Academic Toolkit - ACT!

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Pre-PhD preparation
Funding application

Project outline

Start 9 months before funding application deadline and complete by 6 months before funding application deadline

You should create two summaries; one which is suitable for a layperson with no previous medical experience and one which is suitable for a scientific audience.

Make sure the summary intended for a layperson is not patronising or over-simplified, but ensure you are not using jargon.

Ensure you communicate:
1 - impact
2 - why the project is novel
3 - why the project is timely
4 - why you/your research group are the right people to undertake this project.


1. Send your lay abstract to non-medical friends for review and encourage feedback.

2. The Academy of Medical Sciences have created a useful guide on how to compose a lay summary.

3. Circulate your scientific abstract to relevant medical and academic colleagues for review. Encourage both positive and negative feedback - increased awareness of areas for improvement and limitations is more useful at this stage rather than from your reviewer post-submission!

4. It is worth thinking about what you will want to report once you have completed the research.  The Equator network have guidelines for what SHOULD be reported for different types of studies.

Equator Network guidelines External link

Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research: guidelines for how to report research in a standardised manner

Preliminary data
Impact statement
Data management plan
Collect collaborator contributions
Collect collaborator costings
Gantt chart
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