I am so happy and relieved. Yesterday I submitted the first bid in my life.The funding will be allocated by Vitae for the best innovative projects that promote the personal, professional and career development of researchers.
In collaboration with the Glasgow Caledonian University Student Association we have submitted a proposal for a small-scale project (up to £10 000 pounds). Now we just have to wait and keep our fingers crossed. All being well, we are going to organise the first research student-led conference on graduate employability)))
Regardless of the outcomes, it was a great experience, and I’ve learnt some valuable lessons which I am going to share with you.
- For the bid to be successful, it is important to have a strong network of people/organisations. Quantity here matters as much as quality. The participants should have relevant knowledge and experience in the type of project you select. This will make the funders more confident that you are capable of conducting the project. In my case I had relevant knowledge in the area of graduate employability but not the experience in organising large-scale conferences. So I had to choose the partners. In my case it is the GCU student association since they have experience in running similar-scale events. If successful, the project will also benefit from the advice and support of the Glasgow Caledonian Graduate School, Careers Service, Caledonian Academy and National Union of Students.
- Meeting the criteria. It is important to meet all the criteria and follow the instructions. In my case there was a strict emphasis on word count. When reading the description of the funding scheme, I was paying attention to the key words that reflected the requirements to the bid. These key words should be stuck in your mind when you are writing the application.
- Pay a lot of attention to the costing. For me it was the most challenging part of the bid. Luckily, our kind secretary agreed to help me with this which made my life much easier. Costing should be realistic. So when I budgeted 41 full staff days for the administrative support, my colleagues were quite surprised))
- Seek feedback from your colleagues. It’s always great to get a fresh perspective on your proposal!
- Be passionate about your project!!! I think this is the key. This passion not only helps to involve other people but is a source of constant inspiration in the process of bid writing.
What is your experience in writing bids? Any advice?