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Putting Together Your Research Application

All research grant-making organisations have finite resources and are looking for the people and projects that will help to deliver against their aims and objectives. As a charity, a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) non-commercial partner, we must ensure that our research is relevant to NHS policy and impacts on the end user (patients and the public).

Below is some general advice for those considering applying for funding from us, and how to put together your research application.

Firstly, we would recommend that you learn more about us as an organisation – what we are trying to achieve, why we have these aspirations and how we are going to achieve our goals – much of this can be found in our research strategy and supporting guidance. Primarily, you should ask yourself: What is Pharmacy Research UK trying to achieve and how does this align with my research question?

  • What is Pharmacy Research UK trying to achieve and how does this align with my research question?

  • What are Pharmacy Research UK’s research priorities – is my study a good fit with these?

  • Who, what and where do Pharmacy Research UK fund – am I eligible for funding?

  • How will Pharmacy Research UK assess my application – what are the application stages and the criteria used to assess my application?

If, after reading our research strategy and guidance notes you are still unsure whether you and your study are eligible for funding, then please contact us.

If you are confident that you are eligible for funding, then you can begin to complete your application. Our peer reviewers, when assessing an application will, in the main, consider the scientific merit (quality) and feasibility of your application. Things you need to ask yourself when completing your application are:

  • Have I demonstrated a good knowledge of the subject under investigation and made the case for research in this area?

  • Is the research design clear and appropriate for the question I am asking – could I approach this another way?

  • Invite lay and professional review of your application before submitting to us.

  • Have I clearly explained why I have chosen the study methods?

  • You can make reference to methods you rejected at the design stage.

  • Include, pilot data or make reference to existing validated tools where appropriate.

  • Have I clearly demonstrated that I have thought through all the pitfalls in the project and built in contingency plans where appropriate?

  • Have I requested sufficient resources (money, time, equipment, people)?

  • Don’t under-resource to make your study more attractive.

  • Don’t request more funds than those that are on offer.

  • Ensure that the size of the study (and associated costs) are equal to the size of the problem you are considering i.e. large budgets for potentially large impact studies.

  • Is it clear in my application who is doing what and for how long?

  • Make sure the different responsibilities of the research team are clearly delineated and why they are suited that role.

Finally, make sure that you check and double check your application for mistakes and leave plenty of time to get the necessary signatures from your institution so that you can meet the funding deadline.