Awards, fellowships or grants come in all shapes and sizes. Whether their goal is to refer to merit of an eligible recipient on the basis of some achievement, or to provide support or stimulation enabling the recipient to accomplish a public purpose, the ultimate idea is to engage in action that shapes knowledge of world development.
Try to put yourself in applicants’ shoes - juggling project deadlines, writing research proposals, running everyday errands, trying to fit in some extra time for social life, perhaps even a hobby! And on top of all that working on extraordinary ideas that benefit the well being of the entire community, or - think big, why not - even the whole world!
When it comes to applying for a grant or an award, it is only fair to spare our future change-bearer a robust or time-consuming application process. After that much work, they deserve to be let off the hook for once and simply glide effortlessly through the submission process for a change. Wouldn’t you agree?
The submission form should only include straightforward, essential requirements that help the applicant present themselves as well as position themselves within the criteria used to make a decision. If the questions are easily understood, it is highly likely that the applicants will provide valuable responses.
Avoid making vague or cluttered requirements that take a lot of time to be understood or leave room for individual interpretation. It would also make the whole process more difficult when it comes to making decisions. Tedious amounts of time required to fill a form that includes a hundred questions might also be a deterrent for a potential applicant. Try to include only those questions that prove to be relevant for the decision-making process.
If you expect some documents to be uploaded as attachments, be specific about their size or format. If they are required to be in PDF format, emphasize it so as to prevent aggravation for an applicant who is persistently trying to upload a JPG, but it simply does not work.
Imagine having spent the last four hours producing the world’s best rationale for your research only to find your PC crash and asking for a reboot!
When you come into work to find your #PC keeps #crashing and you have to #reboot at the #cost of #unsaved #work. #IT pic.twitter.com/oxLU13DxpY— Taylor CVs (@TaylorCVs1) July 29, 2015
Make the process stress-free for the applicant by letting them complete the application form at their own pace. By using pause/continue functionality, you are ensuring the applicant that you are courteous of their time, and that all the effort they put into filling in the first half of the form will not be in vain.
An easy-to-navigate folder with all applications belonging to one applicant divided into categories made easily accessible for them saves time both for the applicant and the program manager. The applicant will at all times know how to track their submissions. Simultaneously, the program manager will not be bogged down by having to respond to the popular ‘What is the status of my submission?’ request.
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