"Take home messages" from recent ECR Grant Writing Group meet-ups (Oct and Nov 2023)

Published: 20 September 2023

Continuing to feed back on the main learning points from recent meetings of this informative, supportive group aimed at early career researchers within SHW

If you were unable to attend the most recent meet-ups, or would like a refresher on the key learning points, session organiser Kirsty Dunn provides a useful overview...

Photo of desk with diary, pens and calendar

Session on 11 October 2023
Knowing what support is available

During the second session of the ECR Grant Writing Group, Alison Purdie-Gore (Project Coordinator from the MVLS Research Support Office) presented on this topic,

The take home messages from the session were:

  • Project coordinators are based on level 2 of the Clarice Pears building on a Thursday. ECRs can drop-in if they have questions to ask their Project Coordinator.
  • Sign up to newsletters/alerts or follow funders on social media to receive information about the latest calls from different grant bodies. If you only sign up to one, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) would be a good choice as this provides notifications about all funders under UKRI (e.g. Medical Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council etc.)
  • Make sure to check that the University of Glasgow is an eligible institution for the funding call/grant body that you want to apply to (this information will be provided under details about the call).
  • Some calls will require you to have a contract that extends beyond the length of the project, so make sure to check this.
  • LKAS (Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Leadership Fellowships) are internal fellowships that can provide additional funding (up to £100k) to supplement what you can apply to the funding body for e.g., PhD students.
  • Project coordinators can support you to navigate the application process. It’s best to approach Project Coordinators as early as possible when you’re thinking of applying for a grant (at least 3 months ahead of the application deadline). These are Alison Purdie-Gore (GPPC and Public Health), Stephen Currie (MRC/CSO SPHSU), Dawn Taylor (Robertson Centre), and Ellen Crawford (MHW and HEHTA).

Session on 08 November 2023
Academic ownership and putting together the right team

Project coordinator Stephen Currie provided important information about academic ownership and three ECRs (Emily Long, Laura Hughes and Paul McCrorie) described their experiences and tips for negotiating academic ownership and putting together the right team. The take home messages from the session were:

Academic ownership

  • Academic ownership should reflect the intellectual ownership/effort level of a given individual. The allocation of ownership is at the discretion of the PI and this should be agreed at the outset of the application.
  • Ownership can be updated throughout the lifetime of the project. For example, if an RA is not initially given ownership but ends up bringing a lot to the project, the PI can decide to adjust ownership to include the RA. Other examples of ownership changing would be if a member of the project team moves institutions and a new member of staff joins the project.
  • Ownership is important as it shows up as a metric during P&DR and is also a criterion for promotion.
  • Remember not to overcommit yourself to research if you are on an R&T contract. When completing the FTE (full-time equivalent) section of the form you need to consider how much research time your current contract allows and how many other research projects you are contributing to.
  • Talk to more experienced colleagues about what a certain % ownership would look like in practice to get a sense of how much time you can actually commit to.
  • Remind PI (if you are a co-I) that your salary needs to be covered as an ECR, so you need a higher % of ownership to be allowed to be on a project.

Putting the right team together

  • Choose people that you enjoy working with when inviting people to join the project team.
  • Have a conversation before you submit the application to make sure that everyone on the project team understands and agrees on their role and responsibilities.
  • Use the connections that you currently have to build new connections with people who you might want to work with on grants in the future.
  • Ask for advice on how to approach people/or who might be good to approach from more senior colleagues.
  • Get involved in societies, committees (within and out with the university) to meet people who you might want to work with in the future.

Kirsty Dunn
Lecturer in Clinical Psychology

If you would like to contribute to a future session, or suggest a possible topic or area of focus, please contact the session organiser kirsty.dunn@glasgow.ac.uk

First published: 20 September 2023