Benedetto Lepori
Grant proposal writing as a social and argumentative process

Benedetto Lepori Lepori is titular professor in the Faculty of Communication sciences of the UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana and co-director of the Laboratory of Science Communication. He holds a PhD in Communication Sciences from the same university with a thesis on the Swiss research policy and research funding systems. His research interests cover the field of research funding and management, the development of indicators to analyze research systems and higher education institutions, as well as argumentative practices in science and their relevance for grant proposal writing. He has published extensively on these topics on journals such as Organization Studies, Research Policy, the Journal of Informetrics, Scientometrics, Research Evaluation, Science and Public Policy, Evaluation and Minerva. His work on research funding and grant proposal writing focus particularly on their nature as socio-constructed and argumentative processes.

Workshop contents and objectives

The course deals with grant proposal writing considered as a social process where grant applicants interact with reviewers and funding agencies within a highly-structured social setting. This interaction takes place through written documents, where applicants develop arguments to get funded within specific literary and social conventions.

The workshop aims at developing participant's understanding of the communicative processes involved in grant proposal writing and to help them developing effective grant writing strategies to acquire funding for their proposals.

To this aim, the course will be structured around four general topics:

To this aim, the course will be structured around four general topics:

The course will include face-to face lectures by the instructor, presentation of selected papers on the topic by students and role games in the review and preparation of proposals.


a) Understanding the social structure of science: reputation, selective attention and allocation of funds.

b) Argumentation, literary genres and grant proposal writing


No particular prerequisites are required.