The success of Impacter when writing proposals

Published at 2022-01-31 by Paul Tuinenburg

One of the most frequently asked questions we get from people when discussing Impacter is: ‘How much will the use of Impacter increase our success when applying for funds?

Although it is a question that makes sense, it’s not the one that should be the main reason to start using Impacter as a tool to support the grant writing process of your researchers. The reason we created Impacter, is to support all researchers in writing a convincing societal impact chapter in their proposal. Over the years we included analyses that are not solely focusing on impact (like readability and uniqueness), these analyses potentially still help everyone to write a better grant proposal. The main reason to start using tools like Impacter is to make it easier/faster/cheaper to inform yourself as a researcher and/or as a grant support office with information that help to write a good proposal.

But if Impacter helps everyone in writing better proposals, there should be a measurable effect as long as not everyone uses it right?’ This is the question we usually get as a follow-up question after the abovementioned answer. And yes, we do see this effect almost every year when we dive into the success of the ‘talent scheme’ of NWO in the Netherlands. This is a nice scheme to calculate the effect of Impacter as a tool since the number of applications is relatively high per university. In contrast to Horizon Europe applications where we usually only see a small number of applications. The latest awarded projects in the Veni we see the same trend as in previous years. The success of our users is higher (~28%) than the national average (~23%).

A good reason to start using Impacter in the grant support offices in universities as long as not everybody is using it! However, in the long run, it will be even more important to start using tools like Impacter. Currently Impacter already checks your writing style, gives you tips and tricks for a better (more specific) societal impact chapter, matches your text with the most relevant Sustainable Development Goal and shows a list of most similar projects that received funds in previous years in the EU, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Belgium and the U.S.. To this last analysis, we will add the German data in the coming months. And last but not least, we are constantly looking for improvements and additions to our existing analyses like matching your proposal with relevant (local) policies. All these analyses combined take 1-2 minutes. 1 to 2 minutes to compare your ideas to hundred thousands of funded projects, to show you exactly which sentences are not convincing and to give you general tips & tricks for a better impact chapter. The time saved, enables you to focus on those elements in the proposal that need the ‘human touch’. The elements where human interpretation of the data, found by Impacter, is necessary. This interpretation step is crucial when writing a winning grant proposal!

So we will keep focusing on the stuff that we can measure, so you can spend more time on interpretating the data, instead of spending time searching for it. Curious to learn what it is the we can measure? Check out our demo clip, or reach out to schedule a live demo!