Who is this course for?

The course is designed for researchers in developing countries who would like to improve their skills in developing grant proposals to obtain research funding. It is particularly suitable for early career researchers, or those with limited experience in developing proposals or winning grants.

There is no cost to participate in this course. It is offered as an open online course by INASP.

Why join this course?
  • Improve your knowledge and skills in grant proposal writing through proven online course materials developed by the AuthorAID project. AuthorAID's online courses have been completed by several thousand researchers from all around the world.
  • Make new research connections with your course colleagues via discussion forums.
  • Receive expert advice from an international team of experienced guest facilitators.
  • Learn with instructional materials designed for developing country researchers and grounded in a neutral point of view.
What will you learn?

If you dedicate sufficient time to engage with all the learning materials in the course and meet the course completion criteria, you will be able to:

  • Carry out essential preparatory steps before writing a grant proposal, including searching for grant opportunities
  • Prepare a suitable CV as a supplement to a grant proposal
  • Write a well-structured grant proposal
  • Use an effective writing style in a grant proposal
  • Explain the role of collaboration in developing strong research proposals
  • Identify strategies for seeking collaborators
  • Plan for successful collaborative writing
  • Consider significance, innovation, sustainability, and impact when developing a grant proposal
  • Describe how to manage successful proposals; and how to move forward with a rejected proposal

Length of the course

The course will run for 5 weeks from 24 October 2023 to 27 November 2023.

Topics covered
Week 1: Proposal writing basics
  • Preparing to write a grant proposal
  • Preparing a CV
Week 2: Proposal writing
  • Writing a grant proposal
  • Writing style for a grant proposal
Week 3: Collaborative grants
  • Collaborative research grant proposals - The what and the why
  • Finding collaborators
  • Planning for collaborative writing
Week 4: Winning collaborative grants
  • Key factors: significance, innovation, sustainability and impact
  • Moving forward, successful or not
  • Bonus resources

Week 5: Wrap up

Expected time commitment

5 hours per week

Learning resources and activities

Text-based learning resources; multiple-choice quizzes; writing activity with peer assessment; reflection activity; discussion forums with facilitator support.


  • This is a largely asynchronous course: you can study in your own time and engage on the forums whenever you'd like to. There may be a few optional live sessions held via Zoom.
What support you can expect

We will have a team of guest facilitators who will respond to questions on the course forums. Most participants in our previous courses have reported high satisfaction with the responses they received on the forums from not only the facilitators but also their fellow course participants.

When the course begins, limited technical support will be available on the Technical Support forum in the course. Unfortunately we will not be able to respond to individual email requests for support before or during the course.

What feedback you can expect

There will be one writing activity in the course that includes peer assessment. To take part in this activity, you should submit your work and assess a few of your course colleagues' submissions that are allocated to you. At the end of this activity, you can expect to see feedback on your work from your course colleagues. Please note that you will not get feedback on your work from the guest facilitators.

Completion criteria

Basic completion criteria: Going through the learning resources; attaining a passing score in each quiz; and completing the reflection activity and feedback survey at the end of the course. If you complete the writing activity as well, you will receive a 'Merit' grade.

You will receive a certificate in PDF format if you meet the course completion criteria. The certificate will contain a code that can be used to verify its authenticity.

Internet and device requirements

To make the most of this course, you should ideally have reliable access to the internet for the duration of the course. The course materials are not particularly heavy as they are text based (videos and live sessions are optional), so the course will not consume a significant amount of internet data.

While we recommend a computer for the coursework (especially for the writing activity), you may use a mobile device such as a smartphone. We will provide more information when the course begins.

Can the learning resources be reused or adapted?

Yes. The learning resources have been developed by INASP and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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