10 Best EU Grant Writing Tips

writing tips

When writing proposals for Horizon Europe calls, your proposal should be standard enough for funding. Below is a list of the essential grant writing tips you should consider when writing a proposal.

1. Ensure You Start with A Clear Message That Explains What the Project Is About

Usually, a clear message is what interests the reviewer first. Questions like “what am I reading?” or “what is the aim of the project?” pop up in a reviewer’s mind. It is best to avoid using long background texts at the beginning of your proposal and get to the point as soon as possible, especially on the first page of the application. Furthermore, when you make a positive impression on your reviewer from the start, it can improve your chances of getting positive “emotional feedback” about your proposal throughout the review process.

2. Always Have a Clear Outline of The Proposal

Having a proposal outline before you start writing ensures that your text flows from one part to another. This way, all your ideas come together. The result of a clear outline is that your overall story would be smooth and clear for the reviewers. Without an outline, your proposal will be very patchy and unprofessional. 

3. Create A Proposal Pleasant to The Eyes

A proposal with endless chunks of texts overwhelms reviewers; hence, it is not appealing. You can create a proposal pleasant to the eyes by using headings and subheadings, breaking up long paragraphs, using bullet points to simplify long lists, and avoiding double spaces. Additionally, using whitespace will give your reviewers a chance to rest their eyes.

4. Know When to Use Active or Passive Voice

When structuring a new sentence, it is best always to decide if the focus is on the doer (the individual that does the work). For important actions, always speak in an active voice. And for unimportant actions, speak in a passive voice. 

For instance, data was collected from 1000 patients, or the researcher collected data from 1000 patients. The first sentence is in passive voice, and it shows that the doer is not essential, while the second sentence is in an active voice which shows that the doer is essential. Whichever voice you choose, the focus needs to be apparent because the reviewers also focus on this.

5. Ensure You Use Simple Words

Although research writing explains the science behind an innovative idea, it includes complicated terms that your reviewers may not be familiar with entirely. Always simplify your language wherever possible and use easy-to-understand words.

6. Avoid Cumbersomeness

Always write clearly and cut out unnecessary words. You don’t necessarily have to use a lot of words to explain critical points thoroughly. Sometimes, explaining with fewer words makes concepts easier to understand.

7. Use Only One Paragraph Per Subtopic

Your paragraph should focus on only one subject, even if it means that it will be a short paragraph. Addressing multiple issues within a paragraph results in long readings that can easily confuse reviewers.

8. Ensure Your Most Important Information Comes First

The focus point should always come first, whether the first sentence or the beginning of a paragraph. Focusing on essential points shows reviewers what to focus on as well. Reviewers may overlook focal points of your proposal if you save important information for the end.

9. Always Vary Sentence Lengths Between Short, Medium, And Long Sentences

Most researchers write long, expressive sentences packed with information; This may be pretty difficult for reviewers because they have to dissect each sentence into shorter parts, taking time. Structuring each paragraph with sentences of varying length does the hard work for your reviewers.

Additionally, you can use three colored markers to mark short, medium, and long sentences in your first draft. The colors give you an overall picture, indicating what needs to be fixed or reduced.

10. Leave Your Proposal for Some Time Before Proofreading

Usually, researchers read their proposals multiple times, resulting in autopilot when proofreading. Frequently reading your proposal is a way of missing important issues that require fixing. You can prevent this by leaving your proposal for at least a week.

Using Online Resources to Review Your Proposal

After finishing your proposal and applying the above grant writing tips, you may utilize additional tools to ensure your proposal is in good shape. Recently, the online world has many grammar and readability tools like Grammarly and Hemingway that you can run your proposal through. These tools are two of the numerous grammar and readability tools available, and they offer both free and paid services depending on your budget and resources.

Using an online resource to review your proposal is highly recommended because it strengthens the overall writing.


The quality of your proposal determines if you will get funding. Applying the grant writing tips discussed in this article can help you write a stellar proposal. Good luck!

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.