All funding agencies will have their own criteria for deciding on the allocation of their resources. It is worthwhile taking time to familiarise yourself with these and ensuring that your proposal clearly addresses your targeted source of support.
Significant funders provide information about specific calls on their own websites, which are the authoritative source for details of funding calls and guidance information. Such guidance is designed to help you through the application process and all such information should be carefully read and clearly taken into account as you proceed with developing the application.
Familiarising yourself with the content of the Funder’s Guide may seem tedious but will help you to avoid basic mistakes, which may prejudice chances of success. Make sure you are always using the current versions of the application form and funding guidelines.
Each of the research councils has specific guidance on how to complete their application forms. Please visit the relevant RC site to access funding guidance. Some funders, e.g. the ESRC, provide good general advice on writing a grant proposal.
University of Plymouth Research and Innovation Department has prepared the following resources to help you with your application.
Successful Application Library
Our online library contains examples of successful research funding applications from academics at the University of Plymouth and is only available to staff and students at this University (login required).
These examples are for internal reference only and should not be shared with anyone who is not a member of staff or student at the University of Plymouth.
If you would like to submit your own successful application for inclusion, or if you have any questions about the library, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AHRC - Arts and Humanities Research Council
- BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- British Academy
- EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- European funding
- ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council
- Leverhulme Trust
- MRC - Medical Research Council
- NERC - Natural Environment Research Council
- NIHR and NHS
- Wellcome Trust
- General advice for applicants (internal staff and students only) - some internal advice on submitting an application for research funding.
- Checklist: writing effective funding applications (internal staff and students only)
- a useful checklist to aid completion of your research proposal.
- In addition to the Successful Application Library, information about previous award holders at University of Plymouth can be found by contacting colleagues in your school and through Research and Innovation.
- Justification of Resources (internal staff and students only) - a template for RCUK applications.
- For advice and guidance on research data management please see Research Data Management.
- For advice on preparing the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact components of your Research Council application please see Guidance on RCUK impact (internal staff and students only). Further information, guidance and support can be found in our Research Impact section. Enquiries about research impact can be sent to our Research Impact Quality Officer Jane Minett.
- For guidance on preparing your Case for Support document please see Guidance on the Case for Support (internal staff and students only).
- For advice on how to respond to reviewer's comments please see Guidance - Responding to Reviewer Comments (internal staff and students only).
- For pointers on common reasons why applications are rejected see Top tips - why are proposals rejected? (internal staff and students only).
- For advice on writing your risk assessment section please see Risk Assessment Guidance (internal staff and students only)
- For guidance on writing the project management section of your application see Project Management Guidance (internal staff and students only)
- For help with writing about project legacy and sustainability of research outcomes refer to Project Legacy and Sustainability Guidance
- If your project concerns research in health, public health, or social care, you might also find it helpful to consult the Research Design Service.
- The Sustainable Earth Institute has built relationships with a collection of local creative industries through its Creative Associates programme. Consider working with such partners when preparing your application and Pathway to Impact.
Research Funding Courses
Research and Innovation provides a range of training to help you find funding sources and write successful applications. For further information on the programme and how to book please visit our training page.
Public engagement in research
The Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research outlines the expectations and responsibilities of research funders with respect to public engagement, to help embed public engagement in universities and research institutes.
Most funders actively encourage public engagement in the research they fund (and some even stipulate it as a condition of funding). Advice is available through:
- National Coordinating Centre for Public EngagemenT (NCCPE)
- RCUK guide to Public Engagement
- Vitae Public Engagement Information
- Involve: Making the case for Public Engagement
- Public Involvement Impact Assessment Framework
Examples of current engagement activities at Plymouth can be found at: