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The five essential elements of a winning bid

There’s no formula that will turn your research idea into a funded proposal. But, says Phil Ward, deputy director of research services at the University of Kent, these five fundamentals will stand any application in good stead.

Each year I run a series of training events at the University of Kent focused on building successful applications. In a nod to the increasingly Stakhanovite cast of modern higher education these events take place as part of a wider programme of happenings called the Grants Factory whose webpage is topped with a picture evoking the gruelling exactions of hard labour.

Over the years, a series of academics have delivered these workshops. They have experience as reviewers, panellists and investigators with a wide range of funders, including most of the research councils, and the Leverhulme and Wellcome trusts. Their disciplines are diverse, yet there is a broad consensus about the five elements that are essential if you are to succeed in getting funding.

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