Max Hamilton Research Fund
Question Specific Advice
Most requests to Max Hamilton that are declined, fail because they are inadequately prepared and do not reflect the applicant's expertise and ability to carry out the project's objectives. Common mistakes are that the application is incorrectly completed, or that the proposal is written. With these in mind, this guidance intends to assist applicants in putting together a good application to the fund.
Questions 1-4 (name, position, address, study) - self-explanatory.
Question 5 (please provide an outline of your research - within one side of A4)
What you need to aim for is a well-written, well-targeted proposal. It is important to write clearly, as those assessing applications will usually be pushed for time. Never assume that the assessor(s) know your work. Most assessors will not specialise in your area of research, though they will have some idea of the general field. Everything you can do to help them understand your application will benefit you.
The best projects are usually small with a direct, measurable impact, which can be considered a success. The most important things are that you are addressing a proven need, and that your aims and objectives are clear and realistic. A project that is achievable, useful, and focused will show the committee that it has been well planned and organised.
Make sure the outline is well structured and explains your whole case; providing a well-formulated problem, why it's important, why you will succeed, evidence that you know about the work others have done, and so on. It is helpful to include a plan in the outline showing what you expect to achieve by when. If you have any statistics that help prove your project is needed, then include these in the outline too. Make it clear what stage you are at in conducting the project.
In terms of writing style, aim for clarity of language, purpose and structure. Be concise and avoid technical jargon and acronyms, always providing simple definitions of specialised terms.
Question 5 (outline your need for financial support)
Budgeting is a critical element of a proposal, and conveys whether you have the capacity to manage and account for monies. A well thought out budget helps to create confidence in the proposal generally. Your budget needs to justify the funds for which you are applying. You can learn to put a budget together at this kind of level by doing it. It isn’t necessary to have specialist knowledge or vast previous experience.
Income: Prepare clear details of incoming monies, for example other funds that you have successfully applied to, money offered by the organisation hosting your research, etc.
Applications from D.Clin trainees must cite the research budgets and yearly amount accessible – all of this amount must have been spent/committed before applying to this fund. DClins must indicate why they can’t use their research grant to cover the costs of their research if this is the case. Just putting “There’s no other source of funding available” is not enough.
Outgoings: A simple way to prepare the outgoings is to write out a 'shopping list' - an itemised account of everything that you will need to purchase, hire, and spend money on. Be as detailed as possible. For example, rather than put an entry like “tapes = £33” make sure to give more detail, for example “60-minute Sony superior quality audio cassette = £5.50 per cassette x 6 cassettes'.
Distinguish between your expenditure so far (what have you used any previously obtained funds or your research budget for?), and the proposed further expenses for which you are applying to Max Hamilton.
Don't exaggerate how much funding you will need - but do not underestimate it either.
Double and triple check your budget.
Question 6 (what other sources of support have you explored)
Detail any other funding applications you have made that you are awaiting the results of (making it clear that you are waiting to hear).
List any other suitable funds that you know of as possibilities for applying to.
DClins should state they have exhausted their DClin research budget allowance (if they have not then they should not be applying to Max Hamilton).
Make sure that you commit to meeting these three conditions before signing.
If your circumstances change during the course of the application or immediately after sending it off, inform Denise Womersley immediately.
Have someone read over your application before you submit it. This is helpful for picking up on typographical errors, but is also useful for making sure that your application makes sense and that there are no gaps. If there are any points that your proof-reader does not understand, rewrite the section so it cannot be misunderstood.