IVVN Grant Writing Workshop, Nairobi, 25th March 2018

On Sunday 25th March 2018, the IVVN hosted a grant-writing workshop for 40 researchers (MSc students, PhD students, Post Docs, and Senior Researchers) from the United Kingdom (UK) and low-and-middle income countries (LMICs).

The workshop began with a presentation entitled ‘How to win funds and influence panels’ from Dr. Martin Broadstock, Programme Manager for Immunology and Vaccines, at the Medical Research Council (MRC). Martin discussed how to get a good idea for a grant application, how to find the right funder, the key elements of successful grant proposals, and how to make an application successful.

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Dr. Martin Broadstock from the MRC

Following Martin’s presentation, Professor Fiona Tomley, from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), summarised the main reasons why grant applications do not get funding:

  1. high level of competition (there is a one in five chance of your grant being funded)
  2. lack of focus – researchers must have a clear research question
  3. lack of clarity
  4. grant applications can sometimes be over ambitious

Fiona then led workshop attendees through the IVVN pump-priming application form, and guidance notes, highlighting which specific aspects of these forms are important when applying for IVVN pump-priming funding.

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Professor Fiona Tomley from RVC

Following the presentations from Martin and Fiona, it was time for an interactive, practical session. Attendees were divided into breakout groups, with each group containing a representative from the IVVN Network Management Board (NMB). The groups discussed two IVVN pump-priming grants (written by IVVN Director, Dr. Tim Connelley) which were either an example of a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ grant application, and identified which aspects of the grants made them potentially successful, or not. Once the groups had identified differences between the two grants, they were given annotated versions of the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ applications that illustrated the key strengths or weaknesses in each grant proposal.

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Breakout groups discuss example grant applications

The practical exercise was followed by a Q&A session with the IVVN Network Management Team which allowed the workshop attendees to ask specific questions on all aspects of the IVVN pump-priming grant application process.

Thank you to Dr. Martin Broadstock, Professor Fiona Tomley, Dr. Tim Connelley, the IVVN NMB, and most importantly, the workshop attendees for making this workshop such a success!

Useful Resources