5/5 - Writing a High Quality Funding Bid

WRITING A HIGH QUALITY FUNDING BID requires a thorough understanding of the project and the funding requirements. Sufficient time, attention to detail and contextual understanding are essential to accomplish this task well. This is a dedicated task. While all funders have different application forms, a list of universal hints and tips can be offered. This task helps you is to gain an insight into some of the most common weaknesses of unsuccessful applications and how to avoid them.




The tool consists of a list of  'Hints and Tips' for writing funding applications from the perspective of an appraiser. It seeks to draw out some of the common weaknesses in application writing and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.


Who is the tool for?When should the tool be used?

The writers of the funding application.

The person/pre-appraiser who is reviewing the final draft of the funding application

This tool should be used before starting writing a funding application. It should be re-read during the process of writing. In addition, the pre-appraiser should take note of the Hints and Tips as well.


Click on the stations to navigate through the Application line!

Key challenges of this step

  • Most important is to understand clearly each section of the application form. The main challenge is to provide a succinct yet detailed and well written response in line with what each question is looking for.
  • The task of writing high quality funding applications is challenging as it requires a wide set of skills: an in-depth understanding of the project as well as a thorough knowledge of what the funder is looking for. The better you understand the aims of the funder and the selection criteria of the call, the better you can articulate your responses in your funding application.


Main risks

A sub-standard funding application has little chance of being successful in gaining funding.


Helpful tips

  • If there is one, ensure you obtain and read carefully the "Guide for Applicants" from the funder to assist your writing, section by section of the application form.
  • Ensure that you have access to the Selection Criteria of the funding programme/call and seek to provide clear and convincing answers to all of them.
  • In case there are any doubts of the various sections or questions of an application form, get in touch with the funders for clarification.
  • In most cases, each question of an application form is looking for a different answer (i.e. refrain from assuming that there might be duplication and copy and paste from a previous response).
  • Discuss the challenges of the application form with the project design team and the financial department, to find jointly agreed solutions to arising issues.
  • Have the final draft application reviewed by an external colleague/third party to do a consistency check and a pre-appraisal. This is more than proof-reading (grammar and style), this is about quality, coherence and consistency and alignment with the funder's requirements.