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Seminar Review: How to get research funded and published

23 March 2018

Do you have a research idea you think could open new horizons in ophthalmology? Or do you need to finally publish your paper(s) and disseminate your findings? Do you desire to understand how to progress in an academic career, how to find funding or how to set up trials in your unit? Do you wish it was easier to present your idea to a panel of experts and get critique?

Then this is the course for you!

The day started with Mr Nigel Hall explaining what your reviewer would be looking for in your paper, and offering clear advice on how to review a paper well.

Professor Lotery then talked through the editorial process, sharing gems from his 16 years experience, the last 10 of which were as Editor in Chief of Eye. He went through some example submitted papers, the reasoning for the editorial assessment of them, and their final outcome.

During coffee delegates and hosts discussed their research interests and gleaned more advice. Followed by two delegates pitching their research plans. The panel and audience asked questions, pointed out areas that needed to be included, identified potential weak areas, and pointed out strengths that had not been fully shown.

After lunch Dr Helena Lee, fresh from her large grant success, led two sessions. The first looked at the NIHR career pathways and then moved to looking at the importance of Time Management in academia, including some audience application exercises. The second looked at grant and paper rejections and how to survive them, with strong support for resilience, adaptability and perseverance.

Professor Reeves then talked through clinical trials units and how they could support your grant application. He explained simply core methodological design and shared multiple tips from successful applications along with common errors. His clear portrayal of the funder’s viewpoint and requirements, and the need to win them with your persuasive ‘business case’ to evidence what you can do for them were illuminating.

The day concluded with 2 presentations by Mr Alex Shortt. Having applied to 2 top funding bodies for Intermediate Fellowships he had 2 interviews, then 2 offers. His grant writing and interview tips were priceless! He showed how to evidence in writing and in person the 3 Ps – right Person, right Project, right Place to do the research. He concluded with some tips on writing papers.

Should you attend the next time this seminar runs? Let’s properly equip ourselves to win big money for eye research, disseminate our findings and push the horizon of blindness ever further away for our patients.


Dr Jocelyn Cherry
Emergency Eye Fellow, Bristol Eye Hospital
Ophthalmic Epidemiology PhD Student, Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, University of Bristol