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Pulling the Leverhulme’s levers

Image: Øklands trykksaker - av Bergen Off. Bibliotek [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Leverhulme Trust is a perennial favourite with researchers. Phil Ward looks into the trust’s grant assessment structure to understand what kinds of applications are likely to get funded.

Phil’s top tips

  • Make sure that your grant proposal is easily understood by a lay audience; assessors are unlikely to be experts in your discipline.  
  • The trust welcomes risky projects with high potential academic impact; be brave and disregard traditional disciplinary boundaries.
  • You will have about a 50 per cent chance of success if you get past the first stage of a Research Project Grant application, so put real effort into stage two.

Academics tend to love the Leverhulme Trust. Other funders may be bigger, bolder or more ambitious, but Leverhulme seems to sing the song that academics want to hear: it funds blue-sky research without the layers of political varnish. The work doesn’t have to fit a particular discipline or be a collaboration. Grantees don’t have to link with industry or focus on capacity building. For Leverhulme, it’s the research, stupid. 

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