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Writing a successful research funding bid


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Session 1C from City University London's Researchers' Development Day, held on Friday 4th May 2012.

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Writing a successful research funding bid

  1. 1. A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012
  2. 2. Writing a SuccessfulResearch Funding Bid A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012Andrea Tinson Stephanie WilsonResearch Development Mgr Centre for HCI DesignSchool of Social Sciences School of Informatics
  3. 3. Focusing on the Research Proposal  The case for support (the technical part) A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  All the other important things (impact, pathway to impact, costings, ethics etc)
  4. 4. Where to Start?  You are unlikely to be awarded a substantial grant without evidence of a track record  So, start modestly A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Look at pump-priming, seed corn and first grant schemes  Collaborate with more experienced colleagues
  5. 5. The Funding Process Bright idea! Write and submit proposal A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 Peer review Your response Panel and decision
  6. 6. The Message You Need to Convey  This research is original and important  You can deliver it A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  It fits with the funder’s remit
  7. 7. Case for Support  Applicant’s previous track record  Proposed research and its context A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 − Background − Research hypotheses and objectives − Research methodology − National importance − Academic impact
  8. 8. Case for Support: General Guidance  Respond to the call (if there is one)  Give yourself plenty of time and seek lots of feedback A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Check the review criteria  Get the balance right: make sure you explain what you will do  Stake your claim for what is important and novel  Be fussy, very fussy, about everything…
  9. 9. Case For Support contd  Previous track record − your track record in the area (citing evidence) − more general research and research management A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 experience − organisational strengths  Background − demonstrate your (up-to-date) knowledge of the subject − identify gaps and the problem − explain the importance
  10. 10. Case For Support contd  Objectives and research questions − not too speculative, not too applied − specific and generic A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 − can you state in one sentence what you want to do??  Research methodology − appropriate and justified − specific and detailed (“will do”) − organised as a set of activities − will deliver the objectives, answer the research questions
  11. 11. State What You Are Going To Do And state it early on Our very first sentence in a recent (successful!) proposal: A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 This project will investigate an innovative adaptation of gesture recognition technology to create a resource for training aphasic people to communicate through gesture.
  12. 12. From the ESRC: “Write in plain English. Your proposal is likely to be seen by many people, including some who will not be familiar with your particular specialisation.” A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 “By the same token, do take the trouble to check spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are all part of the quality of presentation and presentation matters! " guidance/guidance/applicants/application2.aspx
  13. 13. Review criteria EPSRC: ESRC: Quality Originality, potential contribution to knowledge A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 Importance Research design and methods Impact Value for money Applicant Outputs, dissemination, impact Resources and management  Proposals graded 1 - 6
  14. 14. Potential Downfalls  Not a research proposal  Not clear what the idea or problem is A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Not clear that it is an important problem  Insufficient detail about what will actually be done  Lack of awareness of prior work  Requested resources are insufficient or excessive  Proposal is incomprehensible or badly written
  15. 15. Be Aware… Some funding bodies have sanctions against unsuccessful applicants EPSRC: “12-month cooling-off period for repeatedly A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 unsuccessful applicants” ESRC: “demand management”
  16. 16. Other aspects to consider……  Costings (salary and other costs)  Justification of resources A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Impact statements  General statement  Ethical statement
  17. 17. Costings  Look at what you want to do  Cost for what you require – do not be afraid to ask A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  If you have said that you would run seminars then cost for them  Question to ask yourself “Have I costed for everything I need to run this project?”
  18. 18. Justification of resources (JOR)  Staff – why researcher needed for work, why proposed time is necessary  PI and Co-Is – is time costed necessary A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Travel and subsistence – give full breakdown, why and who you are you visiting, how will they contribute  Other directly incurred costs – give full description and state why you require them  Impact – full breakdown required
  19. 19. Impact statements Three statements to consider  Impact summary A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Pathways to excellence  Academic impact
  20. 20. Impact summary Two questions to answer:  Who will benefit from this research? A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 − List who will benefit, who would be interested, short term as well as long term − How will they benefit? • Relevance of your research to them
  21. 21. Pathways to excellence  Detail the activities which will help develop potential economic and societal impacts.  Address following question: What will be done to ensure that A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 potential beneficiaries have the opportunity to engage with this research?  Following need to be considered:  Communications and Engagement - describe engagement with the identified beneficiaries
  22. 22. Pathways to excellence contd.  Collaboration and Co-production - explain how collaborations and partnerships within the proposed project or research will be managed A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Exploitation and Application - identify the mechanisms in place for potential exploitation, both commercially and non- commercially  Capacity and Involvement - who is likely to be undertaking the impact activities  Impact Activity Deliverables and Milestones  Resource for the activity
  23. 23. Academic beneficiaries  How will the research benefit others in the field or carrying out similar related research  Will the research benefit any other academics in other fields A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Describe the relevance of the research − Potential academic impact − How will your research be made available − Collaboration
  24. 24. General statement  Has to be written for a general audience  If you use technical terms explain them A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  Make it interesting  Don’t waffle
  25. 25. Ethical issues  Please indicate whether there are any ethical implications arising from the proposed research activities.  If there are ethical implications, you should give brief details A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012 of what they are and how you intend to address them.  You are also asked to indicate whether your HEI has a policy on good conduct in research, in line with the requirements of the Research Councils.
  26. 26. Useful web addresses   A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012  
  27. 27. Useful web addresses contd.  A. Tinson and S. Wilson, 2012    