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Applicant guidance notes for BSI Career Enhancing Grant

Aims of this grant scheme

The BSI Career Enhancing Grant is a pilot scheme designed to assist the career prospects of BSI members by providing funding for a wide range of activities and initiatives that will build their skillset and boost future employability. Through this scheme, we aim to provide more intensive support, across sectors, for networking, skills acquisition, ‘pump-prime’ activity and activities that aid transition between sectors. These grants aim to provide flexible financial support to members for activities that will enhance their careers. Examples of projects this grant scheme aims to fund includes: 

  • Fund pilot projects/proof of concept data to aid future research grant applications
  • Purchase equipment to help you further your research
  • Lab placements or visits to allow you to learn a new technique
  • Training courses to build your skillset e.g. leadership courses or higher education teaching courses
  • Internship/secondment to a role in another sector, e.g. science communications 

The BSI aims for this new grant to support members in all sectors of immunology. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equality and inclusion, and thereby welcomes applications from individuals of all backgrounds.  If you have an idea for funding but are not sure whether it’s covered by this grant scheme or not, please email careers@immunology.org to discuss.  

Value

The grant can be from £100 up to £5,000 with a strong justification required for the level of funding being requested.  

Timeline

There will be two application deadlines per year. The first application deadline is 23:59 BST on Monday 20 September 2021.  All applicants will be notified on the outcome of their application by early November. 

Who can apply?

  • You must have been a member of the BSI for at least 9 months prior to the application deadline of the grant round applied to
  • You must be in good standing with your BSI membership subscription when applying and receiving the grant
  • This pilot scheme is only open to UK-based BSI members from paying categories of membership. Undergraduate members are not eligible to apply. 
  • Applications are open to academic members who do not have a faculty position or personal fellowship (or comparable appointment) and to non-academic applicants who are equal to or less than 15 years post-BSc (or equivalent qualification)
  • You may only apply for one BSI Career Enhancing Grant within a 12-month period

Information about completing the application form

  • Applications should be sent to careers@immunology.org.  You will need to send through a completed application form and your CV (max. 2 sides). Applications for £1,000 or more should also include a letter of support from a relevant referee to confirm your suitability for the proposed activity/project.
  • For applications up to £999, no referee letter of support is needed unless specifically requested by the review panel.
  • As part of the application, the applicant will be required to describe the project/activity in detail, how it will progress their career and how it will be evaluated
  • Applicants need to provide a full budget breakdown of specific costs involved with the project/activity
  • When completing sections 6 and 7 of the application form concerning rationale, impact & evaluation, the information you supply should be proportionate to the grant amount requested in terms of length and detail. 
  • The section 7 on the application form ‘impact and evaluation’ should be used to highlight i) the short-term learning you think you will gain from the project/activity and the effectiveness of it and ii) the longer-term impact of the project/activity on your career plans. 

Grant criteria

Grants are made by competition and assessed by our dedicated grant panel, chaired by BSI Education & Careers Secretary, Dr Donald Palmer.  Applications are reviewed against the following criteria:

  • There is clear benefit to the applicant in how this grant will further their career, both in the short and longer term
  • Full and reasonable costings are provided
  • A clear, concise and relevant rationale for undertaking the project/activity
  • A letter of support from a manager/ principal investigator/relevant individual for grants of £1,000 or more


Key information for grant holder

  • Grant holders will be required to use the grant within 12 months of receiving the grant letter (unless with prior agreement with the BSI office). 
  • Grant holders will be required to report on impact formally within three months after the end of the grant . As well as a short report, this will also include completing a feedback survey to assist us in assessing this pilot scheme. More information will be provided to successful applicants.
  • When applying for a grant, applicants should be aware of the timeline and, for the first grant round, should not apply for any project/activity that takes place before the second week of November 2021. 

Other terms and conditions

  • This grant should not be used to apply for funding to go to a scientific conference – applications of this nature should be directed to the BSI’s Conference Travel Grant scheme.  Similarly, this grant should not be used to apply for funding to attend BSI events such as BSI Congress or BSI Regional and Affinity Group events as these have their own grant schemes to support attendance. 
  • If the grant is used for research purposes, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all relevant approvals (e.g. ethics, animal licenses) etc are in place as required. 
  • The grant recipient will comply with the law and generally accepted and appropriate health and safety standards.
  • The grant recipient shall not knowingly do anything which will or is intended to adversely affect the name or reputation of the BSI.
  • All activities/projects funded must adhere to the relevant current UK and/or devolved nations coronavirus guidance as appropriate. 
  • Some activities funded by this grant scheme may involve national and/or international travel. We expect recipients to adhere all relevant coronavirus guidance both from the UK and/or devolved nations and from the government of the country you are visiting. This includes the UK and/or devolved nation travel guidance, covering the period of the trip for the country you wish to visit. It also includes adhering to guidance imposed by your host country for the duration of your visit.  We reserve the right not to fund activities that involve travel to countries that are currently on the UK travel red list.
  • If your grant involves travel, the BSI will not accept any liability to the grant recipient or to any third party for any costs, claims, damages or losses that are incurred due to the need to quarantine either when arriving in your destination country, during your visit or when arriving back into the UK or any other costs relating to the travel placement.
  • Grants cannot be awarded retrospectively.  You should not apply for a grant in this scheme for any activity that takes place earlier than second week in November 2021. 
  • The BSI’s decision shall be final.  Incomplete applications will be rejected

Liability

The BSI will not accept any liability to the grant recipient or to any third party for any costs, claims damages or losses, however they are incurred.

Data protection and privacy:

We take your data security extremely seriously. We keep it safe, treat it with respect and we will never sell or share your data to any third parties for marketing purposes. To find out more information you can read our Privacy Policy and Data Protection Policy on our website. If you have any queries, please contact dp@immunology.org.