PhDs and postdocs learn how to make successful bids for funding

30 September 2015

PhD students and postdocs heard advice on how to make a successful bid for research funding at an IOP workshop where Navigating the Funding Landscape, a guide to finding a way through the maze of options available, was also launched.

Navigating the Funding Landscape
Dr Anne Pawsey

Early-career researchers at the workshop could hear from people with experience of judging applications, representatives of funding bodies, physicists who had been successful in their bids for funding or for fellowships, and a physicist involved in the review process. They could also take part in simulated fellowship interviews.

The Institute’s careers and CPD manager, Vishanti Fox, said: “The aim of the workshop was to enable PhDs and postdocs to understand how to receive the right support, submit strong applications and react effectively to unsuccessful applications. The speakers were really impressed and the participants gave very positive feedback.” One participant wrote afterwards: “I now have a much clearer idea of what funding agencies are looking for and how I can improve my chances.”

The speakers included Dr James Dracott and Dr Yalini-Brhanavan, portfolio managers for physics at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and Dr Anne Pawsey, a postdoc and successful applicant for a POST fellowship who also won the IOP’s Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award in 2013.

Navigating the Funding Landscape covers many of the themes discussed in the workshop. It features case studies by Pawsey and others with experience of applying for funds, as well as those with expertise in judging applications or directing PhD students and postdocs to sources of support. The publication, available to members on the Institute’s website, also describes sources of funding, how to make an application and how to handle an unsuccessful bid.

Navigating the Funding Landscape workshops will be held in Dublin on 28 October and in Scotland on 15 December.