Go back

My winning proposal: When to pitch for a NERC Large Grant

Image: Simon Lewis

The question of when to stop applying for Project Grants and instead go for a NERC Large Grant can be tricky. Large Grant winner Simon Lewis tells Ashleigh Furlong how he knew the time was right.

Simon’s top tips

  • If you have a strong idea, don’t be put off by the work involved in a Large Grant bid; the initial proposal is not that onerous.
  • Highlight your project’s time sensitivity—why should NERC fund it now rather than later?
  • Emphasise why your project is suitable for a Large Grant rather than a series of smaller grants.
  • Keep your core team of partners small so that everyone has appropriate funds to carry out their work.
  • Include contingency plans to ensure that key scientific questions can still be answered if the situation changes on the ground.

Simon Lewis is a professor of global change science who splits his time between University College London and the University of Leeds. He led a bid backed by several international partners including the World Wildlife Fund and local universities that won a Natural Environment Research Council Large Grant in 2018. The project, which won nearly £3 million, aims to better understand the peatland in the Congo Basin. It began in September 2018 and will run for five years.

This article on Research Professional News is only available to Research Professional or Pivot-RP users.

Research Professional users can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.