how to write an application for research funding

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How to write an application for research funding resume du film le dictateur de charlie chaplin

How to write an application for research funding

This video features two of our Grant Assessment Panel Chairs discussing what makes a good research proposal and offers a helpful overview for applicants. They provide informal guidance on points for applicants to remember when drafting proposals. Applicants to other schemes may also find this information helpful, although should take care to follow any scheme-specific guidance provided. Careful attention will help you to avoid some of the basic pitfalls and improve the funding chances of your research idea.

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Be aware of the different sections they need from you and the page limit. Take care to emphasise how your proposed project fits into their criteria, at every stage of the application. You need to allow yourself plenty of time ahead of the deadline, to prepare a grant application. Each section requires due care and attention, with time set aside for you to review and get feedback from colleagues before submission. However, bear in mind that some members of your reviewing panel may not be specialists in your particular field.

As such, clearly articulated statements on the significance of the project for a lay research audience, are also crucial to include. Try to articulate how your work is going to change things, transform thinking in the field or advance research.

A useful way to get feedback for improving clarity is to ask colleagues, who are not experts in the field, to read it and provide input, making adjustments as required. Furthermore, asking colleagues, who have applied successfully to the same funding body, to review the proposal can prove invaluable.

Most grant applications include a section for you to discuss the impact of your research. If this is the case, bear in mind reviewers will expect you to know and state how your research fits into a pathway that will lead to an application. If there is a clear academic impact, the panel will want to know how you will deliver this to relevant peers and get the message out, beyond relying on others to read a publication.

Examples here would be through conference engagements or collaboration. If your research has a wider societal or economic impact, public engagement should also be discussed. You need to include the details of a strong team to deliver the research and stipulate exactly what they will be doing. A common grievance from reviewers is that researchers include a name that is well known, just to influence the panel, without specifying a clear contribution. If a junior researcher is going to be doing the majority of the work, you should be clear about that.

Additionally, your role in the project should be clear. Your application should be presented as good value for money to the funding body. All aspects of the project should be budgeted for. Reviewers tend to pick through things quite carefully, to insure the individual components of the project have been appropriately costed.

Over-costing can kill your application. Ask yourself, does the advance you will make in the field justify the cost of the project? Reviewers focus most on the quality of the core research in your application. Make sure you include data analysis methods — sometimes requested in the form of a data management plan, and avoid being vague. Need Funding Opportunities? You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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Choosing an appropriate audience from the beginning will also significantly increase your chances of success. What are your credentials? These grants usually come with smaller budgets and timelines to help you get started. Alternatively, if you are a distinguished professor, you likely have a full team to support and a long project to carry out. This means that you will need a more competitive grant that offers significant funding and multiple years of support. Luckily, your previous experiences have set the stage for you to take on a larger project.

Think about what size of budget and timeline fits well with your current career stage to help you be more selective of different grants. So where should you look? NSERC is the major funding source in Canada for natural science researchers — students and professors alike. The next thing you should do — and I cannot stress this enough — is read through the grant application guidelines Grants.

These guidelines will cover the elements required in your proposal, the questions that the reviewers want answered, and how the application should be structured. These are just some of the elements that are normally required in a grant application. Each grant application will have its required elements and structure, so follow your grant guidelines meticulously.

You now have a draft of your proposal completed. Stretch your legs, grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we highlight a few more tips to increase the chances of getting your project funded substantially. While quality is better than quantity, applying for multiple grants will give you more opportunities to get funded. Since these proposals are incredibly time-consuming, write a general grant application for your project and then tailor it to each funding body.

Know your audience. The goals of your research should always circle back to the overall theme of the grant. This may require some rewording of your research outcomes to align better with the views of the funding agency. Check out our tips on publication writing for more advice on writing for your audience.

Use innovative techniques. As technology advances, so should your research techniques. For instance, using SPR to measure quantitative binding kinetics for your bio-molecular interactions will give you a huge advantage against your competitors. Review, review, review. Plenty of eyes should see your research funding proposal before the reviewers do.

Consider getting your work reviewed by experts and non-experts in your field. It is also recommended to have a writing expert review your work for structure and style. If you let your proposal sit for a week and then pick it up again, you will be able to catch more mistakes with fresh eyes. Read your grant requirements.

Have we mentioned this already? Just sticking to their guidelines will significantly increase your chances of success Grants. With the finishing touches added to your award-winning grant proposal, we wanted to leave you with some closing thoughts on the difference SPR will make in your research. SPR is a label-free technique that gets you this data in real-time and has never been more accessible with the OpenSPR. Before diving into open grants, take some time to identify the needs and focus of your research: What will your research accomplish?

This page also includes important due dates associated with each grant. In addition to a clear, explicit title, other elements such as your title, affiliations, and the funding agency are usually required as well. Be explicit, clear and concise.

Use future tense to summarize your plan to accomplish your goals. Introduction Use this section to elaborate on everything you have stated in the abstract. Set the stage for your research: give a background on the research area, the knowledge gap you are addressing, and how your research is going to fill that gap. Start very general about the area of research and get increasingly more specific. Further details for RCUK are available here.

Individual councils also provide case studies of best practice applications that can be useful to read as a pointer. They provide online tips to help with completing your application. All funding bodies will provide guidelines for submission, usually available as a document to download from their site. These must be read carefully and digested.

Be aware of the different sections they need from you and the page limit. Take care to emphasise how your proposed project fits into their criteria, at every stage of the application. You need to allow yourself plenty of time ahead of the deadline, to prepare a grant application. Each section requires due care and attention, with time set aside for you to review and get feedback from colleagues before submission.

However, bear in mind that some members of your reviewing panel may not be specialists in your particular field. As such, clearly articulated statements on the significance of the project for a lay research audience, are also crucial to include. Try to articulate how your work is going to change things, transform thinking in the field or advance research. A useful way to get feedback for improving clarity is to ask colleagues, who are not experts in the field, to read it and provide input, making adjustments as required.

Furthermore, asking colleagues, who have applied successfully to the same funding body, to review the proposal can prove invaluable. Most grant applications include a section for you to discuss the impact of your research. If this is the case, bear in mind reviewers will expect you to know and state how your research fits into a pathway that will lead to an application. If there is a clear academic impact, the panel will want to know how you will deliver this to relevant peers and get the message out, beyond relying on others to read a publication.

Examples here would be through conference engagements or collaboration. If your research has a wider societal or economic impact, public engagement should also be discussed. You need to include the details of a strong team to deliver the research and stipulate exactly what they will be doing. A common grievance from reviewers is that researchers include a name that is well known, just to influence the panel, without specifying a clear contribution. If a junior researcher is going to be doing the majority of the work, you should be clear about that.

Additionally, your role in the project should be clear. Your application should be presented as good value for money to the funding body. All aspects of the project should be budgeted for. Reviewers tend to pick through things quite carefully, to insure the individual components of the project have been appropriately costed. Over-costing can kill your application. Ask yourself, does the advance you will make in the field justify the cost of the project?

Reviewers focus most on the quality of the core research in your application.

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The main areas of concern are material, equipment or know-how that could be used in nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or other explosive devices or means of delivery and their physical or electronic export.

Failure to comply with this legislation is a criminal offence. Guidance on export control legislation. International Financial and Trade Sanctions : Financial and trade sanctions are part of a package of measures applied by individual countries, international organisations, or regional bodies to fight aggression, terrorism, criminal behaviour or violations of human rights.

The University has a legal obligation to comply with sanctions, and this may restrict or prevent research with organisations or individuals in certain countries. Guidance on international financial and trade sanctions. The framework seeks to assess the financial and reputational risk of partnering with overseas institutions, particularly when funding is to be transferred to the partner institution. Applications: please complete the form below if you are developing an application that will involve collaboration with an overseas organisation.

This will allow us to undertake some quick checks on prospective partners on your behalf. We will contact you shortly thereafter if we identify any issues of concern. Otherwise please assume it is OK to proceed with your application. Due diligence Google form. Awards: Research Services will ordinarily identify awards which involve collaboration with overseas partners as part of the contracting process, and be in touch with PIs as part of a full due diligence assessment.

However, please feel free to advise us directly of any such awards at duediligence sheffield. Research Capital Governance Process. Preparing a grant application To apply for funding, you must fill in an application form and attach certain documentation. How to prepare a proposal The main steps in preparing a grant application are: Check funders guidance notes Develop research plan and establish resources Cost your project and gain authorisation for the price Complete the application form Obtain departmental and University approval to submit the application Submit application to funder Writing a grant application is a major undertaking.

Request an agreement How to prepare the budget The budget is a key part of any grant application. View the list of current managed calls. Justification of Resources : the UK Research Councils require all grant applications to explain why the requested resources are needed. Failure to fully justify costs may result in a reduced budget. This is an opportunity to showcase the significance of your research.

Guidance and resources Letters of support Some funders require a simple letter of support stating that the University is happy for the application to proceed and that it will host the proposed research should the application be successful. Benchmarking information We can produce information on how individuals, research groups and the University performs against its peers on a range of topics: We can produce information to support your grant application, to help demonstrate the strength of the proposal and to understand how potential competitors may stack up.

We can help with background information about the research strengths of the University to help convince an external partner to work with us. When you're developing a business case for strategic investment in a research area, group or centre, we can help you find the information that supports your case. We can produce data on research awards, centres and networks; publications, bibliometrics and altmetrics; past REF and RAE performance; IP, knowledge exchange and innovation activity; postgraduate research student provision; national and international partnerships; and advisory group and panel membership.

Guidance on export control legislation International Financial and Trade Sanctions : Financial and trade sanctions are part of a package of measures applied by individual countries, international organisations, or regional bodies to fight aggression, terrorism, criminal behaviour or violations of human rights. In one of the first large grants that she applied for, she proposed collecting information on the key factors that prevent weight gain as well as designing and implementing an obesity-intervention programme.

Teaming up with collaborators can also increase the chance of success. Earlier this year, Ball was funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Program for a study that she proposed in collaboration with hospital clinicians, helping disadvantaged people with type 2 diabetes to eat healthy diets. Earlier in her career, she had written grants based on her own ideas, rather than on suggestions from clinicians or other non-academic partners.

This time, she says, she focused on a real-world need rather than on her own ideas for a study. Instead of overreaching, she kept the study small and preliminary, allowing her to test the approach before trying to get funding for larger trials. In , she had a proposal rejected for a study on spatial planning on the west coast of Canada that would, crucially, be informed by knowledge from Indigenous communities.

She resubmitted the same proposal the next year to the same reviewers, but with a more confident and transparent approach: she was straightforward about her desire to take a different tack from the type of research that had been tried before.

This time, she made it clear that she wanted to listen to Indigenous peoples and use their priorities to guide her work. She got the funding. Writing is hard, and experienced grant writers recommend devoting plenty of time to the task. Smythe recommends setting aside a week for each page of a proposal, noting that some applications require only a few pages while major collaborative proposals for multi-year projects can run to more than pages. Scheduling should include time for rewrites, proofreads and secondary reads by friends, colleagues and family members, experts say.

Working right up to the deadline can undo weeks to months of hard work. At the last minute, Jacob once accidentally submitted an earlier draft instead of the final version. Add an extra buffer for technology malfunctions, adds Smythe, who once got a call from a scientist at another organization who was in a panic because his computer had stopped working while he was trying to submit a grant proposal half an hour before the deadline. She submitted it for him with 23 seconds to spare. That proposal was not successful, although the scientist sent her a nice bottle of champagne afterwards.

Applicants might receive requests for rewrites or more information. In this role, he sometimes meets with applicants who want to follow up on rejected proposals. Jacob recommends paying attention to such feedback to strengthen future proposals.

There was nothing she could do about her past, but the information pushed her to work harder on other parts of her application. After gaining more research and field experience, co-authoring a paper and establishing relationships with senior colleagues who would vouch for her as referees, she finally secured funding from NSERC on her third try, two years after her first rejection. Negative feedback can be one of the best learning experiences, Rissler adds. She kept the worst review she ever received, a scathing response to a grant proposal she submitted to the NSF in , when she was a postdoc studying comparative phylogeography.

The feedback, she says, was painful to read. It included comments that her application was incomprehensible and filled with platitudes. After she received that letter, which is now crinkled up in her desk for posterity, Rissler called a programme officer to ask why they let her see such a negative review. She was told that the critical commenter was an outlier and that the panel had gone on to recommend her project for the grant, which she ultimately received. Grant writing tends to provoke anxiety among early-career scientists, but opportunities exist for people who are willing to take the time to develop ideas and push past rejections and negative feedback, she says.

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