Open access for grants

I just found out about the Open Grants website, built upon a very interesting idea: to share grant proposals openly with the public, with other researchers; to “open up science so that all stages of the process can benefit from better interaction and communication and to provide examples for early career scientists writing grants.”

Sharing a grant proposal with everyone once is funded or rejected should have several advantages, for the individual researcher and specially for the science system. For an early career researcher writing a first fellowship or a team writing a difficult multi partner proposal, the chance to have examples of previously funded proposals in the same program is certainly very valuable. The Open Grants site has a database with about 150 proposals so far, so not in every program or funder around, but I would be curious to see the growth of this if the site starts to be more known.

Open access for scientific papers is a known publishing model that continues to grow because of critical advantages and few disadvantages. Funders could consider extending the model to open access grants, which I think would help improve the quality of the grants submitted, it would work as another channel to help researchers understand the particular needs of the funders and their programs, and it would help disseminate best practices in all aspects of science.