Transparency is increasingly becoming the new norm and modus operandi of the global research enterprise. In this mini-review, we summarize ongoing initiatives to increase transparency in science and funding in particular. Based on this, we make a plea for the next step in funders' compliance with the principles of Open Science, suggesting the adoption of open applications. Our proposed model includes a plea for the publication of all submitted grant applications; open sharing of review reports, argumentations for funding decisions and project evaluation reports; and the disclosure of reviewers' and decision committee members' identities. In line with previous calls for transparency and the available evidence about these measures' effectiveness, we argue that open applications could lead to more diverse collaboration, recognition of research ideas, fairer procedures for grant allocation, more research on funding practices and increased trust in the funding allocation process.