Are you ready for the challenge? Scientific software ideas wanted! – Catalyst Grant

Scientific software ideas wanted – 10 tips to impress the catalyst grant panel


Scientific research is one of most challenging areas in which professors/scientists are expected to spend most of their time pursuing research in a particular area of interest, write grants and guide students and staff with their research. Whereas, students are expected to be up-to-date with their research focus, plan, conduct experiments, analyze the data and present them in a meaningful way.

There is a need to conduct research in an efficient way, wherein the scientific tools help achieve those challenging tasks for researchers. Fortunately, there have been increasing number of software tools and technologies to solve these problems, allowing researchers to spend more of their time on what they really care about—their research.

Digital Science offers Catalyst Grants of up to £15,000 ($25,000), with the aim of supporting original, early-stage software ideas that further scientific research.

So did you ever think of developing a tool to make the life easier for researchers? Here is your opportunity! Apply for the Catalyst Grant by 30 June 2016 to grab the funding and make your idea a reality!

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Credit: Digital Science

Here are top tips for a successful application

1. Be clear about your idea and concept

There is nothing worse than reading an application that is long and rambling. Be concise about what your idea is and how it works. The total proposal should be no more than 1,500 words. Be sure to include a clear elevator pitch—could you summarise your concept in one tweet?

2. Are you solving a problem in science/research?

What challenge does your idea solve—and is it really a problem? Think, “why should anyone care?” Better yet, offer an explanation of how your idea could benefit scientific research.

3. Sell yourself—what is your story?

Tell all about your experience and your educational background. Explain why the idea is important to you or how it came to you.

4. Think carefully about your budget

How exactly will you spend the funds? They want to see clear budget breakdowns. You don’t have to apply for the full amount. Be realistic and spend the time researching the costs.

5. We prefer open ideas

As a company, Digital Science lives to invest in ideas that are open, rather than proprietary. Think about how your idea can help the community.

6. Do you have any competitors?

Market research that includes a vigorous look at your competitors is a must. It is easy to say “we have no competitors” but it is probably not true. If your solution really addresses a current problem, how are people getting around it now? If they’re fixing it themselves, then that’s your competitor!

7. Be realistic, but be passionate too

Digital Science backs people who are pragmatic, but also strongly devoted to their vision. That passion convinces us that you will have the strength to overcome the inevitable failures and challenges that come with building something new.

8. Think about your potential customers

Investigate the market and get to know more about your potential customers. Great products only succeed with a strong understanding of the end user.

9. Check out past winners

Do your research and watch the videos from past winners, and read Digital Science blog posts.

10. Spend time on your application

Dedicate time to your application, don’t rush it. Digital Science wants to see your dedication, and hopefully the time will be worth it in the end!


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