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Seven ways to make sure big-proposal stress pays off

Multi-million pound initiatives involve many organisations often spread across different countries. They need to be coordinated and led by a senior academic. Paul Craven, research manager at Imperial College London, gives his tips for a successful bid.

1. Big proposals can be stressful
2. The big decision: Who will be PI?
3. Set aside time and resources for preparation
4. Be realistic about the project budget
5. Allow plenty of time to meet deadlines
6. Ensure clear lines of responsibility
7. And finally…

Success rates are low for big proposals but the pay-off can be huge, in terms of making an original contribution to a field or a research question, increased research income, a stronger reputation, and career benefits to staff. But the road to a high-quality submission is often paved with stress. Here are seven tips from an experienced research manager to help you end up with a successful proposal.

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