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My winning proposal: Mastering an ESRC responsive-mode bid

Rita Griffiths masterminded an ESRC Research Grant to analyse the impact of the UK’s Universal Credit benefit. Years of bidding for government research contracts have given her an edge in grantsmanship over career academics, Ben Upton reports.

Rita’s top tips

  • Take your time with responsive-mode bids—a slow-moving collaboration is better than a solitary, panicked rush.
  • Sweat the small stuff—no part of the application form is a tick-box exercise and it shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • Strive for an approachable, down-to-earth tone in the major sections of the bid.
  • Be precise with your impact and dissemination plans, don’t just say that you’ll “build a website”, for example.

Rita Griffiths is a research fellow at the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research, but for nearly 25 years she ran her own social research business.

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