this training is the interaction among the participants whereby we were assigned to complete some assignments. This enables me to bond or get to know others personally.”

Future workshops and eligibility

AREF hosts grant writing workshops regularly throughout the year. The workshops are open to citizens of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa who are employed by a recognised university or specialist research institution. The full list of eligibility criteria is published with each call.

The next virtual workshop is taking place in March/April, and while applications have closed for this one, check for updates on our Grant Writing Workshops Page or sign up to our newsletter to be notified of the next call for applications.

If you have any queries, contact us at  

Published: 17 February 2021