The 8 steps for developing successful grant applications

In this training video, I reveal the 8 steps to be followed for developing successful grant applications. Since in order to create a great meal, you need to start with a recipe, in the same manner in order to develop a great proposal for funding, you need a “recipe” and that is my well establied FET™ formula that is based on the practices that all champions are applying in common for developing their winning proposals. The FET™ formula is based on years of studying or working with the champions in european funding in key areas such as in entrepreneurship, research&innovation, education, human rights, culture, etc. Influenced also from my PhD research, I have realised that “success leaves clues”  and all successful people in any specific area follow a similar pattern of actions and mentality that makes them successful in their area. My job in european funding was to recognise this pattern and create this common framework (FET™ formula) of steps and actions that lead them to the consistent development of winning grant applications.

My FET™(Funding Expert Transformation) formula consists of the following three stages:

magic recipe

  1. Stage 1: Identify the most suitable EU funding programmes for your organisation or your client(s). There are around 1 trillion € available from the EU budget for the financial programming period 2014-2020 to fund and support activities across the European Union (and not only) that will lead to three priorities: a) the creation of forefront knowledge, b) the increase of growth and more jobs and c) the improvement of quality of life. Therefore, there are many different funding opportunities that anyone can get really lost and miss which funding opportunities are the most attractive, most suitable and most promising for  your organisation and your clients. There is a technique that we should follow which is called Five Fingers’™ Technique that allows us to identify easily the most appropriate calls for our organisation and clients according to their ambition, activities, size, reach, mission, and vision as well as to the success chances that we have in each programme.
  2. Stage 2: Master the full proposal development process. This process normally starts from the point that you come up with an idea that deserves to build on and develop a full proposal up to the point that you submit your proposal and you celebrate! (Yes, you never wait to celebrate when you are informed that your proposal is accepted for funding). This step is mastered with my I.C.R.E.A.T.E.S.™ system that transforms anyone to excel in
    1. I.dea –  creating innovative and promising ideas that are internally validated
    2. C.onnect – connecting and networking with key people (such as with other experts and evaluators, funding authority officers as well as with competent potential partners and supporters) for externally validating the idea
    3. R.Read – reading or even more specifically studying and mastering what and how to read the programme documentation,
    4. E.ncapsulate  – preparing a proposal summary that rocks,
    5. A.ttract – identifying and attracting key partners in the consortium,
    6. T.ransformation – forming and managing the right team for the structure of the proposal and developing a great proposal based on the C.R.I.T.E.R.I.A.™(next stage) formula
    7. E.valuate – having at least the final draft of the proposal evaluated by an expert and addressing its recommendation
    8. S. Submit – submitting the proposal, thanking everyone involved, tidying up and celebrating with your team
  3. Stage 3: Impress the evaluators with your proposal quality and structure. Evaluators and EC experts that are engaged in assessing the quality of your proposal are always negatively biased against all the proposals that they assess. The reason for that is very simple. Since normally the success rate is much lower than the failed rate (say 20% of the submitted proposals are funded against the 80% that is rejected), then the mind of the evaluators mainly subconsciously assumes that the chances of evaluating a great proposal are just 20%. Therefore, we need to change the mindset of the evaluators and impress them from the very beginning even before they start reading the proposal (e.g. from the consortium synthesis, the proposal abstract, the proposal logo, etc) that our proposal must fit within this 20%.We need to impress them with the way that we elaborate on the
    1. Consortium quality,
    2. Relevance of our proposal to the call priorities and expectations,
    3. Innovation of our approach and on the expected results
    4. Transeuropean dimension and how beneficial our project is for Europe
    5. Economics of the project (the value for money)
    6. Reputation, i.e. the dissemination and exploitation approach of the project
    7. Impact, i.e. the benefits from the project
    8. Approach, that is the implementation methodology and the work-plan.

These all above are mastered with my C.R.I.T.E.R.I.A.™ formula.

The FET™ cannot be complete if we don’t include also the habits that can maintain us as champions in European funding. Any funding expert is a B.U.N.D.L.E.R.™ that carries a bundle of 7 habits and remains at the top of his/her profession. These 7 habits are:

  1. B. Build to last
  2. U. Upset the status quo
  3. N. Never eat alone
  4. D. Don’t delay it, Delegate it
  5. L. Learn that good is the enemy of great
  6. E. Endorse a sharpened axe
  7. R. Recognise mistakes as learning opportunities

Ok, there you have it – the Funding Expert Transformation Process™ Formula.

In the following video, I reveal with more details the I.C.R.E.A.T.E.S. ™ formula (the 2nd stage) that is the 8 steps for submitting successfully a proposal. Enjoy it!

click to download 15x formula for successful grant applications

Some related quotes for further inspiration and sharing follow below:Funding Expert Quotes Funding Expert Quotes Funding Expert Quotes Funding Expert Quotes Funding Expert Quotes



Nikolaos Floratos

About Nikolaos Floratos

Nikolaos Floratos after his undergraduate and postgraduate studies with distinction as engineer in London (Imperial College, City University), UK, has been working for a number of consultancy and Information Technology companies as consultant and project manager across Europe. He completed also an MBA (Master in Business Administration - National Technical University of Athens and Athens University of Economics and Business) and the last 19 years he is involved in planning, managing and evaluating large and small projects in the area of research, education, ICT (Information Communication Technologies), social inclusion, entrepreneurship, standardization and consumer issues. As a funding expert, personal trainer and coach, he has supported hundreds of individuals and organisations mainly from Europe but also from all over the world on managing state funding (e.g. from European Commission, National Funds, etc) and receive support for deploying their business idea or mission and he has proved that anyone can become a great proposal writer or project manager of european funded projects through proper guidance, training and coaching. He is an expert on behalf of the European Commission on evaluating and reviewing projects and proposals since 2003 and currently, he researches through a PhD how eLearning courses can increase students' engagement and motivation. He is the creator of the Funding Expert Transfomation Process™ system that can transform anyone to a great proposal writer and project manager of european funded projects. He is also interested in investing in highly innovative start-ups and SMEs and he is member of the European Business Angel Network and of the Institute of Leadership and Management. He has received more than 50 recommendations at his linkedin profile ( as a funding expert, coach and trainer. He is also the author of the ebook "Who are the Horizon 2020 champions and what to learn from them". He is also listed in the top first three search results by google as "Funding expert".