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UCL Neuroscience Early Career Forum - Grant Writing Skills Talk and Workshop

UCL Neuroscience Domain

Thursday, September 27, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (BST)

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Event Details

UCL Neuroscience Early Career Forum

Grant Writing Skills - Talk and Workshop

Thursday 27 September, 2012

Talk: 12:00-13:00, Anatomy Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre

Workshop: 13:00-17:00, 1st Floor Maple House


The aim of this half-day session is to help Early Career Investigators improve their applications for funding, whether project grants or fellowships. It will be led by senior UCL researchers, who have extensive experience both of applying for funding, and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded (including the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council). This is a rare opportunity to improve your "grantsmanship" skills, gain insight into how funding committees work, and to receive constructive feedback on your own applications.

 This session will be split into two parts:

1) 12:00-13:00, Anatomy G04 Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre: Grantsmanship talk. Delivered by Prof Masud Husain with support from Prof Geraint Rees.

The talk will include:

  • Overview of the grant landscape     
  • What makes a good grant proposal   
  • Understanding peer review and scoring methods
  • Writing an academic CV


 2) 13:00-17:00, 1st Floor boardroom, Maple House: Grant writing workshop chaired by Prof Jonathan Ashmore and Patricia Salinas. A peer-led session in which participants will give and receive critical feedback on grant and fellowship applications in the style of a committee meeting at a funding body, with oversight from Profs Jonathan Ashmore and Patricia Salinas. 

Comments from the last workshops:
“thanks for the workshop - BMA actually approved my grant”
"the most useful workshop I've attended"
“gave me more confidence”
"now I can see ways to make my proposal much better, and I'm also more confident that the proposal can be competitive"

Entry to both parts is open to all UCL Early Career neuroscientists, though both require registration.


Complete the 'Ticket information' above

to register for the talk

Instructions for registering for workshop:

The second part is an interactive grant writing workshop. It will be led by Profs Jonathan Ashmore and Patricia Salinas, who have extensive experience both of applying for funding and of sitting on the committees that decide which science gets funded.

To participate in this workshop, every participant must provide a scientific abstract, a lay summary and a full scientific proposal for either a grant application or a fellowship application at the point of registration, in a single PDF file. Registration is via email and will be strictly on a first-come first-served basis - the abstract and proposal should be attached to the email (please send to

Registration will be open until all places are filled or until 5pm Friday 14 September. Those wishing to participate who do not yet have an application ready should register an expression of interest by emailing the address above ( Please register interest asap, as a minimum of five people are needed to run this workshop.

Due to logistical constraints, only 15 people will be able to participate.

The scientific abstract, lay summary and scientific proposal, which should be intended to be submitted to a funding body, should be formatted according to the intended target funding body guidelines (e.g. 8 pages for Medical Research Council project grant applications).

CVs, costings and impact summaries are not required.

The applicant's name should not be included anywhere on the scientific abstract, lay summary or the proposal, since the proposals will be evaluated anonymously. This includes references (e.g. “We have previously shown [Bloggs et al., 2011]…”). Any such references should be blanked out. However, in the registration email, it please state whether the application is for a grant or for a fellowship.

Prior to the grant writing workshop, each participant will be sent all of the applications to be considered at the relevant mock funding panel, with two proposals flagged to review in detail. These two proposals should be read carefully, since at the mock funding panel each participant will be required to "defend" one application, and act as a second opinion on the other, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. This will be followed by some discussion of the proposal, after which each mock panel member will score it independently. This process will ensure that every participant receives constructive feedback on their proposal. At the end of the mock funding panel, the scores will be collated and the panel will decide which proposal to "fund". Due to its interactive nature, all participants must commit to attending the entire grant writing workshop. The mock funding panels will be followed by a short feedback session, where refreshments will be provided.


Have questions about UCL Neuroscience Early Career Forum - Grant Writing Skills Talk and Workshop? Contact UCL Neuroscience Domain

When & Where

Anatomy G04 Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre
Medical Sciences and Anatomy
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom

Thursday, September 27, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (BST)

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UCL Neuroscience Domain


The UCL Neuroscience Early Career  Forum: 
One of the major aims of UCL Neuroscience Domain is to bring together the different branches of neuroscience within UCL together, to foster a more collective ethos. Thus far, this has primarily focussed at a senior level including the more senior Principal Investigators and Heads of Departments. While this has certainly begun to yield promising results with regard to grant applications and encouraging cross disciplinary action at the senior level, there has been less focus on more Early Career Neuroscientists (ECNs).

What do we hope to achieve? 
The UCL ECN Forum aims to provide opportunities for ECNs to meet their peers, to share ideas, experiences and initiate collaborations. It will also provide a platform for careers advice and the dissemination of information regarding jobs, training and funding opportunities.

Who are the ECNs? 
In the first instance the ECN Forum will cater for post-doctoral researchers and junior Principal Investigators. At a later date we may consider expanding the forum ( or setting up a separate initiative) to encompass PhD students.


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