A: Development phase
- Build the best team and make sure they are fully engaged at all stages of the grant – clearly identify roles and tasks of the team in submission and operation of the grant. Meet in person for at least 1 day.
- Get the vision clear.
- Build on preliminary data, previous work (clearly demonstrate in CfS)
- Appropriate scale – ambitious but not too ambitious, achievable in the timeframe, careful costing (n.b. cheaper grants are not more successful)
- Talk to funders, home institute, colleagues, specialist facilities where required
- What has been funded in previous rounds e.g. GOTW
B: Writing phase
- Why now, why you, what’s innovative – is this proposal highest international significance and state of the art (not incremental), compelling story.
- Summary at beginning of case for support add a schematic overview of grant
- Clear hypotheses and deliverables clearly linked e.g. via workpackages
- Doesn’t need to perfect in first draft getting it down is important.
- Clear signposting to address the call or criteria of funders – ensure you have read this before writing (if you do not fit do not apply).
- Special care with the summary inc. those elements reviewers see first or are likely to use in rapid review
- Transparent – e.g. description of methods and their appropriateness for expert and generalist.
- Figures need to be useful, clear and self-contained, attractive.
- Give yourself time – 6 months standard grant, you need time to reflect
- Independent and critical review – expert and non-expert
- Print grant before submission – what do reviewers see first, easy to spot key points e.g. bold, ensure overall presentation is appealing
- Letters of support – identified in proposal, provide clear role and identify resources and active participation provided by the partner, not generic, demonstrate previous or ongoing engagement. Get them early.
D: Post submission
- Polite and considered response to reviewers addressing each point supported by data and literature – identify and reject reviewers before submission within the team
- If not funded, be resilient, reflect think again resubmit.