I will solve X.
I will apply A to solve X.
I will try to solve X until I have a good idea.
I’m bound to have a good idea at some point.
I plan to have a good idea.
I have several ideas and one is bound to be good.
I have an indexed family of ideas, one of which must be good.
I once had a good idea.
I have an idea which I will investigate for goodness.
I have this fascinating idea that must be good for something.
I have an idea, here it is, and here’s why it’s good. But first let me tell you the background.
“I intend to solve X using idea Y”!
I like this one too:
X has been a major problem since the beginning of time. Y, Z, and T have been tried to solve it, but little progress has been made, and we are stuck with X.
Recently, in the context of V, the use of W has shown great success. Could W be the missing ingredient for solving X? Although this is a plausible and intriguing possibility, a number of technical issues (A,B, and C) need to be addressed before applying W to X.
A simple recipe for a successful proposal, applies to industry-relate:
What is the problem?
How will you solve it?
How will you solve it?
How strong is your team and approach?
And her is a bit longer, but still brief explanation of how to write a successful grant application
In one sentence state the aim. Must read as: “I intend to solve X using idea Y”.
Describe what exactly, not generally, has been done already by other people trying to achieve your aim.
What exactly are yet unresolved issues and problems.
What exactly is the innovation (brilliant idea) of this of this proposal?
A “try and learn” approach is not good enough because of low feasibility?
Detail the methods and approach to execute that innovation and achieve your objectives.
Timeline / Gantt chart with 3-5 objectives detailing how the aim will be achieved.
Well costed budget.
Well-designed tasks for all participants.
Description of challenges and weaknesses, problems and potential issues of the proposed innovative approach and how they will be resolved.
Do not leave to a chance that the project is feasible just because of applicant’s past achievements.
Benefit and significance
What knowledge will be improved exactly?
Why the selected specific problem is significant compared to other problems?
How exactly (quantified, in numbers) the outcomes of this proposal are going to provide benefits and to who?
What exactly and by how much exactly something will be improved?
Quantitatively, in numbers estimated by you or others, what exactly economic, commercial, environmental, social / cultural benefits will be provided?
How specific products, applications, researchers, businesses, or mums and dads in Joondalup will benefit?
Cost effectiveness and value for money.
Investigators and team
Previous successful projects (especially top category 1 grants)
Strong research leadership/management, mentoring students
Do not list outputs, list impacts, detail why and how the contribution is outstanding.
CI’s research impact numbers must create an impression of outstanding, not just average, impact in the field.
Research environment, existing, supportive, high quality for both the project and PHD students. How exactly University supports you and your research area? Lab resources / Technical skills / Personnel available.
Independent external national/international reviews
What are the outputs not inputs? Not the grants received, but what have you done with the grant money? Create confidence in timely and successful completion.
High profile "stars" FTs, Fls, SPRFs, Fellows of societies, Editors major journals.
Recognised national/international centre.
High profile International visitors. Previous successful collaborations. Industry partners
Teaching or Services
National and international collaborations.
CIs from two independent institutions provide a backup plan and strengthen the proposal. CI skillset must be complimentary, not overlapping. If international partner is required, then why national partner is not good enough? Team must have high impact record.
CI must not just lead, coordinate, oversee or supervise, but do some of the actual work in the lab.
Explain why CI’s are world leaders in their expertise area? Why no one else has so deep experience that they have? Track record must explain the capability to achieve objectives (not aim).
PDH stipends should be provided by the host institution, since Australia pays for it anyway.
How significant are these impacts compared to others?
Link to CIs public researcher profile + link to ORCID.
Better be a well explained sole investigator, than a team who have not really demonstrated significant expertise yet. They may have fewer publications, or ones that are not directly related to the topic.
Never write bullshit sentences which are too general, be specific.
When the researchers have recently struck gold (discovered something new and important) during their past research, and now they want to follow their gold seam and keep harvesting exciting results, then the grant is funded.
Out-of-the-box, risky, but innovative ideas must have the demonstrated evidence.