Who are we?
In this highly competitive world there is a lot more to the application than just the quality of the research. There is a vast plethora of guidelines, books etc on what is required, however there is a vast difference between understanding what is required and having the experience and practice to achieve it.
Even with limited experience it is easy to criticise and identify gaps and weaknesses, however our modus operandi is always to provide you with the solutions – in terms of appropriate restructuring rephrasing, additional detail, argument and justification required to place your bid in front of the competition.
Grantcraft, a division of WRG Europe, specialise in writing and supporting European grant applications and tenders as well as providing administrative and management support services for ongoing projects. Over the last 25 years Grantcraft have worked extensively across Europe with a large number of universities, and research institutes as well as industrial firms, ranging from small SME’s to major international companies.
Since the early 1990s Grantcraft have been advising and supporting Universities, companies, and research institutions with their RCUK, EU, and other, grant applications and, since 2002, have been retained on a 24/7 basis across multiple institutions. Each institution have not only seen the number of applications substantially increased but, most importantly, the average success rate has risen to better than 1 in 3 against a European generalized average of 1 in 12.
In addition to running training workshops Grantcraft provide advice surgeries with academic staff members from all disciplines and work individually confidentially with each coordinator as projects are structured and prepared in order to optimize the applications from every aspect of the funding body’s perspective.
Dr Martin Pickard Managing Director
Dr Martin Pickard
From an initial academic career as a life scientist in a Russell Group University during the 1970’s Martin was invited to establish and lead an international group, supporting global research initiatives and translating research to worldwide markets, before establishing his own research based SME in the mid 1980’s. With an established very high research funding success rate increasing requests for help and support, from other researchers, SME’s and academia/industry in general, lead to the formation of Grantcraft (now the trading name of WRGEurope Ltd) in the early 1990’s.
Since then Martin has been highly successful in facilitating, supporting and implementing effective research engagement across the UK research councils and trusts as well as in European, and other, research projects from BRITE-EURAM and ESPRIT initially to H2020 to-date.
Having completed his Masters in Chemistry Chris was selected to complete a PhD under one of the UK’s leading academics. The success of this, together with experience of the industrial networking required, enabled Chris to join the Business Partnership unit of a top ten UK University. With team responsibilities for industrial liaison, knowledge transfer, IP management, public engagement and translation of research to market Chris was able to establish a key position in respect of the “business of research”. Since starting to work with WRGEurope Ltd in September 2014 Chris has become a major contributor to the success of our supported projects; particularly for RCUK and H2020 with an emphasis on pathways to impact and Pillar 2-Industrial leadership respectively.
Dr Chris Tuck Associate Director
Lucy Kender Research Facilitator
Since completing her MA in History Lucy has held roles at NPOs where she has specialised in outreach, public engagement and grant coordination and preparation. She has a wealth of experience in developing strategies to engage with key stakeholders – including social media. Additionally, she has developed and delivered numerous training programmes targeting subjects which include data evaluation techniques, audience development strategies, project management and administration. These roles have provided Lucy with experience in successfully completing a wide range of specialist funding applications.
Vicky completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology in 2007. She went on to take a leading role in a multi-partner, multi-disciplinary European Research project. This enabled her to develop key skills in project management, multi-agency coordination and cooperation, stakeholder and public engagement and supervision. Vicky has more recently worked extensively as a specialist consultant with a wide range of organisations and institutions on both a one-to-one and group basis. This has involved the provision of training on interview and presentation skills and the implementation of behavioral analysis and psychometric assessments during recruitment and development events. Vicky has experience of working across disciplines and sectors to obtain funding and conduct research.
Vicky Edkins Research Facilitator
The Grantcraft approach
Successful research applications all have one key element in common – they give the funder what they want. A rare few researchers are lucky and can do this naturally. Most are not, and as a result, have little chance of submitting competitive proposals.
This is where we come in.
Our approach, developed and refined over 20 years, is to meticulously and deliberately target the multiple elements that funders (and their corresponding reviewers) will mark favourably, whilst avoiding the typical mistakes and traps that other applicants fall into.
This does not mean simply addressing the key criteria of the call guidelines, as this – whilst important – will be common amongst all good applications and being “good” is never enough in these competitions.
The Grantcraft approach goes deeper – addressing everything from the overall strategic aims of the various funding bodies, the typical biases of the peer reviewers and panel members that will be responsible for assessing your proposal, how best to structure your proposal to ensure the reviewers are excited (hooked!) by your research from the first paragraph, how you can use building blocks of argument, detail, and justification throughout the document to ensure that confidence is inspired in the reviewers.
It is often commented that this “sales pitch” style of writing is very different to the scholarly narrative that most academics that we work with are used to, however when it is used correctly it is powerful. This is reinforced by our typical success rate which is greater than 1 in 3.
Of course, there is a world of difference between knowing how to prepare a successful application, and being able to go away and submit a competitive proposal without further practice. This is why, as well as our training workshops, we also offer ongoing 1 to 1 support (24/7) to help you optimise your applications. To illustrate how this works, everyone who attends a Grantcraft training session will be able to take advantage of our support for one research application – free of charge!
We know that researchers writing these applications are rarely limited to standard 9-5 hours, therefore it is a company policy that we are contactable any time – evenings and weekends are not a problem so feel free to pick up the phone and contact our team today!