Areas of Influence
Seven Overlooked Aspects of Writing an EPSRC Proposal
Writing a proposal for the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) can be a daunting prospect: a lot of time and energy is spent developing a project where the funding outcome is far from certain and much of it can feel outside of the project leader's control. As a former EPSRC portfolio manager, I’m afraid there is nothing I can say to guarantee a successfully funded grant proposal … but I can discuss seven aspects of writing a proposal that are often overlooked but which can have a potential impact on your application. These include:
- Keeping all readers of the proposal in mind: A proposal is seen by a number of people on its way to a funding decision. Ensuring that each person (portfolio manager, reviewer, panel member) is considered during the writing process can be beneficial.
- Avoiding conflicts: Applicants have the chance to nominate reviewers they believe can fairly assess their proposal. However, conflicted reviewers cannot be used, potentially wasting this opportunity.
- Writing a strong response: Panel members use the reviewer comments and the applicant's response to determine how well a proposal meets the assessment criteria. A well-written response—one that is not angry, aggressive, arrogant, defensive, dismissive, or petty—can help a proposal move up the rank order list.
These topics and more are highlighted in this free session.
Over the past two decades, Dr Elaine Massung has carried out a variety of roles in higher education: post-doctoral research assistant, copy editor and proofreader, and portfolio manager at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. She started Academic Smartcuts to help researchers establish positive habits and build a strong foundation for their career.
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