Bid writing– Is it possible to improve your chances of success?

I’ve just submitted a substantial bid to our research council ESRC. So it’s timely to re-blog this post I wrote a while back on ins and outs of applying for research funding!

Innovative Ageing

The neo-liberal agenda of the university now dictates, almost without a hint of a question, that we must bid for money to carry out research, an activity that used to be a core, central pillar to an academic’s role. This activity cannot be taken lightly. It is immensely arduous work, infuriatingly frustrating and is often without reward (success rates for applications to research councils vary from 32% down to a disappointing 13% in social science). However, like a gambler who wins once in a while, the faint hope of winning a bid and the very occasional success, draws you in and keeps you hooked in to the system. Is there anything we can do to improve the success of bid writing, to preparing a proposal that has a better chance of winning? I’m unsure there is a magic formula, despite what some people may think, but I can share…

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