Grant Application Toolkit

Guidance for researchers writing a grant application for research into asthma

Applying for funding can be daunting and frustrating. The process is intensely competitive, each funder has its own way of assessing applications, and it‘s not always obvious what funders are looking for.

Researchers told us they spent one day a week preparing applications. This is how to maximise this time. 

Save time and improve the odds of being funded

We want more asthma research to get funded, so have produced a toolkit to help researchers navigate this process. We can’t influence the science or how funders assess applications, but we can explain what, apart from great science, makes a great application. And we can explain how to tailor your application to each funder.

Funders’ own tips

We talked to funders about the application process, and they told us asthma applications generally do well, scoring high in initial sifts and at peer review. But they often fall at the last hurdle – the final panel – and often for similar reasons.

We’ve turned this funders’ feedback into a toolkit where you’ll find advice on application forms, peer review and finance, and what different funders are looking for at each stage of your application.

Find out more about:

What funders are looking for

Understanding what funders are trying to achieve with their overall research portfolio, what types of research they will fund to achieve this and what level of risk they are willing to take is essential. Choosing the right funder and grant is an important decision. Getting it wrong could seriously damage your chances before you have even started writing. Make sure you research funders carefully to get a good understanding of what funders are looking for.

Read our full guidance on what funders are looking for

Common mistakes made

We surveyed researchers to find out the most common reasons given for unsuccessful applications and then spoke to the funders about how to address these.

Read our full page on common mistakes

What to think about before you apply

Before you start writing the application, research the funder in depth. Look at their funding strategy and find out what they want to achieve. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how can make your research appeal to them. After this, contact the funder themselves and talk to them about what they are looking for.

Read our full guidance on preparing for your application

How to write the application

This page contains advice on how to make your application appealing to funders. It contains advice on demonstrating impact, methods, financing and controlling for risks. All of these different aspects must link together to create a detailed and exciting picture of your research.

Read our full guidance on writing an application

The review process

The review process used will vary according to funder and grant type, but some general principles apply to all funding rounds. Here we explain the review process, and who will be involved in it, and give some hints and tips about interviews and what to do if you are unsuccessful. 

Read our full page on the review process