Competition amongst Erasmus+ applications is increasing. Observing specific formal aspects as well as content quality are necessary preconditions for a successful application. The following five points summarise discussions with experienced evaluators whose judgement is crucial for accepting project applications.
Demonstrating relevance for the European level
Some aspects concurrently provide a basic precondition for successful applications – in particular in Key Action 2 and 3: The application must address these priorities, which can be aptly shown with quotes from the programmes and from relevant EU documents and strategies.
The application must visualise clear added value for the implementation at the EU level in contrast to the implementation at a national level. It should also be ensured that the same or a similar project has not yet been implemented. The impact of the project must be illustrated, and indicators for future measurement should be clear.
Coherent project development
Project development does not fundamentally differ from national projects: Clear goals and designated target groups are just as necessary as illustrating benefits. Targets, measures, project duration and budget must be coherent.
Appealing application language
Formulating the application is challenging in any case. All parts of the application form must be read, understood and filled out completely. Individual statements and information may have to be repeated in different parts of the application – possibly in variations. Varied repetitions are better than not filling out a section.
There is enormous competitive pressure for applications, and evaluators may become bored and tired, which especially becomes a concern when the language in the application is poorly crafted. It is important to write as clear and simple as possible.
Demonstrating project management competence
Precise process planning is worthwhile even if project management is only minimally compensated in Erasmus+. This competence can also be demonstrated by integrating project management tools in the application. A Gantt chart shows the correlations of individual measures and phases. Results, events and the like should be illustrated in detail. Sparingly scheduled project meetings should be complemented with regular online meetings via Skype, Hangouts or Adobe Connect.
Project management expertise can be shown by including a risk analysis and possible counter measures. The final part consists of financial planning in order to ensure coherency with content planning. Budget distribution between partners must be somewhat even and comprehensible.
Using the summary in a targeted manner
The summary provides a strategically important moment in which the applicant can separate himself from the competition. The summary should again concisely show
- which problem the project addresses
- why the issue constitutes a problem (quoting a statement from the planning document)
- which solution is envisaged
- which role transnational partners play
- which impact is expected for whom
- how this impact is evaluated
- and how the insights from the project are shared.
Useful links in German:
Author/Editing of original article in German: Otto Rath/on behalf of CONEDU
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