EARMA Conference Oslo


What is grant writing?

Grant writers’ key skills and expertise


Dr. Johanna Toivonen de Gonzales



EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Poster

Topic: Proposal Development


Grant writing covers a diverse range of support services for researchers in the grant proposal preparation. Grant writing appeared at the Finnish universities ca. ten years ago, but it is still in its early or piloting stage in several universities. The definition of the term is not well established and the content may also be varying, ranging from deep-diving substance writing to more general grant advising and proposal commenting. In this work, we aim at clarifying the definition of the term grant writing, focusing on the nature of the tasks and needed expertise at different levels of grant writing. We have two hypotheses that we test: 1) Effective grant writing means getting deeply inside the topic and co-writing several sections of the proposal; 2) The closer the grant writer’s substance knowledge is to the topic of the proposal, the more effective and meaningful the grant writing. We will make a survey for grant writers, grant coaches, research funding specialists and other experts in research funding services at the Finnish universities to map their experiences and perceptions on the nature of the grant writing work . As an outcome of the work, we will get new insights into grant writers’ tasks and needed expertise at different levels of the work. This will help us to better understand the nature of the work in all its dimensions.