How to avoid being late

I published the updated late submissions procedure earlier this week.  I thought it might be useful to those applying for funding to have a few tips on how to avoid being late:

  • Plan out your research for the year, five years and even ten years – the RDS Research Facilitators can help you with this by discussing your career progression, the impact you want your research to have both short- and long-term, and opportunities available to support you with your research plans
  • Ensure your Research Professional searches are up-to-date and finding the opportunities for you – RDS Funding Development Officers can help you set up searchers that ensure you get the heads-up on what’s coming up
  • Look for schemes where there are multiple calls and plan realistically for the call deadline that suits you – you don’t have to go for the one in two weeks’ time when there is another in 3 months’ time
  • Look for opportunities to ‘attend’ funder town meetings/information days for specific calls/ schemes – not only are these great opportunities to get a heads up on what calls are coming out soon but it is also an opportunity to network and find potential research collaborations. Most of these will now be online, making attendance easier
  • If you require partners to support your research, ensure these are in place and on board with your plans before considering applying. Similarly, ensure your research team are in place and can support you with the application preparation
  • Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure – start writing down your case for support and research ideas before looking for the right funding opportunity
  • Talk to your HoD and peers about what you want to achieve – they will be able to offer you support and can provide peer review
  • Take up the opportunities available under the RKEDF to help you with application writing
  • Get all those involved in a proposal on board before writing, especially if the funder has e-submission. Ensure investigators are registered on the e-submission sites; ensure CVs are updated for all those required; ensure letters of support from partners include a recent date, are on headed paper, and are signed; and make sure that any BU letters of support are drafted and that those who will sign it know what your application is about and what support you’re asking BU for.
  • TIME – this is the biggest thing you need! – to ensure your application stands a good chance of success you need to think through your objectives and ensure they’re well defined, make your hypothesis clear, consider the impact of your research, include relevant preliminary data, tell a compelling story, and justify your methods.  See the 12 top tips for writing a grant application provided by the MRC when they visited BU in 2017.

We’re here to support you and so do get in touch with your RDS colleagues as soon as you have an idea