VU AmsterdamDepartment of Computer ScienceDepartment of Computer Science

  Faculty of Sciences Department of Computer Science Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Writing a good research proposal is one of the most challenging aspects of being a scientist, as it requires both a good new idea and a very clear description of why this idea is relevant and realistic. In this course, we try to learn how to prepare such a proposal. Since the majority of research proposals are intended for obtaining research funds, we use such 'grant proposals' as our examples, and expect students in the end to produce a simplified grant proposal (but ignoring the administrative and financial parts).

The course consists of 2 phases:

  1. We teach students how to write proposals, using existing proposals from our group as examples. Each student is to write a review for each proposal and also rank the proposals. After that, we will discuss all the proposals and reviews in a meeting, so you get an idea of how such review meetings work.

  2. Each student then writes a 4-page proposal and reviews all the other student proposals. These reviews will be double blind (i.e., the reviewer will not know who wrote each proposal). Finally, we will meet as the "program committee" again to discuss all the proposals.

From experience, we know this course requires a lot of work, so please budget enough time for it.

As background reading material we have collected several guides with useful hints about how to write a good research proposal (you can ignore everything about administrative/financial issues). These guides can be found here and here.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • 08 Nov. 2016, 13.30-15.15
  • 13 Dec. 2016, 13.30-17.15

NB The deadlines for phase 1 and 2 are as follows:

  • 06 Nov. 2016 1800 CEST: Reviews due (hard deadline)
  • 12 Nov. 2016: 1800 CET: Title and summaries of your proposals due
  • 02 Dec. 2016: 1800 CET: Your proposals due
  • 10 Dec. 2016: 1800 CET: Your reviews on the proposals due

Here are the detailed instructions for phase 1 and phase 2.

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