Important legal notice
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Daphne Programme
Launching a Project
Writing a proposal

Writing a proposal

Often applicants for project funding complain that the application form does not give enough space to explain everything they want or need to write. In fact, if you have prepared the project thoroughly, it should take very little space to explain it clearly and precisely. You do not need to write a long essay explaining the issue you are going to tackle – if you have done your research, this will be clear, and you can give a simple reference to your background materials. For example: “Domestic violence has been increasing in CountryX over the past 10 years [Bloggs and Bloggs, Hurt at Home, Publisher, London, 2003, p.13]. This project aims to explore the causes for this increase through desk research, interviews with women who have taken refuge in shelters in CapitalCity, and through consultations with social workers, police and refuge staff. Parallel research will be carried out in CountryY and CountryZ with a view to identifying patterns and trends and recommending actions and policies at national and European levels to halt this growing form of violence.” You can see that these few lines set out the problem to be tackled, the essence of the actions that will be taken and the expected results of the project. In fact, the application form gives more opportunity for explanation than this, so there is plenty of space in which to be clear and precise.

In addition to statements of the problem, the methodology proposed for tackling it and the expected outcomes, the proposal should also give practical details of how the project will run. The partners should be named and their roles clearly described. A workplan (which might change as the project progresses, if that becomes necessary) that illustrates how the work will be allocated and that sets targets for project activity, should be included. Questions relating to ethical issues considered, risks potentially to be met and contingencies being put in place also are asked. If you have followed these steps through, you should have no trouble at all completing the proposal form!

Finally, which language will you submit your proposal in? Do not be tempted to submit it in a language that is not your own unless you are absolutely sure that you can write clearly in that language and that the reader will understand what you want them to understand.