I recently started a job as a postdoc in a University with a professor that received a large grant, the most prestigious in the continent. We had a match of interest between my later publications and the topic of the grant and that's why I decided to come to his group.

My question is whether it is standard to ask to read the text of the proposal. I know at least one colleague that read the proposal of his professor, but I'm not sure whether I should wait to be invited to do so.

  • Are you being funded by this grant?
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 12:40
  • @Buffy yes i am Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 13:04
  • 1
    Is the proposal not stored on the uni server where you have access? I have access to all proposals from our group because they are stored in network folders where all PhDs and Postdocs from our group have acces to. I don't know if that is normal or not (EU based).
    – Sursula
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 13:34
  • @Sursula Good suggestion. I think that would be a detail specific to research groups (unless a research institute happened to have some standards, in which case it would be specific to an institute). Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 13:54
  • @Sursula I'll check that, thanks Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


It seems natural to me to want to see the details of such a grant in which you will be a participant. Reading it could help you align your own interests, where possible, with those of the larger group as expressed (partially, at least) in the grant. This would be especially true if it provides your own funding.

I would think it pretty standard for the PI to want to share details, assuming that there aren't required confidentiality concerns, such as national security requirements.

But you could express interest in the details and see what reaction you get, saying why you'd like a look at it.

Also, as a postdoc it would be valuable to you to read one or more successful grant applications as you probably need how to go about that for a successful career. Hopefully your PI will support that.


In my experience, it's standard for professors to ask new lab members to read their grant(s). It can be one of the quickest ways to orient someone to the field and project goals for the lab. A lot of effort goes into a typical grant, might as well get as much use out of it as possible!

So yes, if you haven't already been asked to read the grant that is funding your position I would definitely ask to see it.

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