How to write an AXA Research Fund grant application

We know that preparing applications is time-consuming and can be stressful, so we’ve put together some tips to help you write your grant application. 

 

Before you start to write

·      Check you are eligible

·        Read the guidelines on the specific grant webpage. You’ll find information about eligibility, what we offer, how to apply and deadlines. 

·        Gather all the information you need, get as much advice as you can – ask other people if they are willing to share their successful and unsuccessful applications with you.  

·        Contact the research support office at your host institution early in the application process so they can give you advice.

·        Make sure your proposal is competitive: discuss your ideas with your sponsor, mentor, supervisor and/or senior colleagues. Get input from colleagues who are inside and outside your research field. 

 

Writing your application

·        Give yourself plenty of time: it’s important that you avoid rushing your application. Allow plenty of time ahead of the deadline.

·        Check the specific grant webpage for advice about your application, including deadlines and submissions. 

·        Allow enough time for your application to be approved and submitted by your host institution. Make sure you’re aware of any deadlines at your organisation that could delay this. 

·        Check that anyone involved in your application, such as your sponsor, supervisor or collaborator, can meet the scheme deadline.

 

Make your application easy to read and understand

·       Aim your proposal at people who have specific expertise in your field as well as those who have broader research experience. 

·       Provide a balanced overview of the background, rationale and supporting evidence. Refer to appropriate studies by others and use preliminary data, pilot studies and/or scoping research to support your research question(s).

·       Give enough detail that reviewers can understand what you’re proposing, how it will be carried out and whether it’s feasible. 

·       Request research costs that are necessary for your project. Make sure you’re aware what you can and cannot ask for – this information is available on the application guidelines.

·       Use a title that is short, specific and reflects the importance of your proposal. Structure your writing with clear headings and subheadings.

·       Write in clear English and avoid technical jargon where possible. Keep abbreviations and acronyms to a minimum – define them when they’re first used.

·       List all references consistently.

·       Use diagrams and figures where appropriate.

·       Check your spelling and grammar.