Research application

Research applications

These pages contain material and information which are useful/necessary when you apply for external research funding.

Before they can be submitted all applications for external research funding must be reviewed by the Research Committee (of the Department) and the Research Support Unit (of the University). The purpose is to improve your application and hence increase your chances for success. Please see this as a way to help you – not as an extra burden. In order to make a successful application you must use the necessary time to write a good proposal and to implement the reviewers' comments and suggestions for improvements. Please bear in mind that the reviewers do not make the suggestions for improvements to annoy you. They invest their time in the reviewing to help you get money for funding of your project.

It is the experience that the success of a research application relies as much on the quality of the written research proposal as it relies on the inherent quality of the research project itself. Hence, it is important to produce a clear, readable, and well-motivated project proposal. The people who evaluate your proposal are often from other disciplines of computer science or even from other disciplines of science. This makes it even more important that you produce a good description which can be read and appreciated by the evaluators.

Material which may help you to make a better application

  1. How to write a good grant proposal (by Mogens Nielsen)
  2. Vejledning i forbindelse med forskningsprojekter (by Michael Schwartzbach and Ole Lehrmann Madsen) (in Danish only)
  3. Grant evaluations – observations and advice (by Michael Schwartzbach)
  4. How to get a permanent position in academia  (by Michael Schwartzbach and Anders Møller)
  5. Useful information from the Financial Department, Faculty of Science
  6. How to write a good research proposal (slide set by Mogens Nielsen)

To write a successful application it is important to start at least 4 weeks before the application deadline (earlier if your are inexperienced in writing project applications)

0. Send an email to the Head of Department, Kaj Grønbæk, to inform him about your planned project application. Kaj will then assign a mentor for your application.

The mentor will read and evaluate your application making suggestions for improvements (in a similar way as you know from the reviewing of research papers). Keep the mentor informed about the application progress and consult the mentor for all kinds of advice concerning the application (except detailed budget issues). The mentor is often chosen from a very different part of computer science than yourself. This is on purpose. When your application is submitted to the funding agency it may be a person from biology or physics who evaluates your application. Hence, it must be readable and understandable without any prior knowledge of your research area.

1. Go to the departmental web-based system for registering applications for external funding:

entering your personal page using your AU-IT username and password.

Next create a new item (using the "New application" button), and enter the preliminary information (typically at least name of applicant, grant source, project title, application date, and next update expected). If you also fill in the name of the economist he/she will automatically receive an e-mail as soon as the application is accepted. Please note that you can enter any additional information not fitting the predefined coloumns in "Notes" using free text.

You can find a guide to the Research Application (ReAp) system here:

You are expected to update the information on your application whenever new information is available (using the "Edit" button). Updates will typically include uploading of the submitted proposal, outcome from the funding agency, uploading the grant acceptance letter from funding agency etc. For your convenience, you will automatically receive an email with a reminder on the entered date for "Next update expected".

If you experience any problems using the system, please send an email to Jan Frederiksen .

2.    You must also contact the Research Support Unit of the University

(Danish: Forskningsstøtteenheden, FSE).

The Research Support Unit offers mainly two kinds of help and it is strongly recommended to use both:

  • Help to check whether your project proposal is well-written, e.g. clear with good motivation and adequate with respect to the objectives of the research call.
  • Help to make a budget (with the correct figures for different kinds of salary, overhead, etc).

For EU applications it is mandatory to get approval of the A2 form (and the budget) at the Research Support Unit.

To get adequate help from your mentor and from the Research Support Unit you must have a reasonably finished project proposal at least 2 weeks before the application deadline. For some deadlines (e.g. for FNU and FTP)) the Research Support Unit may be very busy with a large number of other applications which they have to review. The earlier you contact them and the earlier you have a draft of your application, the better help they will be able to provide, and the larger are your chances for success.

Final approval by the Head of Department

Most applications need to be signed by the Head of the Department (and when a signature isn't required you still have to get your application approved by the Head of Department before it is submitted).

Please make an appointment by mail/calendar at least 1 week before you need the signature/approval. You cannot expect the Head of Department to be available at all times. He may e.g. be travelling abroad.

To get the signature/approval it is mandatory that the application has been reviewed by a mentor and that the budget has been checked by the Research Support Unit (or the financial officer connected to your research group).