How the toolkit can help you - EPSRC

The development landscape for healthcare technologies can be complicated. The journey from bench to end user application can be long and the pitfalls for new technologies are many. Successfully traversing this landscape requires preparation and an understanding of those challenges unique to the healthcare sector.

This toolkit aims to:

  • draw attention to some of the issues associated with each topic and why they’re important
  • suggest things you may wish to consider when preparing your proposal
  • highlight resources you can ask for as part of your EPSRC application
  • direct you to where you can find more information.

By considering the topics in this toolkit and how they might influence and shape your research, you can increase:

  • the quality of your research
  • your chances of having your proposal funded
  • the likelihood that your ideas will have a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

Our expectations of you

The process of developing an idea from inception through to a final product or service is hugely complex and can seem overwhelming.

Identify and engage with the right people

We expect applicants to identify and engage the right people to deliver impact from your research but we do not expect you to do everything yourself, or become an expert in everything.

We fully recognise that many academics do not want to be the ones to take technologies through the whole journey from novel idea to commercial product, and that’s okay. What’s important is knowing when and how to bring in the right people with the right skills to address the relevant topics.

As it is often unlikely that you will be the one who’s going to take the research forward to its ultimate application, we ask that you consider how you can ensure a smooth transition to the people that will.

Develop a high level understanding of relevant topics

We expect applicants to develop a high level understanding of the topics relevant to their research but we do not expect you to know everything before applying.

While considering these topics will help you prepare a better proposal, you do not need to have a comprehensive understanding of them before you start. You can request funds to upskill during a project. The most important thing when preparing a proposal is to know what you know, what you do not know and what you will need to know in the future.

Address what is relevant to your proposal

We expect that many of the topics raised in the toolkit will be relevant to your project but we do not expect that all aspects of the toolkit will be relevant to every project.

While it’s worth considering how a specific topic relates to a project, you only need to address the relevant areas as part of a proposal.

For instance, while we expect all proposals should incorporate some degree of stakeholder engagement, it is possible that fewer proposals will require significant resources dedicated to responsible innovation.

This toolkit will be most relevant to projects that seek to apply the outcomes of more fundamental or underpinning work to a healthcare challenge.

Address topics according to the stage of development

We expect that projects will include appropriate activities to enhance the likelihood that impact will arise from the research but we do not expect topics to be addressed completely in your project.

Many of the topics in this toolkit are things you should consider throughout your project, but some of them will not and should not be completely addressed during the project.

Your treatment of topics should be proportionate to the stage of development. Nobody expects that you will have a fully formed exploitation strategy, even by the end of your project. Similarly it would be odd to suggest your technology will address a specific condition, but not have plans to engage with relevant end users.

Be prepared for further reading and research

We expect this toolkit to provide a basic introduction to some key topics but we do not expect this toolkit to tell you everything you need to know.

Many of these topics are very complex and developing a good working understanding will require further reading and research.

You can gain some of this additional understanding by referring to the supplementary information linked in the toolkit. But in many cases the best people to advise on these topics will be more experienced colleagues, collaborators and expert research office staff within your institution. We have provided resources within this toolkit to establish appropriate links.

Understand the funding landscape

Before you do anything else, you should read our page describing the funding landscape. This explains why it is important that you consider the toolkit topics right from the beginning of your project.

Read about the funding landscape.

Last updated: 17 August 2021

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