PHOENIX training course: "Writing a Competitive Proposal for FP7"

Laulasmaa, 1 - 4 September 2007

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The aim of the course is to study how to write professional and competitive proposals for the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Technological Development.
The course will give overview about the relevance of FP7 in EU policies, focusing on the common problems in proposal writing and the success criteria for proposals.
All the participants have great opportunity to discuss their project ideas with experts. The course will investigate how to collect information, how to select strategic partners and how to avoid duplication in proposal writing.

Course topics

  • Brief Overview of 7th Framework Programme and SSH programme
  • Your idea vs workprogramme and spesific call
  • The Funding Schemes
  • Legal and Financial Rules in 7th Framework Programme
  • Searching and Selecting Partners - how to make consortium
  • Proposal Evaluation process
  • Streamlining Proposal Writing
  • Reasons of failure


Valentina Markusova, VINITI, Russia (presentation)

Silver Pukk, Hill & Knowlton, Estonia (presentation)

Trainers team from Archimedes Foundation:

Ülle Must, PHOENIX coordinator, FP7 SSH NCP

Kristin Kraav, FP7 Mobility NCP

Anne Park, FP7 Legal and financial NCP

Terje Tuisk, FP7 Science in Society NCP


1 September, Saturday

Venue: Laulasmaa Resort, Estonia

10.00 - 11.30 Brief Overview of the 7th Framework Programme and the SSH programme (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
11.30 - 12.00 Funding Schemes. Legal and Financial Rules in the 7th Framework Programme (presentation) - Anne Park, Archimedes Foundation
12.00 - 13.00 Preparation for group work - Kristin Kraav and Terje Tuisk, Archimedes Foundation
13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.00 Your idea vs workprogramme and specific call. Objectives and outcomes. (document) - Group work
15.00-16.00 Presentations of the groups
16.00- 16.30 Tea/Coffee
16.30-17.00 Writing the Proposal: The structure of the proposal. Terminology. Action Plan. (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
17.00-18.00 Preparing the Action Plan - Group work
18.00-19.00 Dinner
19.00-20.00 Further training action plan - Group work
20.00 - 20.30 Consortium building. Partner search. Roles in the consortium. (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
20.30 - Roles in the consortium: existing competences - Group work

2 September, Sunday

09.30 - 10.15 General principles of the compilation of the budget (presentation) - Anne Park, Archimedes Foundation
10.15-12.30 Writing the Proposal: Management structure and procedures. Individual participants. Consortium as a whole. Resources to be committed. (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
11.00-11.15 Tea/Coffee
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch
13.30 - 14.30 Writing the Proposal: Impact (Expected impacts listed in the work programme. Dissemination and/or exploitation of project results, and management of intellectual property) (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
14.30 - 15.30 Writing the Proposal: Scientific and/or technical quality, relevant to the topics addressed by the call (Concept and objectives. Progress beyond the state-of-the-art. S/T methodology and associated work plan) (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
15.30-16.00 Project Title, Acronym and Abstract (presentation) - Ülle Must, Archimedes Foundation
16.00 - 16.15 Tea/Coffee
16.15-17.15 Project Title, Acronym and Abstract - Group Work
17.15 - 18.15 Departure from Laulasmaa SPA and arrival to Reval Hotel Central (Narva mnt 7C, 10117 Tallinn)
19.00 Reception at Tallinn City Hall

3 September, Monday

Conference "New Technologies in Humanities Research"

Venue: Radisson SAS Hotel, Tallinn, Rävala str. 3

4 September, Tuesday

08.00 - 11.00 Departure from Tallinn, arrival to Tartu
Venue: Väike-Turu 8, Tartu
11.00-13.00 Writing the Proposal: Part A, administrative forms. EPSS - Practical training
13.15-14.45 Lunch
15.00-17.15 PHOENIX - catalogue of SSH information sources/databases in Central Asia - Presentations by groups (25 minutes per group)
17.30 - 19.00 Sightseeing in Tartu
19.00 - 21.00 Dinner
21.00 Bus back to Tallinn


Aliya Dairabayeva KazakhstanCentre of Distance Education of Almaty Academy of Economic and Statistic AAES
Ainash Kenzhegaliyeva Kazakhstan West Kazakhstan State University
Akbermet MelisKyrgyzstanKyrgyz State Technical University, NIP
Natalia Bragina KyrgyzstanRegional Association of Educational Establishments "EdNet"
Olga BorisovaKyrgyzstanKyrgyz State Technical University, NIP
Tatiana Rybina KyrgyzstanAmerican University in Central Asia
Turonsho KhikmatovTajikistanNIP, Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency
Zaynidin MukhtorovTajikistanTajik Association of critical thinking; Tajik State National University
Dovlet J. Jumakuliev TurkmenistanInitiative group of teachers and reseachers
Murad HaitovTurkmenistanBusiness School of Enterprises' Association
Safarova Liliya UzbekistanUzbek National University
Nursultan M. DzhusupovUzbekistanPhD student, Uzbekistan State World Language University
Kata GaborHungaryLASELDI, Université de Franche-Comté Linguistics Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Marie Louise Elizabeth van der PlasNetherlandsAlfa Informatica, University of Groningen
Valentina MarkusovaRussiaVINITI

Feedback on the training session

We asked to assess the content and organisation of the training session.

What could be better? What was irrelevant? What was missing from this training session?

  • Training is well-thought-out and well-placed. Co-teaching and team work help participants to learn rapidly and better. Trainers are experienced, friendly and really interesting in participants' improvement. I am grateful to them for their not simple and high-quality work. As I have some experience as a lector on FP7 and I could say additionally it is very important to highlight three aspects for clarification to non-European participants: 1. Necessity of transformation own idea, taking into account the FP's priorities and European needs; 2. Importance of foreign collaborators' previous projects' experience as well as their research one in case of own initiative for proposal writing. 3. Role of participants' English skills for proposal writing and further project communications. These things are not so obvious for non-European (especially CA) researchers. I would like to understand better how define load of each partner according their performed work volume.
  • Completely was very good, and I cannot add anymore.
  • May be to devote more time for such training - 3-4 days to consider in details all aspects of project proposal preparation and submission. It would be reasonable to pay special attention to relevance of proposed by participants themes of projects to overall concept of FP7 . It seems like some of participants do not understand the priorities of FP7 - all projects must improve situation in Europe in different fields and serve for the needs of Europeans. If we could find the balance between European's interests and our's (CA countries) it would be useful for all partners. I just can offer to oriented participants more strongly.
  • Everything was OK in terms of organisation of the training session. I think that I've got the basic theoretical and practical information which will be very beneficial for undertaking research projects. I cannot say what could be better because the session itself was really informative. It successfully combined both theory and practice. This very fact is very crucial and has a major effect on the positive results of the training session. As for the second question (about the irrelevance of the aspects of the session), I would say that I did not found anything which could be irrelevant or excessive for the training session. Personally, I think that within the period of the session we could get what we had expected of the trainers. I would like to highlight that I've enriched my experience within such a short period of time. Surely, it proves the efficiency of the trainers' activity. Taking into consideration the duration of the training session, I think that there was nothing missing from it.
  • In this training session was very irrelevant agenda and lack of free time.
  • I'd like to have more practical examples of successful and unsuccessful project proposals. To understand better strengths and weaknesses of proposals and have clear vision of the whole project proposal and budget it'd be good to have a summary of the seminar and to get and to look through the whole package of the working or accomplished project proposal.
  • To stress how important for research project to know up-to-date S%T information; how to choose the relevant publications from journals covered by JCR.
  • I would like to see an example of a proposal in my field. Maybe we could have looked together at the CORDIS website. I always find it hard to find smth from there.
  • The training was very useful, the proportion of groupwork and lectures was ideal. Trainers provided groups with relevant information and advice, which made groupwork fruitful.

What was the most important thing you learned at this training session? What did you like most? What was most interesting?

  • I liked an idea to use game for training. Participation in real process of proposal writing from start to finish helped me to understand how to transform research theme to project proposal. Budget planning was the most interesting.
  • Project preparing in FP7, HERA conference were very important and most interesting.
  • Training was very well structured. I liked the work of two main trainers in pair, they complemented each other. The form of alternation of theory and practice is very effective. Grouping people from different countries is also good idea - they had opportunity to learn from each other and to share ideas, to work out common interests. FP7 is complicated for third countries participants so it is very important to high awareness of this programme worldwide.
  • The most important and the most useful thing I learned at the training session is the detailed knowledge on the complex mechanism of organisation of the work within the research projects. What I like most are the organisation of the training session (including the preparation of the trainers, their responsibility for their work, and interactivity) and the deep respect the organisers have shown for the participants (guests). The most interesting thing within the scope of the session was the interactive method of training which gave much opportunity to express and exchange ideas about the disputable and topical issues.
  • The first of all training session opens the possibility for receiving grants and preparation Project for future collaboration, friendly and kindly atmosphere in the seminar and the future.
  • The most important thing for me was learning from mistakes of others, detailed knowledge about some FP7 issues and rules. I liked most the personal close discussion of the problems, which we may face during project application and development. The most interesting were practical exercises and learning from experience of our trainers.
  • It was important to clarify the structure and details of the project proposal in line with the FP7 requirements. I liked the format of group work and development of a draft proposal in real time.
  • Most important part to overcome psychological barrier looking at the words "brainstorming", "deliverable" etc.
  • I liked the fact that Terje and Kristin interrupted sometimes to explain thing in a very clear way. I liked the group work, brainstorming. I learned a lot: terminology of FP, all the basics. It will help me, if I ever write a proposal myself. It all became less frightening. I also like all the examples from experience Ülle gave during the presentations.
  • I learned the most during the first groupwork sessions, about how to come up with ideas and create a project. It was also very useful to see how the workflow of writing a proposal is organised.

Your suggestions to the trainers for improving future training sessions.

  • To give materials for the different part of activities immediately before this activity.
  • Preparing new and new materials and go ahead. Thanks.
  • I gave my view above. In common, training was perfectly prepared and conducted in all its parts. Thank you very mach for great job!
  • I would like to focus your attention on the fact that it would be much more effective and interesting if the period of the training sessions were longer. To my mind, it could give more chances for the participants from different countries to understand all aspects of the problems in detail and fully realize their abilities to use the new knowledge in practice (in the classroom) in the best way.
  • We are suggesting to obtaining more time for individual and free work, presentation, discussing.
  • The seminar was very good organized and moderated. It'd be good to develop different project proposals by groups focusing on the expectations, possibilities and requirements of FP7. It'd provide more ideas and opportunity to see the influence of topic on the style and format of the proposal, different approaches and also common mistakes.
  • All trainers are excellent. Good luck!
  • The first day was too long, the last session could have been scheduled for Sunday morning. Handouts could be more concise, not all the information mentioned at the session have to be included.