Services


Personalised Support

GrantCraft provides a personalised service, supporting applications on a one-to-one basis and working through multiple iterations of refinement and optimisation to ensure that your proposal is as competitive as it can be. We support the grant writing process from conceptualisation to submission, working with you to ensure that your proposal is competitive as it can be.

In this highly competitive environment, ‘just’ excellent research is not enough. To write a successful research proposal you must provide justification, structured argument and detail. GrantCraft provide a personalised service, supporting applications on a one-to-one basis and working through multiple iterations of refinement and optimisation to ensure that your proposal is as competitive as possible.

THE SUPPORT PROCESS – FROM IDEA TO APPLICATION

Our team of research consultants can help you identify suitable funding sources for your idea(s). We are constantly reviewing open and upcoming calls across all major funders, so we are well placed to identify the best opportunities for your research.

We will guide you as you shape the idea into a research project. Our role is not to change your research project. Rather, we ensure that the emphasis is aligned with the overall strategic aims and objectives of the funding body as well as the specific objectives of the call.

During the proposal drafting phase, we will guide and support you through the production of multiple iterations of your proposal as you refine and extend these crucial messages whilst building the document. We will show you how to optimise the structure of the document and integrate all the required arguments, justifications and details to make your application as competitive as possible.


Proposal Writing

Are you lacking the time or resources to write a research proposal? Our experienced team of research consultants will work with you to manage the development of and write your application.


GrantCraft have many years’ experience of writing and supporting the development of research proposals. We will work closely with you and your research team to manage the process of bid development, liaising with team members, collating relevant information and data, and building your grant application.

We do not apply a one-size fits all approach to bid development; we work with you to produce original and bespoke narratives which showcase both your research and the strengths of your team. We use a structured and systematic approach to create the building blocks of your proposal, ensuring that your arguments and justifications are clearly aligned with the strategic objectives of the funder and the call.

We believe that our success is testament to our unique approach to grant-writing:

  • We have helped many early-career researchers to become research leaders by supporting their ERC Starting Grant bids, from idea conception through to interview training.
  • We have supported established researchers in conducting ground-breaking research through obtaining ERC Advanced Grant bids.
  • We have successfully supported academics in their bids to become ‘Future Leaders’ through UKRI funding bids.
  • Every year we work with dozens of Marie Curie Individual Fellowship applicants from across the UK and EU.
  • We are helping researchers in the fight against Covid-19 through identifying rapid research opportunities and supporting researchers to swiftly develop and submit their bids.
  • We have successfully supported researchers from all backgrounds and disciplines, from Post-doctoral researchers securing their first pots of funding through to multi-million EUR, multi-partner consortiums.


Tailored Workshops and Training

We offer a wide range of workshops focusing on proposal development. Popular sessions that we deliver focus on the building blocks of a competitive bid, different types of research calls, and specific funders. We are happy to work with you to design a bespoke training event to meet your organisation’s needs. Many of our sessions can be adapted to half- or full-day events, or even lunchtime seminars.

Below is a list of our most popular workshops; the structure, content and timing of these events can be tailored to your specific requirements.

GRANTS ACADEMY (THREE-DAY WORKSHOP)

Grants Academy is a three-day training programme which will equip you with the knowledge and skills to optimally structure your proposals such that reviewers are excited by your research from the first paragraph. You will learn how you can use building blocks of argument, detail and justification throughout the document to ensure that confidence is inspired in the reviewers. This approach will be used to develop the framework of your proposal.

TRAPS, TRICKS AND TECHNIQUES

This workshop highlights many of the traps that applicants frequently fall into when writing proposals and some useful tricks and techniques that can be used to optimise applications. This session covers the component blocks of a proposal and strategies that can be used to assemble these blocks into a competitive document.

THE FUNDING LANDSCAPE

This short seminar provides an overview of all major EU and UK funding opportunities. It details the funding that is available and recent changes relevant to research funding.

FUNDER SPECIFIC TRAINING

We provide training events which familiarise participants with the funding opportunities, objectives and priorities of specific funders such as the European Commission or any of the major UK funders (e.g. Research Councils, Innovate UK, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy). These events help equip participants with the knowledge that they need to target these funders.

INTRODUCTION TO IMPACT

Impact is a crucial component of research proposals and it is often the part that applicants find the most difficult to address. This workshop develops techniques and strategies for maximising the many and diverse arguments relating to the impact of research which are required to ensure that an application is competitive.

Our workshops and training programmes are informed by our own expertise as well as your needs:

  • We have designed and delivered workshops for researchers that are new to the funding landscape, explaining where to find funding opportunities and helping them to learn about the building blocks that are fundamental to constructing a competitive funding application.
  • We have been invited by numerous universities and research institutes to provide training to experienced researchers in specific topics, including Data Management, Your First Bid as a PI, Impact and Theory of Change.
  • We have offered researchers bespoke workshops on specific funding opportunities, including the Global Challenges Research Fund, Future Leaders Fellowships, Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and, more recently, Covid-19 rapid response opportunities.
  • We have organised writing retreats with individuals and small groups of academics to allow them to prepare complete funding applications in one day.
  • We have been invited speakers at several Research Festivals at UK Universities.
  • We have worked closely with university Research Offices to design and deliver tailored workshops on the Funding Landscape in such a way that their support is fully-integrated into the messages that we deliver, and the individual support that we subsequently provide following training.

If you would like to know more about any aspect of research funding, we can help.


STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Academic institutions have a wealth of data at their fingertips, the richness of which can be invaluable not only for providing insights into strengths, weaknesses and trends, but also for informing strategic direction and prioritisation.

In addition to GrantCraft’s expertise and knowledge of the research funding landscape, we have the analytical skills and capabilities that are required to turn institutional data into meaningful insights and recommendations. We can help you to create and implement development plans to grow your research income and performance, while diversifying your portfolio.

In order to conduct strategic analysis for your organisation, GrantCraft will draw together two sets of data:

  • Your organisational level data such as that pertaining to research funding (application numbers, values and success rates), REF results, staffing structures, research themes and breadth and interactions with businesses and the wider community.

  • Information regarding research funders’ current and future strategies; regional, national, and international challenges and priorities; REF requirements; and national-level higher education institutions’ achievements.

We will use this data to provide a mapping of institutional areas of strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for institutional strategy, priority and support. To find out more about what we offer please Contact Us..


IMPACT AND REF SUPPORT

Whether you are developing an impact strategy, determining your pathways to impact or reporting on impact achieved, GrantCraft can support you to convey your research in its best light. Our impact services include workshops focusing on impact planning and theory of change; targeted support for impact planning; supporting the writing and development of REF case studies.

Impact is a critical component of research projects; rather than an ‘add on’ feature of a research proposal that must be tackled in specific impact-related sections, impact should be at the forefront of research planning activities and an integral component of research proposals. Obviously, different funders have varying expectations and requirements with regards to the types of impacts that are expected; it is imperative that these differences are understood and that research proposals are targeted appropriately and convincingly.

Of course, the issue of impact is not something which is tackled during the proposal writing process and then put aside. Impact must be measured, reported and evidenced. Impact reporting for REF is critical for researchers in UK academic institutions. Not only does the REF assessment provide accountability for public investment in research, it also informs decisions on resource allocation.

GrantCraft have a wealth of expertise and experience in working with academics throughout all stages of the research process from planning and proposal writing, through execution to reporting, to ensure that the impact of research carried out is optimised, well-articulated and evidenced. Our support is flexible – we seek to work with institutions and academics in the way that best suits their needs. Some examples of the services that we provide in relation to impact and (for those in the UK) REF are:

  • Workshops and training focusing on impact planning and theory of change
  • Targeted support for planning impact relating to specific research calls
  • Working in cooperation with researchers to write REF case studies
  • Supporting the development of REF case studies and ensuring their optimisation

If you would like further information about the ways in which GrantCraft can support you when planning impact, conveying it within research proposals, describing it in reports and/or REF case studies, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.


Remote Workshops and Webinars

In light of COVID-19 and also in recognition of the fact that increasing numbers of people work flexibly and from home, we offer a range of remote workshops and training webinars using a secure platform. Follow-up support will be available by phone or video call (Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, etc.) from one of our experienced training facilitators to ensure you get the most from the content provided.

This is an exciting new service that GrantCraft is developing for staff working remotely. At present we are offering pre-recorded presentations based around our popular training and workshops.Remote webinar training

Once you have booked and registered, you will be given access to the content through a secure password-protected login. No specialist software is required. Our experienced facilitators will be on hand for support via video call (Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, etc.) and/or phone for questions and related exercises to ensure you get the most from the content provided.

Please contact us if you would like to arrange for remote training or talk to us about what we can offer.