Areas of Influence
Seven Overlooked Aspects of Writing an EPSRC Proposal
Writing a proposal for the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council 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 Principal Investigator’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: PIs 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 PI response: Panel members use the reviewer comments and the PI response to determine how well a proposal meets the assessment criteria. A well-written response—one that is not angry, aggressive, arrogant, dismissive, or petty—can help a proposal move up the rank order list.
These topics and more are highlighted in this free session.
Dr Elaine Massung has worked in higher education for over a decade, carrying out a variety of roles: post-doctoral research assistant, Continuing Education administrator and instructor, copy editor and proofreader, and portfolio manager at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
She started Blue Eagle Academic Services to help students, researchers, and academics navigate the funding process and get a fresh perspective on their written work.