Building and physical infrastructure grants for community-based organisations

We’ve spent the past few months reviewing our grant schemes and our application process and are now counting down to re-opening at the end of this week…

The first grant scheme which will be made available will be the research project grant  and we’re planning to open to new outline applications on 30th June, with a deadline of 25th August, 2017. The maximum amount for which you will be able to apply is £300k over 3 years and there will be a fund of £1 million available.   Our two-stage application process will be managed via our new online Grants Management Portal (the software we’ve selected is Flexigrant® from Fluent Technology, so if you’ve applied to the Academy of Medical Sciences or the Royal Society, recently, this may be familiar).    We will also be offering a further round of Research Training Fellowships and plan to open to applications in early October, 2017.

We will be sending out notifications to confirm that we have “gone live”.  At that point, you will be able to access details of the new schemes on the website, together with the online application link.  If you haven’t left your contact details to receive this message, then please contact us via the contact form.

In the meantime, you can get match fit by reminding yourself of the basics of good grant application preparation. Our Research Grants Committee have provided their list of “ten top tips” for successful applications.  We’ve also recently become an ORCID member organisation so if you’re intending to apply, now’s the time to register for ORCID and update your profile.

10 top tips for applicants for research grants
  1. Your application will be looked at by several people: peer reviewers, other specialists, as well as non-specialists. Craft it so it can be understood by all these readers – the detail must be accurate, but make the main messages stand out for the non-specialist glancing through the application.
  2. Remember you know much more about your planned project than the reviewer. Don’t leave things in your head that need to be explained in the application – asking a critical friend to review the final draft can be useful.
  3. Be explicit about who will benefit, how, and why. Explain why the research is needed what impact will it have.  The “pathways to impact” section is very important. Even if work is more “early stage”, there should be a clear pathway for what this work might lead to that ultimately improves the health and well-being of older people.
  4. Always provide an analytical plan (e.g., but not exclusively, a power calculation), based on solid evidence from the literature and/or feasibility data.
  5. Be realistic about what you can achieve with your resources, both in terms of the funding you request and the tasks you hope to achieve. Make sure that what you plan to do is feasible. In developing your application, focus on work that answers your core questions/objectives, which should be clearly specified and achievable in the time/resources available. Applications can fall down by having too broad a scope leading to concerns about feasibility.
  6. Be clear about how your proposed project fits with what is already known and how it will be a useful addition. Why does this particular project need to be done by this particular team at this particular time? Make clear what the gap in the literature is and how you intend to fill it (watch Dragons’ Den for examples…)
  7. For research that involves human participants (including samples extracted from human participants in the course of the study, or data originally collected from older people) make sure you have clear plans for public involvement, ideally that should include the development of your protocol e.g. reviewing your plain language summary.
  8. Write clearly and make sure your message comes across credibly. Tell a convincing story. Take a look at our strategic priorities and write in language that we will understand.
  9. It’s not a time to be shy – shine! We want to be sure that you can deliver.
  10. And last but not least, allow yourself plenty of time, everything takes longer than you think. Remember that you’ll need input from your finance colleagues and from your head of department or Dean. They will all need to create accounts on the Grants Management Portal and “sign off” on your application before you can submit.  Check the deadlines  and work back from there.