Key Components of an Environmental Project Proposal

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

With hundreds of billions of euros currently available through the Horizon 2020 program - and hundreds of billions more soon becoming available through Horizon Europe - the importance of creating a good environmental project proposal cannot be overstated. Funding is available for sustainable technologies that show promise in moving the world forward without the carbon emissions that have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution.

Thorough and well-written

This goes without saying: the base point for receiving any program funding rests on a thorough and well-written grant proposal.

Project scope thoroughness is usually attainable from researchers because they know their project inside and out. However, thoroughness in regards to proposal requirements and guidelines can easily be lacking, especially in areas that do not pertain directly to the project.

When it comes to the written quality of a proposal, this can vary quite a bit. Many researchers are excellent writers, and this can often translate to well-written proposals. However, the depth and extended scope of specific proposal parameters might not be met if researchers are not familiar with them - especially for those that refuse to collaborate with industry experts or outside writers.

Clearly outlines a path to success if the grant is awarded

Funders like to see their projects succeed - they don’t like to waste valuable money, especially when there is only a finite amount involved and it could be used on other deserving projects. Grantees need to show a clear management plan for how they will use the funding to carry out the successful completion of their project - simply having a promising idea or even a possible breakthrough technology is not enough.

Outlining a proper methodology is crucial for any proposed project. It must cover project duration, project budget, relevant project activities, milestones, and other key aspects within the proposal. For environmental project proposals in particular, it is essential to include relevant information on biodiversity effects, land use effects (including watersheds, national parks, fisheries, and other ecosystems), utilization of natural resources, environmental health, environmental protection and any other environmental issues that have an impact on sustainable development.

Outlines defined partnerships and highlights collaboration

This is a critical component that is often lacking in unsuccessful project proposals - collaboration, especially with industry, is crucial for project success. There are several reasons behind this: 1) Industry leaders have insights and can share valuable real-world experiences with researchers that have often not brought their ideas out of the lab, 2) Industry leaders are proficient at getting products to market and implementing them in tangible, applicable ways, which is the goal of any project that receives funding, and 3) Collaboration with industry allows for a diverse means of thinking about problems and solutions, which will make project success more likely.

Successful proposals almost always showcase and highlight collaborative efforts with industry experts, community members, and other stakeholders. Project objectives are often tailored around at least some input from these leaders during the writing and decision-making process.

Covers all aspects of the application

Simply put, covering all aspects of grant application requires following meticulous details. Researchers that are familiar with grant proposals might find this straightforward, but those with little experience or little interest in this area may find it difficult - or frustrating - to follow painstaking rules.

Even with the most well-deserving projects and ground-breaking ideas, grant funding programs, including Horizon 2020, cannot allocate funds to those that do not meet the specific requirements of an application. It is imperative for researchers to cover all areas of the proposal and to ensure that they are thoroughly familiar with the writing process. In this area, it might be worth considering to bring on a dedicated project manager to oversee the successful implementation of the grant application.

Linq Consulting can help with drafting a successful environmental project proposal

This rising need for environmental solutions and the massive increase in grant funding for these projects opens up new opportunities for academics, and businesses alike.

Although there is a wealth of grant funding available, the grant application process is often difficult and includes many specific requirements, as mentioned above.

Linq Consulting provides technical assistance and grants management services to help researchers throughout the grant writing process.

Our in-depth knowledge of national and European grant programs and funding opportunities can help get environmental projects to market whether you run an emerging small business or established NGOs and non-government agencies.

Click here for more information on how we connect grant makers and funders to grantees.

If you or your organisation would like to take advantage of some of the available funding set aside for sustainability research and development, get in touch with us at