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Unlocking Research Advancement: The Critical Role of Mastering Grant Proposal Writing – INASP Blog

Unlocking Research Advancement: The Critical Role of Mastering Grant Proposal Writing

In the pursuit of top-quality research from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) and a stronger commitment to invest research funds in the Global South, we recognise a critical challenge—the need for enhanced grant proposal writing skills. While some funders are dedicated to supporting research in LMICs, they often face a dilemma: a lack of high-quality research applications. Traditional approaches like FAQ webinars and funding call guidance have their limitations. To bridge this gap and propel research from LMICs to new heights, we’ve developed an innovative solution—a cutting-edge Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) – Mastering Grant Proposal Writing. 

LMIC researchers are often trailblazers in their fields, bringing invaluable insights to the global research community. However, they frequently encounter hurdles such as limited familiarity with global scholarly publishing, a shortage of experienced mentors, and linguistic barriers. These obstacles, combined with systemic biases in the global academic landscape, hinder their progress. Our response to this challenge will equip LMIC researchers with advanced proposal writing skills, empowering them to overcome these barriers – free of charge to the user.  

Launching our new course – mastering grant proposals

Our latest initiative: the “Mastering Grant Proposal Writing” MOOC, will launch on October 24, 2023. This 5-week course will go beyond the basics, delving into the art of proposal writing, fostering unique writing styles, and cultivating strategies for winning collaborative grants aligned with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to sustainable development and partnerships. Participants will learn to identify potential collaborators and assess grant proposals for their significance, innovation, sustainability, and potential impact. We’ve assembled a team of experienced guest facilitators from the INASP and AuthorAID network, ensuring that participants receive top-notch guidance from people they can relate to. Additionally, the course features live discussion sessions designed to accommodate various global time zones, promoting inclusivity and accessibility. Through this innovative course, our mission is clear: equip over 1000 early-career researchers in LMICs with the skills they need to secure vital funding for their research endeavours. Our long-term vision includes offering this course twice a year, alongside our other MOOCs which tackle other key topics for early career researchers, benefiting thousands of individuals, all without any cost to the user. 

“I’m really, really happy and grateful that I’ve been able to go through this course and the materials are very important. It is something that I can pass on to my colleagues in my department and even to my students. So thank you so much for putting this up.” (former INASP/AuthorAID MOOC participant, woman, Ghana)

Positive impact on researcher careers

Our track record speaks for itself. While in the MOOC industry a completion rate of 15% is considered a success, AuthorAID MOOCs boast an impressive average completion rate of 48%, with equal gender participation ratios. This not only contributes to gender equity and quality education, in line with SDGs 4 and 5, but also leads to a 50% boost in research writing confidence upon completion. Researchers frequently share how this experience positively impacts their academic careers and their ability to communicate research findings clearly to a broader audience, both locally and nationally. 

Mastering Grant Proposal Writing is not just a course; it is a step towards an innovative solution to a critical problem. It’s one of the keys to unlocking the full potential of LMIC researchers, making tools accessible to them needed to produce top-quality research that aligns with the aspirations of funders, research institutions, and the global mission of advancing knowledge and achieving SDGs.  

If you would like to find out more about how you can support early career researchers and their communities to thrive, please get in touch with us at 

If you would like to enrol in this course, please visit
You will need to create a learn@inasp (previously called INASP Moodle) account if you don’t already have one. Please follow the instructions carefully (you may need to click on the above link again after registering your account). Please note that although this is an open course, we may have to limit enrolment due to server capacity. We suggest that you enrol in the course as soon as possible if you are interested.


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