How to prepare for your Wellcome funding interview


So, you’ve been invited
for an interview at Wellcome. Here are some tips to help you prepare. Read your invitation email carefully and ensure that you understand
exactly what is being asked of you. Think carefully about what you want to say and how you want to come across in your interview. If your invitation says you’re
giving a formal presentation, you’ll usually be given a time limit so you’ll need to explain your work
in a concise and compelling way. If you’re not giving a formal presentation, you should still be prepared to
talk for a minute or two on your project. Your application will have been sent for written
review by relevant experts. You can read their comments beforehand and
decide how to respond to them in the interview. The interview is your opportunity to show
that you are proposing a project which is novel, feasible and has impact. You should be able to: – Provide a concise, jargon-free summary of
your research and why it’s important. Include any literature updates since your
application, if relevant. – Put your proposal into context.
How will it advance knowledge? What are its wider ramifications? – Demonstrate your understanding
of any possible problems and that you’re taking the
panel’s comments on board. – Show that you’re prepared
for any eventuality. What’s your plan B? – Have a solid understanding of what collaborators
in different disciplines will be working on, their approach and techniques. – Be prepared to talk about how your work sits
within your own portfolio of funding, any competitors or contentious areas. – Demonstrate that you’re
the person to do this work and address comments from reviewers. The panel will have questions
on your written proposal, your presentation and
the comments from reviewers. Practice your presentation and your answers
in front of colleagues at different levels, taking their criticisms into account. It’s important to answer
clearly and concisely. If you don’t understand
what’s being asked, it’s better to ask the panel
to repeat the question than to answer incorrectly. You can find out who will probably be on the
panel by looking at our website. Members are chosen for their specific expertise
and broader research experience. They will have read your proposal and the
comments from reviewers. They’ll be rigorous, but also fair and
considerate in their questioning. So, you’re fully prepared and you’re waiting
to be called into the interview room. Remember: you deserve to be there. The panel are all researchers who have been
in similar situations themselves. They’re enthusiastic about proposals
and the people behind them. Good luck. Learn more at: wellcome.ac.uk/funding

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