NDM seeks to facilitate the advancement of its staff and offers support to those applying for Fellowships. This support may include mock peer interviews, access to resources, reviewers and dedicated grants teams.
To help us better understand where support is most effective, all Divisions of NDM are asked to complete a return on Fellowship data, with information on sucess rates, support routes and awarding body feedback. The Top Tips listed below are part of this return, and we would encourage anyone seeking to submit a fellowship application to consider these recommendations.
Those who have applied for a fellowship have been asked for their top tips on how to make a successful application. This is what they have said:
- Look at previous applications by successful candidates.
- Read evaluation summary reports of previously submitted applications.
- Be detailed and don’t be afraid to sell yourself (e.g., in ‘international experience’ mention not only your research visits, but all invited talks abroad, conferences, international teaching, all ongoing international collaborations; under ‘publications’ go beyond first author).
- Get an experienced colleague to look over the application before submission.
- Seek out good mentors, specifically senior scientists with experience on panels. Make sure you book time to meet with them well in advance of the deadlines, and most importantly listen and respond to their advice.
- Read Guide for Applicants very thoroughly (multiple times).
- Make sure to tick every relevant box in the application (including impact and implementation).
- Work as closely as possible with your supervisors on the application to get as much support during this process as possible.
- Follow the hints and tips provided by the university.
- Make yourself fully aware of the application process and make sure that you are prepared well in advance of the deadline. Allow plenty of time.
- Get a time line from your unit administration/grants team for when drafts/applications need to be submitted internally. It can take longer than you think for some supervisors to prepare letters of support or other relevant material so give them plenty of time to do this.
- Tailor your application in line with the scope of the fellowship.
- In your project, show your independence from your previous supervisors and point out explicitly on your application why this makes your work distinct from theirs and how it will provide you with a niche.
- Get advice on what to expect in the interview from as many senior/experienced people as you can.
- Contact your Unit’s administration/grants team as soon as possible and keep in regular touch with them.
- Have a clear idea of what it is you want to do in the fellowship, and how and why you want to do it. This makes answering the questions in all parts of the application form much easier.
- If applicable, take advantage of the offer of mock peer interviews.
- The online portals for applications can be temperamental so always try and submit before the deadline so there is time to deal with any issues.
Additional Support and Resources for Researchers
The University provides a wide breadth of information and resources to support researchers.
The Medical Sciences Division have launched their new Researchers’ Toolkit (www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/resources) – a set of new webpages bringing together information about divisional and central resources and support services, organised for easy browsing, and including a useful A-Z list.
Research funding news and information service
The University has taken up a trial subscription to additional features in Research Professional, the online funding database. The ‘News’ and ‘Funding Insight’ modules provide access to research policy and funding news, PDFs of Research Fortnight and Research Europe magazines, know-how articles on funders and funding programmes (including GCRF), and information on past award winners. Funding Insight is particularly useful for researchers new to the UK and early career researchers. Research Professional is available free of charge to all University members. For more information visit the Research Support website.
You may also wish to view our NDM website pages on Researcher Development. We have created this section of the department website to set out some of the ways in which you can seek support for your development and to signpost you to additional sources of help.
We would encourage you to consider mentoring as a means to support your continued development. For more details on the various different schemes on offer please click here.