Ten top tips on applying for funding

You’ve got a brilliant idea. You think you’ve found the perfect funding scheme. Your application gets rejected! What went wrong?

Based on reading a lot of applications to various funding schemes in the last few months, here are my ten top tips, in no particular order:

  1. Read all the guidelines and documentation. Have you read all the documents provided? Have you answered all the questions?
  2. Meet the deadline. Many funders won’t accept applications after the published deadline – for any reason! If you’re not sure of the deadline, then contact the administrators. If you really can’t get the application in on time, then ask what leeway there is, but don’t be surprised if there isn’t any.
  3. Answer the question! Think what the selection panel want to know. Be specific, don’t waffle.
  4. Use the word limit as a guide. If the word limit is 500 words, then two sentences isn’t enough information!
  5. Demonstrate commitment from others. Could you include a letter of support? Can you demonstrate a commitment of additional funding from elsewhere if you get the award you’re applying for? If you say, “If I get this money I will talk to…,” it begs the obvious question as to why you haven’t already talked to them.
  6. Talk to the people running the scheme. Make sure you are eligible, ask for clarification about anything you don’t understand. Save yourself from spending a lot of time writing an application that won’t even be considered!
  7. Don’t make assumptions! Explain any acronyms you use. In fact, don’t use acronyms unless you have to! Be really clear about what you are going to do. It’s unlikely the people reading your application will have huge amounts of time to devote to each application.
  8. Get someone not involved in your application to read it! At the very least, they will pick up on typos. Even better, they will be able to tell you where your answers don’t make sense or need more detail.
  9. Be realistic with your costs. Don’t just ask for the maximum amount available (unless that’s really what you need).
  10. Provide a clear budget. Present the information really clearly. A simple table is always a good idea. If possible indicate your working but don’t confuse things with too much detail. Make sure it adds up! Then check it again and get someone else to check it! An error might result in your whole application being rejected. If you can’t add up (the panel might think), what chance have you got of delivering a high quality project, on time!

If you do all these things, you’re giving yourself a great chance of getting funding. I wish you all the best for your next application.

Tweet your comments, or suggest other tips, using #fundingtips @naje99

Dr Nigel Eady
Head of Researcher Training & Development
King’s College London
nigel.eady@kcl.ac.uk
@naje99

Private Sector Accommodation talks delivered by UoL Housing Services

Looking for accommodation in the private sector?

Not sure where to start and what to watch out for?

Worried about the cost, unsure about fees and need some guidance?

Come along to our Private Sector Accommodation talks which are being delivered by the University of London Housing Services in partnership with Student Services and the Residences at King’s College London.  Further advice and guidance is available here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/campuslife/services/student-advice-support/how/housing/index.aspx  and http://housing.london.ac.uk/cms/

Talks will be taking place on:

  • Thursday 19th March at 5:30pm – Guy’s Campus – New Hunt’s House LT2
  • Tuesday 28th April at 5.30pm – Strand Campus – K2.31

Support for PhD candidates who teach

Many of you gain teaching experience at King’s while undertaking your research degree. This is great for you and good for the university too.

We want to make sure those of you who do teach are well supported. Faculties deliver a range of training, induction and buddying arrangements for Teaching Assistants (TAs) and King’s Learning Institute (KLI) also offers the ‘Preparing to Teach’ course and the more advanced PGCAP course that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. KLI has considerably increased capacity on these courses in responses to requests from TAs.

Recently we have had discussions to see how we can improve support further, and that involved a focus group with TAs. In response to the three main suggestions to come out of this session, we have made the following changes:

  1. University policy guidance is now available on the Teaching Opportunities webpage of the Graduate School. Our focus group said they found this a very helpful document but hadn’t previously been aware of it.
  2. KLI has agreed to arrange drop-in sessions for TAs on different campuses so you can call in and get advice on good practice and/or discuss problems you are having with your teaching. These will begin in September 2015.
  3. The Graduate School has set up a discussion forum where you can contact other TAs, share your experience and good practice, as well as offer advice and support to your peers. This can be found on KEATS, but you will need to submit an application form for admission to the forum. This can be found on our internal web pages by clicking here and selecting the tab entitled ‘Forum for King’s Graduate Teaching Assistants’.

Professor Vaughan Robinson
Director of the Graduate School

Graduate School Advice Clinics in March

Due to popular demand we are pleased to be able to offer further dates for advice sessions to take place in March.

If you would like to meet confidentially with a member of the Graduate School team to discuss issues you have relating to your postgraduate study at King’s, please book yourself an appointment during one of the following dates, using our Eventbrite pages.

  • Friday 7 March, 9.30am – 13.00pm, The Graduate School, Room 5.24, Waterloo Bridge Wing, Waterloo Campus – book your appointment HERE
  • Thursday 13 March, 13.00pm – 16.30pm, The Graduate School, Room 5.24, Waterloo Bridge Wing, Waterloo Campus – book your appointment HERE

Clinics are open to all students with an interest in postgraduate study at King’s, regardless of whether or not you are a current student, but please ensure that you use the Eventbrite pages to book.

Graduate School Advice Clinics in February

Following on from the success of our advice clinics in January (details here), we are pleased to provide you with further dates for sessions to take place in February.

If you would like to meet confidentially with a member of the Graduate School team to discuss issues you have relating to your postgraduate study at King’s, please book yourself an appointment during one of the following dates, using our Eventbrite pages.

  • Monday 17 February, 9.30am – 13.00pm, Compass @ Macadam, B1 Macadam Building, Strand Campus – book your appointment HERE
  • Wednesday 19 February, 9.30am – 13.00pm, Compass @ The Academic Centre, 1st Floor Henriette Raphael House, Guy’s Campus – book your appointment HERE