Before arriving for the Grants Academy day, I had had little interaction with this group at BU. I had procured some experience with small grant writing, but it is a lonely affair and it wasn’t always clear where to go for advice amongst colleagues or exactly how to go about pitching particular ideas to targeted funding bodies. The first day arriving for croissant and coffee, ice was broken very quickly as academics chatted about their interest research ideas and general experience at the university. It’s always amazing to me just how relevant distant subject areas of enquiry can be to your own area of expertise and talk of possible collaborative work soon emerged.
Martin Pickard, then launched into his explanation of the art and approach to guiding funding applications through the hidden maze of funding bodies’, expectations, remits and landscapes. It left me with a sudden realisation that there were indeed straightforward ways to fundamentally alter my approach that could lead to much greater chances. It was like having always played chess rather badly, but being shown just 5 key moves that conferred dramatic changes to your chances of winning. It was quite an eye opening and positive experience.
In addition to this sea change in approach, the venue, food, coffee, chocolate biscuits (particularly) and atmosphere of openness and support from Dianne and Caroline and the other participants enabled relaxed and informative discussion and a real boost in confidence concerning writing grants.
The support has kept coming and follow up workshops are in the offing. I can’t recommend this support opportunity at BU enough.
Submitted by Dave Newell (AECC)
Dave joined the Grants Academy in January 2013, and attended a 2-day bid writing workshop led by Dr Martin Pickard. For more information about the scheme please visit the Grants Academy page on the research blog.