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My winning proposal: Going solo with the MRC

The MRC’s New Investigator Research Grant helps researchers make the tricky step to independence. Aida Martinez-Sanchez tells Ashleigh Furlong how she made her bid stand out.

Aida’s top tips

  • Be realistic about what you can achieve, being over-ambitious is a sign you are not ready for independence.
  • Accept that the onus for clarity falls on you; if reviewers fail to understand something in your bid, that is your fault.
  • After receiving reviewers’ comments, talk again to your university to see what extra support they can provide for the rebuttal.
  • When writing the rebuttal, you can respond to negative comments with positive ones from different reviewers.

The Medical Research Council’s New Investigator Research Grants are career-defining awards as they support researchers for three years, covering up to 50 per cent of their salary as well as a variety of other costs such as support for additional research, consumables and equipment.

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