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PhD and Post Docs from the Cockcroft Institute took part in two workshops designed to introduce early career researchers to apply for funding as independent scientists. The first workshop consisted of talks delivered by four experienced researchers introducing concepts related to grant writing through describing their experiences of applying and successfully gaining grants. Funding schemes and resources were also introduced, as well as strategies for targeting funders. The second day included the possibility for participants to develop their own research ideas in order to take current projects further, and how to use these ideas to develop grant applications.
The workshops were lead by Dr Samantha Colosimo and Dr Alexandra Alexandrova, members of the QUASAR Group, who were happy to share their experience as well as knowledge from courses, books, and videos for preparation for the interactive second day of the grant workshop. The participants were familiarized with many aspects of the world of grant writing and played lots of games, leading to an understanding which research ideas they can use for grants. The early stage career researchers, including several PhDs, learned how to plan a research project, how to find a suitable grant programme, and how to assess strong and weak points of themselves and the organisation. They also worked in pairs to build a backbone for the narrative and budget. Participants looked into a technical part of management tools they can use, and how to calculate the cost and make up a budget. They found out how to define the structure of the story (narrative) and what keywords to use for writing grants in different sections. The workshop finished with each of the participants introducing their project through an elevator pitch and a discussion of why outreach is so useful and important.
The second day went very fast, and the participants worked hard. As a part of the workshop, the participants have received and still will receive some interactive information in a small and more digestible form as well as a constant stream of possible grant to apply for.
“[The] workshop was very useful and not only for grant writing purposes! Knowledge obtained can be used in other areas as well. I was very happy with the content and how it was delivered. Games were used as a great way to engage students in discussions.” – Milena Vujanovic, 2nd Year PhD Student, QUASAR Group, University of Liverpool