RO Peeps: Phil Ward

The RO Peeps page lists the research office profiles of friends of The Research Whisperer. It showcases the talent and myriad trajectories that make us who we are.

Today’s RO  Peep is Phil Ward, who writes the Research Fundermentals blog. If you’re in the UK or Europe and interested in following the intricacies of the UK/EU funding circuit, make sure you follow Phil’s blog.


Name & Twitter handle: Phil Ward (@frootle)

Position title: Research Funding Manager

University: University of Kent

Location: Canterbury, UK

Highest qualification? MA

How did you get into this role, and how long have you been a research administrator/developer?
Like many in the sector, I fell into research administration. I was made redundant from Waterstones Online, a bookseller in the UK, and a job came up at the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). I applied not knowing anything about the sector, and loved it. I’ve been on a steep learning curve ever since.

Now I’ve moved from grant giving to grant getting: it’s tougher, but more rewarding.

What other kinds of jobs have you had?
After university I had a whole range, from charity worker in Sweden, farm worker in Norway, care worker for children with learning difficulties, teaching assistant, book seller and literature sub editor.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job? Getting the grants! If only it happened more often…

What’s the thing you’d most like to change about your job? Funder success rates!

Favourite hobby-horse?
This is pretty much the same as ‘best advice to researchers’: think about the person who’s going to read your proposal, and make it easy for them to understand the basics of your project: What’s your research question? Why’s it important? How are you going to answer it? How are you going to disseminate the findings?

Dream job? Cartoonist

Best advice to researchers? Don’t give up!

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