BSU Research News – 07/04/2017

Workshop focus: What Makes a Successful Funding Application?

One of the biggest challenges facing Researchers and Academics is finding the funds required to support their work, from Masters and PhD to Post-doc and Early Career Researcher level. This week, the BSU Researcher Development Team facilitated a workshop on ‘What makes a Successful Funding Application?’ The event aimed to give participants insights in to what key funding agencies look for in an application and how they assess research grant applications, including Research Council UK (RCUK) streams, Leverhulme Research Grants, and AHRC Early Career Fellowships.

So, what does it take to create a successful research funding application? The morning session started by highlighting the recommended go-to text for research funding advice: The Research Funding Toolkit by Jacqueline Aldridge and Andrew Derrington. 

funding 2

The toolkit outlines the crucial components of a successful bid, and highlights key steps, including acquiring detailed knowledge on the funding body, having a clear and structured Research Proposal, and evidencing individual credibility and context in the application. One standout piece of advice of the day was to make sure the application is easy to read, easy to understand, and convincing. Simple!

In the afternoon session, participants gained hands-on experience by taking part in a mock-review panel to assess a range of real funding applications, paying particular attention to quality, management, and output and impact. The workshop ultimately aimed to teach the participants good practice from a range of relevant funding bodies, with the opportunity to gain specialist advice from BSU’s experienced Bid Development Team. Feedback from attendees on their experience has been very positive, with 75% already feeling more confident about applying for research funding in the future:

“I enjoyed the workshop. It might be good to have a follow up session where we bring bids that we are working on and see how peer discussions might help them develop. I think these workshops are important as it is good to meet other researchers and here their concerns and challenges.”
“I learned a lot from the workshop. Having a chance to look at actual funding bids, talk about some of the key points that make for good funding bids, and gain insight into the review process was very helpful.”
“Very good overview of what to focus on to make a convincing case for funding. The opportunity to read and analyse successful funding applications to the BA and AHRC was especially helpful.”
“Really appreciated the timing of this event in the middle of the day – good for those of us who are also parents juggling commitments. Good balance between group discussion and session leaders sharing experience and expertise.”

We have more exciting, practical workshops coming up in May, focusing on enhancing digital research profiles, career development and research bidding, so check out the Researcher Development page for details and booking information. We hope to see you there!

Early Stage Researcher Conference 2017

peacock sign up (1)

Thursday 8th June 2017 will see Bath Spa University’s third annual Early Stage Researcher Conference descend on our beautiful Corsham Court Campus. Centering around the theme of ‘Impact’, postgraduates and ESR’s from across the University are invited to attend the free conference, to deliver and learn about all the research that is happening at BSU.

Find more on the conference website at, and questions can be directed to the Committee Chair, Conor, at

Don’t forget: the deadline for sign ups and submissions is 14th April 2017. Don’t miss out!



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