You should address the following questions:
You should also ensure that your project meets the stated aims and objectives of the grant-giving body. It is essential to know the basic rules laid down by the grant-giving body; failure to do so puts your application at a disadvantage.
Departmental offices may have copies of the relevant booklets giving the regulations of the main Research Councils and other funding bodies; you can also get these from the relevant websites.
You will find that senior colleagues can usually give advice on these regulations.
In formulating a research application you may find it helpful to take into account the criteria applied by the granting bodies' assessors and other factors. Grant-giving bodies receive many applications. Before submission to the formal committee proposals are sent usually to assessors who are experts in the field of study covered by the project submissions.
Just as you, in marking examination papers, appreciate answers which are clear, thoughtful and to the point, so too do the assessors of research grants look for a concise and well-formulated case which states precisely:
In setting out your application remember that the amount of work which you have done and upon which your proposal is based will not be as obvious to the assessors as it is to you.
Use Worktribe to cost your project and as a checklist to ensure that all costs have been identified and included in the application.
Consider the following when constructing an application:
Ideally try to have enough time before a deadline to prepare a good proposal, well presented. Check that you meet the presentation specifications of the sponsor.
The expert assessors are asked to make the following detailed comments:
At all times discussion with colleagues, particularly those with previous experience in obtaining and managing research grants, is invaluable. Above all, be realistic in assessing your project, the costs and the amount of time it will take. Only apply for projects you are confident you can undertake and complete successfully, and ensure that all your costs are covered and are accurate and that the necessary resources, such as space, technical support etc can be made available by your Department.
It can be helpful to have feedback on your application if it is rejected and it is worth asking for this if it is not offered routinely.
The assessors' reports are now made available to unsuccessful applicants to the ESRC. Their comments also include a statement on whether or not the application as a whole reflects knowledge, planning and capability on the part of the applicant; whether alternative techniques might more advantageously be employed; and whether the timescale and scheduling of the work is appropriate and realistic to the aims of the research.
In certain cases where, for example, the application has industrial significance the assessment may include an estimate of the scale of the benefit likely to accrue to industry and a view on this benefit in relation to the cost of the proposed research.