Blog Archives

Finding alternative sources of funding: Workshop for postgraduate researchers.

Pound signAre you a postgraduate researcher at UoN who is self-funded or partially funded? If so, you might be interested in coming along to Lucy Atkinson’s workshop, on 12th July 2017 from 12:00 to 14:30 in SO36. Lucy will show you possible routes to finding alternative sources of funding, whether for fees, maintenance, research expenses, conferences or travel. Lunch is also included! Read the rest of this entry

Writing a Winning Bid

All you need to know when Writing a Winning Bid

Writing a winning bid isn’t as simple as just putting your ideas down on paper.  Making sure that your written application does your project justice is key to impressing the reviewers and securing funding.  Facilitated by Helen Backhouse, Bidding Officer for the Research and Strategic Bidding Office, this workshop will equip you with the tools to write a winning bid of your own.

Tuesday, 25th April from 2-4pm in Room C312, Cottesbrooke Building, Park Campus.

To book your place, please click on the Eventbrite link.

British Sociological Association Annual Conference – funded places

BSA Annual Conference 2017: Funded Places

Have you been a concessionary member of the BSA for more than 12 months? Could you be eligible for a BSA Support Funded Place to the BSA Annual Conference 2017? Read the rest of this entry

OA and the research lifecycle 3: bidding for funding

OA lifecycle bid for fundingOpen access to published work

Many funders, especially those awarding public monies, now make it a prerequisite of funding that all published outputs should be made open access.  You should make it clear in your bid how you intend to comply with this requirement.

The main issues you need to address at the bidding stage are:

  • Does your prospective funder have a policy on open access?
  • If so, have they opted for ‘gold’ (made OA by the publisher) or ‘green’ (deposited in an OA repository) open access to published outputs?
  • If ‘gold’, are they willing to pay article processing charges (APCs)?
  • Do they require open access outputs to be released under a particular licence (e.g. CC BY)?
  • Are you and your collaborative partners willing to comply with the funder’s OA requirements?

Read the rest of this entry

Finding sources of funding for your postgraduate degree study.

Pound signAre you a postgraduate student (PhD, Professional Doctorate, Mphil or Masters student) at the University of Northampton who is self-funded? Would you like a chance to win funding for fees, maintenance, travel, conference attendance and other research expenses? If so, you might be interested in the next few paragraphs!

AltsourcefundingLucy Atkinson’s new workshop “Finding Alternative Sources of Funding” ran on Wednesday 24 June – Lucy has been very successful in obtaining funding for her self-funded PhD and in the workshop she shared her ideas for gaining funding from a variety of sources but, particularly, a major, but neglected, alternative funding source in the area of charities and external bodies.  Read the rest of this entry

Finding Alternative Sources of Funding: Workshop for PGRs

Pound signAre you a postgraduate researcher at the University who is self-funded? If so, you might be interested in coming along to Lucy Atkinson’s new workshop, on Wednesday, 24 June 2015 from 16:00 to 18:00 in C311, Cottesbrooke, Park Campus. Lucy will show you possible routes to finding alternative sources of funding, whether for fees, maintenance, research expenses, conferences or travel.

Lucy has been very successful in obtaining funding for her self-funded PhD and she would like to share the idea, requirements, documents and enthusiasm with you to try to help alleviate some financial pressure during your postgraduate studies. The workshop looks at a major, but neglected, alternative funding source in the area of charities and external bodies.  Read the rest of this entry

Invitation: Marie Curie European Funding Briefing

The Research and Strategic Bidding Office is pleased to announce this briefing session covering Marie Curie funding.

23 June 2015, 10am – 1pm, C221 (Cottesbrooke), Park Campus

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) supports researchers at all stages of their careers, irrespective of nationality. Proposals from all areas of scientific and technological research of interest are eligible for funding and there are no predefined priority areas. The MSCA also supports industrial doctorates, combining academic research study with work in companies, and other innovative training that enhances employability and career development.

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Dr Mike Daniel Research Degree Scholarship – £500

The deadline for applications for the Mike Daniel Research Degree Scholarship is the 15th May 2015. Find out how you can apply.

Dr Mike Daniel was Pro Rector (Academic Quality) from 1993​-2002 and played a major role in guiding the institution towards taught degree awarding powers and university college designation. At his untimely death in 2002 he was preparing the case for full university designation, friends and colleagues raised sufficient funds to create a research degree scholarship to be named after him.

New British 20 pounds banknotes, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons)

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards are a fantastic opportunity for current students and graduates who are looking to secure investment for their projects.  Santander will be making an award of £5,000 for the winner of the undergraduate award, and £20,000 for the winner of the postgraduate award, together with smaller prizes for second and third places.  The competition is open to current students or alumni who have graduated within the last 2 years.  Applicants can be individuals or groups, and will need to prepare a business plan.  The University will put forward the best entry in each category for Santander to consider.

For further details, and to discuss this opportunity, please contact Sharon Irwin, Enterprise Club Manager, at or on 01604 892626.  Please note that the deadline for applications is 14 March 2014.

View the information pack: 2014 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards Pack

“It’s only an Outline…”

Two stage application processes for research grants are becoming increasingly common. As the resources available for distribution become more limited yet the pressure for academics to secure external funding for their research increases, the competition for each and every grant becomes more fierce.

To manage this demand, funders are implementing Outline Applications. These are shorter applications that, generally, request details such as the research question and project idea, the experience of those who are to lead and deliver the project and the costs involved of doing so. The purpose is to assess how your proposal fits with their priorities and the feasibility of the project. If they like the proposal, they will invite you to submit a Full Application with more detail. This of course makes the process easier for them; they still receive hundreds of applications but these are a couple of pages long rather than the weighty documents usually required by funders. They can sift ideas more easily, find those that they like and then request the detail they need to make fully informed decisions in order to distribute the money.

However, there seems to be a troubling misunderstanding of the purpose of Outline Applications within our academic community; outline applications are not there to make life easier for you. We hear “It’s only an Outline” all too often. Outline applications shouldn’t be rushed in the hope that you’ve done enough to get through to the Full Application stage, which will of course get your full attention. In fact, Outline Applications mean more work for you and funders don’t apologise for this.

To significantly increase your chances of being successful at Outline Application stage, you need to work through the bid as though it were a Full Application. You need to know what your idea is, what problem it will address, how you will deliver the project in real detail including a timetable of activities and deliverables, be able to justify your methodology, and have it properly costed by your School Accountant. Some funders, The Leverhulme Trust for example, will not let you change the costs between Outline and Full Application stage, proving that they want you to know all of this detail at Outline stage. Once you know what you would need to know for a Full Application, you can write the summary the funder wants in the Outline Application with enough detail and conviction to spark their interest.

If you don’t know this detail at Outline Application stage, you’re effectively telling the funder that you’re not that interested in your proposal. So why should they be? Outline Applications may be short, but they’re clearly not simple. Outline Applications need to be of the highest quality so please, no more “It’s only an Outline…”