Useful checklist for funding bidding: What is a good idea?

Following on from my recent post about bidding for funding, here is an additional checklist you could ask yourself when preparing a research funding bid and questioning the quality of your idea:

1. What is the problem?

If you can clearly identify a problem, then you probably have a good idea and one worth asking questions about.

2. Why is it important?

Again if you can clearly communicate why your idea is important then you are more likely to sell your idea confidently and attract the interest of a reviewer.

3. Why ‘now’ can we solve the problem?

Outline the timeliness of your research; locate well in existing literature and knowledge base.

4. Why are you the only person who can do it?

Outline track record in academic publishing and research in this area; previous funding; involvement in an institution that will support your research.

5. Is there a clear logic to the bid?

Good ideas can only be communicated effectively if they are logical and sound like they are likely to work. If there is no logic you don;t tell the reviewer you are capable of actually doing the research.

6. Is the language and tone clear and confident?

This is really important to any academic writing but all the more so when writing often character restricted funding bids and selling a good idea to someone who has limited reviewing time.

7. Are all claims validated? 

Avoid inference and don’t make assumptions about what the reviewers already know; about you and the research area.

8. Have you stated clearly what methods are going to work and why?

I am sure there are many more that people ask themselves when writing their own bids or when reviewing other people’s bids. Have you got any you want to add?

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