Writing your first grant proposal? RDSO can help!

The University's Research Development & Support Office (RDSO) offers support in writing research grant proposals, particularly for academics writing their first grant or fellowship.

The Research Development & Collaborations team within the RDSO has developed four key priority areas to support the aims and objectives of the University. These four key priorities are:

  • To grow the development of large multidisciplinary projects
  • To increase the University research funding base in addition to the Research Councils
  • Alert and disseminate to the academic community potential funding opportunities
  • Develop the level of external collaborations as part of new projects

The team, headed by Dr Jon Hunt, consists of four Research Portfolio Managers, a Project Coordinator, a Research Development Officer and a consultant to assist with European Commission proposals.

One of the recent successful bids for a large first research grant was that of Dr Davide Mattia (Chemical Engineering), who has been awarded a grant of £234,000 by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council for a project to investigate the use of ultra-high flow membranes for water purification and 'lab-on-a-chip' applications.

Lab-on-a-chip is a device that can be implanted in the body to continuously monitor the health of a patient and automatically administer drugs to treat them. One future application could be for blood glucose measurement for diabetics, with automatic release of insulin when levels are low.

Dr Hunt helped Dr Mattia with the non-scientific aspects of the grant, such as the presentation of the proposal, especially the first page, and the sections relating to program and student management.

Dr Mattia said: "I am delighted with the grant award from EPSRC. Jon was very helpful in the sharpening of the overall message of the grant application in both the executive summary and the introduction."

Dr Hunt said: "The First Grant scheme is a very important step in the career path of an academic and so the team are happy to help with these applications.

"We can provide an outsider's perspective and help researchers with grant applications by picking out key messages and giving advice on how to write non-technical summaries, including project management and impact.

"In addition, we encourage all researchers to contact us if they are applying for larger, longer research proposals as this is the top priority of our team.

"We also develop research collaborations with internal or external partners in our specialist portfolio areas of Energy & the Environment (Dr Miles Davis); Life sciences & Health Living (Dr Alison Evans); Aerospace & Manufacturing (David Allen); and Society, Security & Identities (Vanessa Cuthill)."

For further information, please visit the Research Development & Collaboration website or contact Jon Hunt.

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