Helping Researchers Succeed
Research in Focus
Critical Friend Support, tailored to researchers by former funding staff
What We do
Critical Friend Coaching Support
Virtually, we sit alongside PIs and larger funding application teams, confidentially supporting proposal development. Most often that means we review fairly late stage draft proposals and mark these up with detailed and specific suggestions for improvement. We provide that objective but supportive view not long before submission when individuals/teams may have been working on the bid for so long that it can become difficult to “see the wood for the trees”.
In addition to supporting written bids we provide support for those preparing for funding interviews. Over a period of time prior to the interview we help interviewees to prepare and shape what they wish to say, prepare themselves mentally and conduct mock interviews all to enhance their performance.
We have authored a large number of REF impact case studies and continue to consult for the UK Research Councils on impact demonstration projects. Our strength comes from knowing the research community and having a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in impact demonstration; we often unearth impact where researchers thought there was none!
Training & Facilitation
We don’t just consult on a 1:1 basis, sometimes larger numbers of staff require more general knowledge to help prepare their bids. We run in-person training courses for ECRs, or those looking to apply for an individual fellowship or groups of researchers associated with learned societies with or without follow on 1:1 advice on outline proposals. We also develop agendas and facilitate research workshops such as sandpits to develop and refine new research projects or to solve research problems.
Why Choose Us
We Understand Research Funding
We don’t have a one size fits all solution. Often the same intervention suits lots of people so we have standard models but each project is different so we listen to your needs first, then make a proposal rather than offering a specific “product” which might not work for you.
We care about what we do, we really care! RiF was established as a mechanism to allow our founder to work on interesting projects not as a purely business enterprise. It has to keep the bank manager happy but ultimately we take on projects because we want to make a difference.
We have spent our whole careers working in the academic research field and know that good ideas don’t only happen within 9-5, Monday-Friday. We seek to be as responsive as possible whilst treating all our clients fairly.
What Our Clients Say?
“Just wanted to say a huge thanks to you […] was very impressed with your contribution and it really helped them to focus on key messages and reflect on areas less well thought through”.
“Thanks again Becky for all your help & advice, which I & colleagues found extremely valuable! I’ve fed this back to the … research & enterprise office, and recommended that they involve you as an adviser on other large/strategic bids”.