Professor Ian Diamond’s 13 Points for Grant Proposals
1. Discuss your brilliant idea with peers , formalize the problem, convince people that it is exciting, ground it in theory, make it clear.
2. Give an informal seminar on your idea, expanding audients to out-with immediate friends/peers
3. Ask yourself “can it really be done alone?”
* What help is required – is it single- or multi-disciplinary
* If multidisciplinary, you must be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone. Ask do you really need these people? Is there the correct chemistry between you?
* Ask yourself: can you/the others deliver on time; what’s their track record? Ask yourself: “Do I/the team have the skills to do what we are promising?”
4. Are initial results/pump priming (e.g. proof of concept) required for the grant?
5. Write the proposal
* Who to apply to? Research councils, charities; check their requirements and priorities. Speak to peers. Phone and talk to the organization about your idea.
* Structure of proposal:
- Form the problem properly; grounded in theory, describe context/framework your idea sits in
- What is the overall aim, the vision, and practical objectives
- How will it be done (research design) – scale, timing, resources; “don’t try to run before you can walk” regarding amount asking for – demonstrate that you can manage the project, and ensure you can deliver what you say you will in the timeframe (related to resources asked for)
6. Be clear what your research design will allow you to say about your results
7. Describe your methods clearly
* Ensure they are sensible; briefly describe why you did not chose other approaches; don’t be a “trust me, I’ll do it” person
- If require access to an existing data collection, you include necessary costs
- If collecting it, ensure you will make it open and available
- Demonstrate you know how you will analyse the data
8. Ethics – do you have/will seek/do not need ethical approach
9. Have you thought of all the difficulties that may arise while doing the research?
10. Is the bibliography reasonable? Ensure you have included the big names in the area and what they are doing
11. Are there any non-academic users of this research? Are there any co-funders?
12. Ensure dissemination activities (impact pathway) are included (both academic and non-academic if appropriate).
* Do you intend to co-produce work with relevant parties, or do you have intended beneficiaries? If so, they should be involved at the start.
13. May happen out of serendipity; in which case, should you are committed to take it forward if it does arise
14. Need an impact statement:
a. Demonstrate that the work has potential beneficiaries. Are beneficiaries involved?
b. If opportunities arise “serendipity”, how do you take the opportunities forward?
If successful in getting funded: deliver, deliver, deliver (what you said you would). Don’t stress about it if it doesn’t work out, as long as you can show the work was carried out properly.
If not successful, get a senior person to sit down with you, look at the grant proposal and the feedback, and resubmit/submit elsewhere. When resubmitting, including a covering note listing the changes.
Initial draft; David Corsar; 26/01/2011
Edited by; Edoardo Pignotti; 26/01/2011