Getting funding is just as difficult as the long and tiresome process of coming up with a compelling proposal.You need all the help you can get. Here is some expert advice that you can use to increase the chances of your application being accepted.
1. Familiarize yourself with rules
You first and foremost have to understand what qualifies to be funded and what doesn’t. You also need to think long and hard about the priorities of the body from which you want to get research and development funding from. In addition, you should link your wants and the things you want to do to what you think they will need to know from you.
2. Give yourself adequate prep time
Most people are at a better advantage putting forth less grant requests and putting 100% if not more on those. Applicants need to concentrate more on what they are doing as an individual as opposed to following what the rest of the people are doing.
3. Avoid unnecessary words
The people who are charged with reviewing your grant application will most often than not be your peers. For this reason you should always write it out in the clearest and simplest way possible. The reviewer looking at your application should get the message immediately they go through it. They shouldn’t have to labor to get the main point.
5. Outline why the research is important
As a researcher looking for funding you have to do a really good job explaining to a panel why the research has to be conducted at that very moment. Of course this means at the time of application. For instance the need to conduct interviews at this time because some of the people you need to talk to may not be alive forever.
It’s your job to convince the panel that there is urgency for people to know the important content of your research and the underlying significance of your discoveries and notes. This point needs to come out on every sentence and paragraph of your application.
4. Share it with other people
Letting someone else who is not in the same field as you is the best way to get a second opinion. Another point of view can bring out new ideas and help you put your points across in a way that they can be understood better. A better idea is to create a situation where you present your application in front of a mock funding panel. This way you sharpen your communication and presentation skills. This highly effective exercise takes less than two hours of your day and helps you as a researcher to understand the process of what happens to your application after it goes through the committee process and what you need to do to get your application approved.
7. Defend your case on time and resources needed
It’s your sole responsibility to justify why you will need the time and resources you are requesting for. The biggest reason for rejection is asking for 100% of resources and time and can’t account for where and how it will be used.
6. Put your networking skills to good use
There is power in networking. Why? It helps you connect with people who will become your support group and these will be the people you will work closely with as you move up the research funding world. You can find people on common interest blogs or by joining a body where people with similar experience meet to discuss and talk issues.
8. Be part of funding panels
Putting yourself in a position where you are on the other side of the table can turn out to be quite an eye opener. It will help you learn what you need to do and say in order to stand out. It also helps you gain communication skills and you also learn how to process feedback the right way.
9. Learn from the feedback you are given
If you are fortunate enough to get feedback as to why your proposal was beyond par and why it did not get funded, learn from it. Of course there is always the huge cloud of disappointment that will loom over you for some days but once it wears out, think back to what you can improve on your application and spot the areas where you failed. Competition for funding in the UK is very high and the reality is that even good applications don’t get the funding they request for.
10. Have many batches of your application
While there is a high chance that you may be rejected from time to time, the best way to beat this is to have another application ready on the go. At no point should you wait till you get to your very last one. In the same light you shouldn’t just give up after being rejected one time. It’s best that you present an application up to five times before deciding that that idea is not fundable.