Preparing research grant applications


Each funding body has its own research inclination and application process. There is no substitute for an applicant acquiring a detailed knowledge of the potential sponsor’s mission, documentation requirements and review process. However, all funding bodies are looking to support projects that are scientifically relevant, original, topical, feasible and have broader impact. They look for credible applicants, suitable approach and methods, and a realistic schedule for completion.

Far fewer research ideas receive funding than deserve funding, though many ‘tick all the boxes’. So what tips the balance? I approach this by considering nine pieces of the ‘application jigsaw’ and give participants advice on how to complete the puzzle.

Workshops cover the following essential components of a good grant application.
  1. Be complete and well organised
  2. Have a strong abstract
  3. Present a compelling rationale
  4. Adopt a persuasive writing style
  5. Ensure methods are robust
  6. Be clear and concise
  7. Boost your credibility
  8. Use an attractive layout
  9. Be correct in use of language

During the workshop, one session is dedicated to the critical appraisal of abstracts from successful grant applications. Participants are encouraged to draft their own abstracts in advance of the workshop, and they appreciate receiving feedback on their own writing during the workshop.

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