I am currently writing a PhD grant application, and I completed the first draft. The project is ambitious, but I and my advisors think feasible, but my advisors told me that it is quite dense and could be daunting for the grant reviewers, who may label it as unrealistic (which is a criterion of admission) and thus they may reject it.
I have no problem in working on simplifying my research project's description to make it more concise and readable, but my advisors suggested to strip half of the project, in order to raise the chances for it to be accepted. But they told me that of course, I can do the rest of the project too with the grant I will get, I just shouldn't mention that in the application.
Is it ethical and honest to "sell" a research project based on only half of its description and goals? Not only that, but also the logical reasoning and the bigger goal get totally lost, so are these worth losing against displaying a more realistic target? To me, it seems like reasoning that the end justifies the means...
I should mention that almost all the ideas for the research project are mine (the advisors helped me with naming the methods I will use, but the concepts, bibliography and goals are my own), and I was really motivated by the original whole project.