How to Write a Successful ERASMUS+ Project Proposal
So you have decided that you would like to give Erasmus plus a try, and you would like to prepare yourself in order to deliver a successful application.
Before you start any proposal writing, you will need to think about your strategy. You can receive information from others who have experience with this kind of work or research what options you have. You need to know what you want and how you are going to achieve this.
Now you are ready to start the process of filling in the application, which will be done in four stages; Preparation, Project Idea, Partnership and Proposal.
The Preparation Stage
Start by carefully reading through the Erasmus+ programme guide. Here you will find relevant information regarding the call for proposals, where you can find the application forms needed, how to register on the ECAS platform. Find a common trait between your organisation’s strategy and the focus areas in the programme guide.
The Project Idea
Start by contacting your National Agency and find out if you can participate in any national information days, or workshops in your area. Ask for advice and find out what the national priorities are, as these may differ from country to country.
Insure that your idea and the content, targets and beneficiaries correspond to the Erasmus+ objectives and priorities.
Next you need to find out who will do what. Which role will you have in the project, and what will your partners be responsible for? Check that you have:
- support from your institution
- the project idea is innovative, sustainable and realistic
Start by checking the minimum number of partners and what the rules are for EU and non EU partners. Whatever you do, don’t leave the partners until the last minute! Find them from the beginning, and include them in the writing of the project, eventually write the project with them. Make sure the project is able to rest on the partners’ competences and not vice versa. A partner must be able to bring added value to the project as well as being able to complement each other. The most important part of the project, is to find partners that will be committed to the project, all the way.
Ensure that you have defined the project idea before you start writing it. You can do research and plan meetings with academic personnel and administrative staff, to make sure you have a good understanding of the structures within your own institution. Create an overview/storyboard of the tasks and stages of the project, with tasks and responsibility evenly spread out between the partners, and make sure you have an “exit solution” in case something goes wrong. It’s often a good idea not to settle for the minimum amount of partners, as you will be too dependent on them, with one or two more partners, if there is a problem, or a partner drops out, your project can still survive without them.
A small tip, but still quite important and can be the difference between a project submitted on time or too late: Don’t wait until the last minute to get forms signed. Send a check list from the beginning, with things you need from your partners, giving them time to get things done.
About three or four months before the deadline, you can start to write your proposal. Be clear and precise and have someone else check it for you. If they don’t understand it, neither will the evaluator.
It’s usually the applicant that is responsible for the management of the project, so you need to plan milestones, like when are the meetings going to take place, what reports will be done and how will you present the results. but no need to take all the workload onboard. Think smart, and divide the workload between the partners, give them the responsibility to coordinate certain tasks and activities. This will make your life much easier and give the partners ownership of the project.
You need to think about the sustainability, dissemination and exploitation of the results. Have a clear plan for this, make sure it is realistic but don’t underestimate your abilities.
Your summary is your elevator pitch, so make sure it’s clear and precise, and sells your project well.