Skip to main content

Tips for writing grant applications

In March we attended several of the Research Festival: Focus on Funders events. Here's the tips we picked up on writing funding applications for research councils and other funding bodies.

  • Keep up to date with the latest funding opportunities via mailing lists, twitter, RSS feeds, the Research Professional Database, and checking the funders' website regularly.
  • Make sure you read all the funding information carefully and understand the application process thoroughly, so you can target your application correctly.
  • Start working on the application as early as possible.
  • Use the buzz words that appear in the call for funding and in the instructions for reviewers.
  • Ensure your proposal is innovative, interesting, based on sound principles and fits the priorities of the funding body.
  • Follow the application instructions completely - even if you think they are asking you to repeat information there will be a reason for it!
  • Understand who you are writing the application for - usually writing for two audiences
    • Experts in the field - the peer-reviewers
    • Non-experts from a wider field - panel members, introducers
  • Common mistakes in applications:
    • Not fully identifying the context of the work
    • Unsound methodologies and techniques
  • If you are an early career researcher then:
    • Be a junior partner on a grant proposal to gain experience and build up a reputation for delivering.
    • Get good at networking at conferences.
    • Start applying to small grants as the main applicant.
  • EU, international collaboration and funding from smaller bodies can be good opportunities - often less visible calls for funding, so seek them out.
  • Use the internal review process - get feedback from colleagues before submitting your application. There are schemes within the Colleges to help you with this or contact the Research Support Office.
  • Budget correctly - do not over or under estimate - again the Research Support Office can help you with research costings.
  • Learn from successful applications - some are available to view via your Departmental Research Director.
  • Important to write a good impact statement.
  • Make sure you write an excellent plain English summary for the non-experts on the funding panel - you need to get people who aren't in your specialism excited about your research.
  • Respond to reviewers comments politely and succinctly – your response is another opportunity to impress the funding body.
  • Ensure word counts are adhered to and proof read your application!
Take home message - do your homework, get advice from colleagues, target your application.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tips for overcoming writing procrastination

This blog post is based on a mini-workshop created for the Doctoral Writing Group. Many thanks to writer friends on Twitter and Facebook who contributed tips.


What's stopping you?
I don't have time!Keep a time diary for a few days.Is there anything you can drop or cut down on?Grab small amounts of time to write e.g. 20minsCan you write while waiting for things or commuting? I get distracted! Find a space/time to write.Turn off the internet or social media!There are apps that can help you with this.Use a routine or ritualSame time, place, music etc.Timed writing sessionsShut up & write sessions I don't know what to write... Planning Have you planned what you want to write?Structure of thesis/article/writingHave you broken it down into small enough sections?Do you know what the argument you want to make is?Do you need to go back to notes/planning/thinking stage? Lack of confidence/Impostor Syndrome It doesn’t have to be perfect!Write a first draft – get it finished – you can …

Finding our training

I had some feedback last week that searching PROSE is not the easiest way to find out what library training is on offer.

We sympathise with you! An alternative is to look at the list of training on our Researchers page

Or you can look at brand new guide to the Postgraduate Researcher Workshop Programme

If you have any questions about the training please email Selina or myself: librarians@le.ac.uk



Finding Company Reports Using Library Search

Company reports are an important source for anyone studying businesses and industries. We provide access to 100,000s reports through Mergent Online and Mergent Archive.  But we still hold print reports in the Library. These are mainly from banks, building societies and the transport sector.

You can find these reports with the print periodicals in the basement of the David Wilson Library.

To find them using the Library search follow the steps below.

1. Go to the Advanced Search. Change Material Type to 'Journal'.

2.To find a particular company use the name of company AND "annual report" or 
"annual report and accounts". Here's an example for the Alliance and Leicester Building Society:






3. To search for a sector, try Bank (or Building Society or Transport) AND "annual report" or 
"annual report and accounts". Use a date range if appropriate.



If you need any help finding information on companies, email us: librarians@le.ac.uk