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My winning proposal: Let your bid evolve

How a PhD student followed the learning curve to win a Leakey Foundation grant

Top tips

  • Treat reviewers’ comments as input to improve your submission.
  • Stress how your bid matches the funder’s remit, especially in parts that do not align superficially.
  • Highlight previous work showing that you are uniquely positioned to undertake the project.
  • Ask for feedback from collaborators, peers and colleagues.

The Leakey Foundation is a California-based not-for-profit organisation that funds research related to human origins and evolution. Its research grants offer doctoral students up to $15,000, rising to $25,000 for postdoctoral or senior researchers, to cover research expenses directly related and essential to projects. The foundation issues a call twice a year, with the next deadlines on 10 January and 15 July 2021. Researchers affiliated with an academic or research institution anywhere in the world may apply.

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