Today I’ve been searching for various funds and grants to apply for in relation to my impending fieldwork. I’ve been looking at all sorts of grants: from “hotel owner Anders Månsson’s Grant” (which sounds like something from Monopoly) and “Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik’s Fund” to various corporate research programmes. Eventually, as I widened my search even further, I went to look at the EU research funding frame programme which has absolutely truck loads of money to dispense with.

Since they didn’t really say who they expect to apply for this money, I read through various calls for proposals and and FAQ’s regarding these (all of it being prime examples of EU bureaucrat legalese. At its most readable, the bureaucratic might becomes human in its almost playful answering of questions [a pdf].

Only when I found a link to a Danish institution solely dedicated to the matter of applying for EU funds, did I realize the scope of the project of getting part in these EU funds. There’s an intricate guide for applying for funds, and there’s even a fund under the Danish ministry of Research and Technology dedicated to support smaller or mid-sized companies economically with the expenses involved in preparing and sending in an application to the EU. This support is for half the total expenses – usually up to 100.000 Danish kr.!

How can sending in an application in any way be that expensive??! They routinely spend more than my entire proposed budget just supporting the writing of an application??!

I know it’s a lot of money – but even so: the bureaucracy involved boggles the mind.

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