Applying for grants

The Research Whisperer blog started off with a heavy emphasis on grantseeking and being funding savvy, and this is an very important part of being a contemporary researcher. These are the sessions we have been regularly invited to run for various universities and scholarly organisations.


5 Rules of Grant Club: Tseen Khoo

Being grants-savvy isn’t an option anymore. It’s an essential and transferable skill for contemporary researchers. The good news is that grant application writing is a trainable skill! This hands-on, interactive workshop shares strategies for how to get a head-start on negotiating the world of research grants. We will cover what you need to know about applying for funding and sets you up with core grantseeking skills and knowledge.

By the end of this workshop, researchers will have a clear idea of how to proceed with finding funding for their project and a sketched outline of key grant application components.

  • Audience: Researchers getting started on their grant skills
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Numbers: No minimum. Maximum of 25 attendees.
  • Preferred set-up: Data projector, computer, and internet connection. Tables for groups of 3-4 people.

Finding funding: Jonathan O’Donnell

Quick! How many funding schemes can you name?

A lot of researchers find it hard to think about any funding except ARC funding. If this is you, you need to get your thinking cap on. There is a whole world of funding out there, and you shouldn’t be overly reliant on any one source. This workshop is intended to help you to think outside the box, and to find more sustainable sources of funding.

By the end of the workshop, you should have a lot of new ideas about funding possibilities that you can explore, as well as a typology of funding schemes that works for you.

  • Audience: Works best with a mix of early and mid-career researchers. Doesn’t work if all the attendees are PhD students.
  • Duration: Either one hour lecture or a half-day (four hour) workshop.
  • Numbers:
    • Lecture – No minimum. Unlimited maximum.
    • Workshop – Minimum of five and maximum of 25 attendees.
  • Technical requirements: Data projector, computer, and internet connection. Yellow stickies (about 20 each)  for each attendee. A few pens for those who didn’t bring one. A whiteboard or wall space where people can stick up their sticky notes.

Grant Camp: Jonathan O’Donnell

Can you draft your grant application in four hours?  Absolutely you can, if you focus on writing and ignore everything else. Through a series of half-hour writing sprints, Jonathan O’Donnell will guide you through the key parts of your research funding application. Together, you will bash out a very rough draft of the application. It won’t be pretty, but it will give you something that you can refine and rewrite – this workshop is all about getting the first draft down on paper. If you have already started drafting your application, this will give you a chance to refine your work.

By the end of the workshop, you should have broken the back of your application, and have a very rough draft.

  • Audience: Academics who need time to write their grant application.
  • Duration: Half-day (four hour) workshop.
  • Numbers: No minimum. Maximum of 20 academics.
  • Technical requirements: Data projector, computer, and internet connection. Attendees should have access to laptops, wi-fi, power and space to set up.

Research crowdfunding: Jonathan O’Donnell

Crowdfunding provides a completely new model for funding research. It allows new people to access funds, and new ideas to be funded. Best of all, it provides researchers with a crash course in social media, public engagement and the fine art of asking for funding.

By the end of this workshop, academics will have a better understanding of what they can and cannot achieve through crowdfunding, and what support they might need to undertake a campaign.

  • Audience: Adventurous academics who what to build an audience for their work.
  • Duration: 1 hour lecture or half-day workshop.
  • Numbers: No minimum. Maximum of 25 people for half-day workshop.
  • Technical requirements: Data projector, computer, and internet connection. In addition, for the half-day workshop, attendees should have access to laptops, wi-fi, power and cafe-style desk space.