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Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships

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Research Fellowships

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  1. Research Fellowships Dr Kathleen Sedgley, RED

  2. Overview • Introduction • Why apply for a fellowship • Finding the right fellowship • The application process • Assessment criteria for funding applications • What makes a good application

  3. What is a fellowship? “A merit-based scholarship, or form of academic financial aid” “A stipend that supports the pursuit of an advanced degree and/or research.”

  4. Why apply for funding? The benefits • Independent research • Protected time for research • Progress career • Grow your own group • Prestige

  5. Is this the right thing for me? • Long term academic aspiration • Research question • Strong CV • Publications – “at least a key role in seminal papers or equivalent” • Timing – long application process • Academic mentor

  6. Fellowship funding spans the academic career pathway • Pre doctoral (opportunities for clinicians only) • Post doctoral • 3 – 6 years post PhD • 6 – 10 years post PhD • Up to 10 years post PhD

  7. Who funds fellowships? [There are many others, these are given as examples]

  8. The application process • How do you go about making an application? • What approvals do you need? • How will your proposal be assessed? • Who are you communicating with?

  9. Who can apply? • Eligibility criteria are funder and scheme specific, so read the guidelines • Ask colleagues what they have applied for • Some general points: • Travel grants – usually something for all career stages • Fellowships – always prestigious, cover all career stages • Projects – often need a confirmed position to lead, so consider other roles • Prizes – criteria will be specific

  10. Funding application process 1 Research idea Identify your academic sponsor Discuss idea with Head of School Refine research idea Is there an internal process? Identify appropriate funding opportunity Consider potential issues such as contracts, ethics, intellectual property. Discuss with RED team as necessary

  11. Funding application process 2 Intellectual stages Technical stages Develop a draft project description Read funders guidance Obtain feedback from colleagues Create electronic account (JeS, EAA, e-grants etc) Complete all aspects of the application Complete project costing Transfer written information onto the application form and ensure all sections of application are complete Copy costs onto application Submit project costing for approval Submit application for institutional approval Your Head of School and Finance need to approve your application. Submit application to funder. Finance submit most electronic-based applications, you are responsible for paper and e-mail applications

  12. Assessment criteria • Differ between funder and scheme • Reviewers are given set of criteria • Available from the funder • Review before you start writing, and before you submit

  13. Think about who you are communicating with • An administrator? • Expert referees? • A panel of subject specialists? • A panel drawn from a range of disciplines?

  14. How will your application be assessed? • What things will influence what reviewers think of your grant applications? • The three Ps… • Person • Place • Project

  15. A good proposal - Person • Evidence of potential for scientific independence • Evidence of potential for research leadership • Commitment to a research career • Further training • Internal or external

  16. A good proposal - Place • The proposed School / University • International reputation / track record • Research strengths • Support / training available • Facilities and major equipment • Academic Sponsor • Collaborators

  17. A good proposal - Project • Interesting and timely project • Well chosen and justified methods • Deliverable (realistic and matched to your skills and expertise) • Good value for money • Well defined user group • Clear impact • Data sharing

  18. Person Track record Previous research Publications Conference presentations Qualifications Collaborations Project Realistic Novel Timely Good value Pilot data Well planned Potential value of results Three P’s • Place • Facilities • Track record • Academic environment • Strategic fit • Collaborations

  19. A good proposal - Application • READ THE GUIDELINES • Questions for reviewers / reviewers handbooks • Talk to funding bodies • Be realistic • Have other people read your application (your boss, RED, your contemporaries, your future boss)

  20. Common reasons for failure • Unrealistic • Proposal is not relevant to the funder • Insufficient or unconvincing preliminary data • Lack of experimental detail • Too descriptive and no clear hypothesis • Poorly written • It’s already been done • Unclear impact or importance

  21. Summary Our top tips • Plan ahead & leave plenty of time • Ask for help & advice • Read the guidelines

  22. Contact details Dr Kathleen Sedgley 0117 331 7127 (ext 17127) k.sedgley@bristol.ac.uk