Applying for a fellowship workshop (May 2021): reporting back

Published: 21 September 2020

Key lessons from a recent workshop, aimed at non-clinical and clinical ECRs, and clinical staff looking for pre-doctoral funding

IHW recently ran a successful workshop on applying for fellowship funding, aimed at non-clinical and clinical ECRs, and clinical staff looking for pre-doctoral funding.

Photo of woman working at desk with laptop coffee and cake

Attended by 30 participants, senior members of staff shared their inside knowledge gained from sitting on funding panels, including Wellcome Trust and the MRC. Kate O’Donnell, Rich Mitchell and Frances Mair each talked abut the application process, what a reviewer looks for in an application, and the interview process.

However, it was the lived experience insights from David McAllister, Hamish Foster and Anna Pearce that brought the workshop to life. Each spoke about what applying and being interviewed, often more than once, had felt like and – importantly - how to move on if the first (or second) application was unsuccessful.

The key lessons: 

  • it takes time and you need to be resilient;
  • have several back-up plans and alternative funders;
  • finally, have a good academic and non-academic support network.

Feedback from participants 

  • "It was very useful to have staff in the workshop that is or used to be on the funding committees and hear their tips!!"
  • "The information from the fellowship panel reviewers was very useful and encouraging."
  • "I think it was a good introduction and pointed to relevant resources for moving forward with a Fellowship application."

We plan to run another workshop later in the year. Resources include the IHW fellowship funding guide and the Grant Writing Group for ECRs, which will re-start in October 2021.

First published: 21 September 2020