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Bonfire of the inanities part 2: Hassle-free funding schemes

Image: Pietro Tranchida [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

What steps can we take to make funding schemes as applicant-friendly as possible?

I’ve been a research funding poacher and gamekeeper. I’ve supported researchers when they apply for internal and external funding, organised internal funding selection processes and served as a patient representative on a National Institute for Health Research panel.

I’ve witnessed frustrations on both sides of the applicant-funder divide, and some of these are avoidable. Here are some suggestions and principles worth considering as ways to reduce the burden of writing research grant applications on researchers. These are intended for anyone involved in shaping funding calls, whether you’re overseeing an internal university pump-priming grant or are given some input into a major international funding call.

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