School Seminar: Support for research funding applications in CandC


In this talk, Maria will describe her take on preparing and supporting applications to funders, from an administrators pov and based on her previous experience.  She will discuss aspects of what considerations are needed in the run up to submitting an application, including choosing the right funder, particularly in the new world of UKRI and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, starting conversations, writing applications and practical consideration such as budgets.  This is not going to be a ‘this is how you should do it’ talk, given the successes that CandC already has had, and currently has in terms of research funding, but more of a discussion (interactive if possible) of what has been my previous experience in other successfully funded departments. 

As part of her role is horizon-scanning for funding and building collaborations within the OU between researchers from all of the Faculties, Maria would also like to draw your attention to the World Café event happening also on 17 January between 10 and 1 in Medlar and Juniper – if interested, please see the flyer attached and contact Phil Taverner in the RAS Office.


Maria Fernandez has been based in the School since September 2018 as the Digital Health Industrial Strategy Academic Support Manager  for The Open University.  She is a HEI administrator with over 14 years’ experience in awards application and management following 14 years biomedical research as an immunologist and a brief foray as an office manager for an independent estate agent.  Maria comes to us by way of Imperial College London, the University of Oxford and University College, London, having supported funding applications and award management predominantly in biomedicine (clinical and basic neuroscience) and, more recently, in civil engineering, transport and geomatics.  She has experience in supporting applications to, and managing contracts and awards with small and large UK, European and US funding bodies including government, research councils, charities, industry, foundations and philanthropic sources.  While her remit in post is University-wide, Maria is based in CandC and can provide comprehensive application assistance to CandC researchers and PIs, working in tandem with colleagues in STEM-REST and RAS.

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