Postdoc-Workshop: Writing successful research proposals for DFG funding lines in the Natural Sciences and Engineering


Time: Fri, 23 September, Mon, 26 September and Fri, 30 September 2022
The first two days will start as workshops days at 9.00 a.m. and last until 2.00 p.m. with flexible breaks. On the third day one-to-one talks about 45 minutes for each participant will take place, the times will be agreed individually with the participants.
Location: Online (via Zoom)
Target group: Postdocs of the UA Ruhr universities (Natural Sciences and Engineering); max. 10 participants
Trainers: Dr. Babette Regierer and Dr. Susanne Hollmann
Registration deadline: 9 September 2022
Contact for organizational queries: Dr. Ursula Justus (RUB Research School)


During this online course, the participants receive an introduction to fundamental principles, tools and methods of proposal writing to get their research funded. The workshop will put a special emphasis on research funding of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Based on the training material, interactive discussions and relevant examples the participants learn how to develop a research idea into a project proposal and matching it to the goals of a targeted funding program of the DFG. Integrated exercises help participants to structure proposals that comply with funding requirements and reflect the reading behaviour of reviewers.

The participants work on written two-page outlines of their own funding ideas (“mini-proposals”) which are submitted to the trainer two weeks before the workshop. Participants improve their mini-proposals throughout the workshop and receive trainers' feedback on their proposal structure, content and language use.

The participants experience how to:

  • View proposal writing as a competition in a marketplace of research ideas and as an instrument for career advancement.
  • Develop and sell a research idea by matching it to the goals of the intended DFG funding line.
  • Convince reviewers of the relevance and importance of the research idea.
  • Develop a work plan with milestones, deliverables and contingency plans.
  • Understand reviewers’ reading behaviour.
  • Understand the basic structure of the application highlighting the most important parts and strategies.
  • Engage the reviewer as an advocate for their project proposal.
  • Comply with formalities and manage timelines and deadlines.

This online course consists of three modules of four hours each. In an additional personalized session the participants receive individual feedback from the trainer how to improve their mini-proposal.

Download workshop description (PDF)


Dr. Babette Regierer and Dr. Susanne Hollmann worked as professional proposal writers with more than 15 years of active participation in project development, design, and writing of successful, competitive project proposals for national and international funding programs.

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