Objectives and perspectives

Objectives and perspectives

Present your research problem, project objectives and expected results/perspectives in the first paragraph on the first page of your project description (after a summary if included). You should also highlight what is new and unique about the project. This is also a suitable place to present any hypotheses.

In addition, it may be relevant to present arguments for why your project should be carried out precisely now rather than in the future, for example in five years.

Examples: Why should the project be carried out at this precise time?

  • The project’s research area is an issue that is currently a political priority.
  • The project’s research focus is the treatment of an illness with high mortality rates.
  • The project must be coordinated with unique events such as a solar eclipse or a current awareness-raising campaign.
  • An entirely new laboratory technique has just made it possible to investigate and answer the long-standing question of [...].
  • An new research breakthrough has just opened up the possibility of investigating new connections between [...].

Grab the evaluator’s attention with the very first line
Evaluators seldom have time to read all proposals thoroughly, so you increase your changes of success if you are able to engage the evaluator’s interest with your very first line. In other words, you should make particular efforts to demonstrate the importance of your project and your idea on page one.

Tips on the first lines of the project description:

  • Avoid starting the description with a long section on background information. That won’t sell your project.
  • Get to the point – present the research problem and objectives immediately.
  • Show how/why your project falls within the scope of the foundation’s focus area.
  • Show why/how the project is relevant and topical.

To formulate the project’s objectives in a meaningful way, you must define the problem you want to solve. If possible, it’s a good idea to situate the problem in a social perspective and to describe the scope of the problem using figures or facts.

If your project consists of a number of sub-projects, you should formulate the overall objectives of the project before you go on to define the purpose of each sub-project (for example, in a bulleted list, which makes the text easy to grasp).

When describing your project’s potential, you need to consider what effects your project’s results will have. Be concrete and realistic, and acknowledge that you may not be able to prove your hypothesis or complete your project as planned. In this case, are there parts of the project that would still have valu

Questions to guide you when describing the perspectives of your project:

  • Why is it important to carry out the project?
  • What difference will the project make?
  • What results do you expect to have at your disposal when the project is completed?
  • What is the expected outcome of the project?
  • What becomes possible when the project’s results are applied in practice?
  • What effect will the project have for a given target group or society in general?
  • Who has an interest in the project and why?

If you are in a position to quantify how your results will make a difference, this is often an easily understood and convincing sales argument.

Examples of measurable effects:

  • Optimising processes in a way that allows a company to save time or money
  • Increasing patients’ chances of surviving a serious disease
  • Reducing pesticide use.

Not all projects aim to produce quantifiable results. In such cases, you should explain what effect your project will have on society. If your project has no direct effect on society, explain what secondary or derived effects it might have.

Examples of derived effects:

  • Paving the way for the development of new research projects
  • Removing bottlenecks from research processes
  • Laying a theoretical foundation for later practical applications of your results.

At a minimum, you must always be able to describe what new knowledge your project will produce and for whom it is relevant.