Grant development

Grant development

Discover the internal support available to colleagues planning research grant proposals to external funders. 

Grant application support

Our experienced Research Development Executives (RDEs) support researchers across all Schools to develop and submit competitive proposals to a wide range of UK and international funders. 

RDEs are the first point of contact for researchers planning new grant applications and are well networked across the University, working closely with other sections including Information Governance and Digital Research to support grant development. RDEs can advise on areas including:

  • Confirming eligibility;
  • Compliance with funder application requirements;
  • Bid development support;
  • Developing a budget;
  • Preparing a narrative CV;
  • Planning for impact;
  • Pre-application due diligence (Trusted Research, Export controls, legal and contractual queries);
  • Non-technical aspects of proposals;
  • Assist with letters of support;
  • Bid submission.

Information on the support offered is available on Applying for a research grant.

Please make early contact with your Research Development Executive ahead of your call deadline in order to benefit from this support.

Fellowship and ECR support

Our Grants Academy fellowship and early career researcher-focussed support includes career-stage training and events focused on specific research funding opportunities and complements activities on career planning delivered by the Researcher Development team.

Colleagues interested in applying for an independent fellowship are encouraged to engage with the University of Aberdeen Fellowship Support Process.

Funder mock panels

The Grants Academy periodically run mock UKRI panel sessions, usually targeted at early career researchers these provide an opportunity to understand how UKRI panels operate and funding decisions are made.

Our mock panels are interactive and participants are encouraged to assume certain roles and participate in discussion on a selection of grant proposals comprising examples of previously funded and rejected bids.

Library of successful applications

The Grants Academy maintain a library of successful grants awarded to University researchers where we have permission for these to be shared on a strictly confidential basis with other University staff.

The library mainly comprises applications to UKRI, the British Academy, the Chief Scientist Office, Leverhulme Trust and the Royal Society. However, researchers applying to other funders should still get in contact as it may be possible for other funded examples to be provided. In some cases examples of particular sections of applications such as Justification of Resources and Data Management Plans can be provided.

To access the library please contact your Research Development Executive contact.

Mock interviews

The Grants Academy will arrange mock interviews for researchers invited to interview as part of the funder's award process. Funders often give limited notice and in the vast majority of cases mock interviews can be arranged in the available timeframe.

Mock interviews are run according to the funder’s format and researchers are given verbal and written feedback to help preparation for the actual interview.

Planning for impact

Impact is the demonstrable benefit of academic research to society and the economy and can include effects on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy, health environment or quality of life, beyond academia.

You can also find useful guidance via the University’s Impact Toolkit, including tips on planning engagement or knowledge exchange activities relevant to your target audience, incorporating steps for evaluation or reflection into activities or events to help you focus your efforts and tips on costing activities to maximise your project’s potential for impact.

Please contact the Impact and Knowledge Exchange team to discuss ways to embed routes to impact into your application. We strongly encourage you to get in touch as early as possible.

Rebuttal support

Researchers are encouraged to share any external reviewer comments received with their Research Development Executive contact and peer reviewers for support in crafting a rebuttal. Usually only a few days are made available by funders for a response – please contact your Research Development Executive as soon as you receive funder feedback for assistance.

A library of rebuttals is being assembled and will be available to colleagues in due course.