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Professor Cath Sackley's career story and top 10 tips for funding


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Presentation for the NIHR CLAHRC National Conference Careers Day: for postdoc research careers in the allied health professions

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Professor Cath Sackley's career story and top 10 tips for funding

  1. 1. Grant winning- Why am I qualified to talk about it? Tips what to do and what not to do Prof Cath Sackley, King’s College, London
  2. 2. Early years 79-82 Qualified Sheffield City Polytechnic 82-85 Worked Lewisham, Q Mary Sidcup 95-96 Remedial research fellowship DHSS- Soton Rehab MSC 87-91 Nottingham PhD
  3. 3. Post Doc
  4. 4. Personal awards  Senior 1 Community physio- start up garnt of 3k (equivalent to RCF or FSF nowdays)  NHS EXEC HSR post doc training award – pt time  National Primary Care Researcher development award- Oxford Uni  5 Year Career Scientist – Oxford
  5. 5. Grants - ~100  Project and programme grants  Personal Awards-for me and others  Equipment grants  Infrastructure grants, Clahrc, Doctoral Training, NIHR schools, global health.  ~50 million
  6. 6. Grant Boards/ reviewing  UK  Charities- Professional Bodies- MRC- EPSRC- BBSRC- NIHR +++- DH-  EU  Other countries- Australia- Canada- Netherlands- Romania  ~ 50 a year for 30 years= 3,000 approx.
  7. 7. !0 things to do 1. Is it the right competition? Are you in scope? Know the process and the remit. 2. Is there enough money to do what you want- why do you want it? 3. Is it an important question to- patients/NHS/funders? 4. Start as part of a team- be realistic about your place in pecking order- 5. Composition of team MUST have methodologists 6. Do homework, look up previous award holders, panel members, etc
  8. 8. 7. Think about management/independent oversight/ budget 8. Plain English summary- what does success look like to non specialist. 9. Peer review prior to submission ++ Dictation notes remaining in the text of the research proposal e.g. “Beverley, we need to have a chat about the sample size, I don’t understand how you got these numbers” 10- Keep trying- but LISTEN to feedback
  9. 9. !0 things NOT to do 1. Out of scope-recycled 2. Over ambitious- nobel prize for 12 months and 35k – recruit 1,00 in a year- average is one per site per month. 3. Background+++, not enough methods- don’t cut and paste your thesis 4. Not enough on doability- recruitment evidence- management- data management 5. Fake partnerships 6. Late on the ‘latest idea’ black boxes –tool kits- CBT- Vit d- exs
  10. 10. 7. Poor/angry response to feedback- if HTA ask you to change it- change it 8. No methodologists – just all clinical specialists- 9 Badly costed -Greedy funding – 10. So what?
  11. 11. Finally Remember- grant writing is story telling- frequently has little to do with the reality!
  12. 12. Copyright ©2007 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. Legg, L. et al. BMJ 2007;335:922 Effects of occupational therapy on personal activities of daily living Making a Difference! Effects of occupational therapy on personal activities of daily living
  13. 13. Barriers to clinical research training • Difficulty with career structure and appointments • Timing of training within career • Challenges at interface between training schools/university depts/trusts • University agenda dominated by educational research, not patient centred. • Protection of research time for clinicians • Shortage of appropriate posts on completion of training. • Inconsistent quality of research and clinical supervision National Coordinating Centre for Research Capacity Development