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Responding to Calls for Funding in Psychology - Assessment Guide

This assessment requires you to submit a response to one of the 'calls for funding'. This will be divided into 5 sections (summary, method, ethical considerations, research impacts and resource needs).

Intended learning outcomes for the assessment

• Demonstrate a critical awareness of the moral, theoretical and practical issues underlying the professional practice of psychology. 

• Generate appropriate research questions with limited guidance. 

Other skills and competencies

On completion of this assessment students will be able to:

• Plan research projects

• Consider wider ethical issues in research 

• Measure impact and outcomes of a research project 

Marking scheme, criteria or rubric

Level 5 marking scheme

Links to Supporting Materials

Further support for this assessment can be found in the Assessment Guide. 

Week 7: Choosing a call

please choose one of the calls detailed in the assessment guidelines and write your coursework as if you are responding to one of them.Some call topics are more prevalent than others: health, wellbeing, improving things or finding benefits.  

Exploring the calls (Practical 7 will do this with you):

  • Read through the information below and choose three or four calls to explore further.
  • For those calls, click on the link and find out more.  Key questions you should explore include:
  • What is the call asking for?Does it want projects that address a particular problem?  Does it want projects that are at a particular stage? Does it want particular methods or participants?
  • Who is the organisation putting out the call?  If they are a charity, what is their mission statement or purpose?  If they are a business what are their products? If they are an organisation handing out government funding, what is their remit or scope?
  • What kind of projects have they funded in the past? Can you find any past projects that were successfully funded?  What type of research was that?
  • Are there any limits or exclusions?  Throughout your reading, pay attention to anything that explicitly states what they are not interested in (method, interventions, research aims).  This normally means that they are turning away lots of applications on that topic, and they don’t want any more applications.
  • For each of the calls you have explored, write down a draft project outline.  Make note of:
  • Overall research question/aim for the project
  • Separate work packages, with their own aims, methods.
  • Questions/issues/problems that you are not yet sure about.
  • Keep these notes – you will choose one of these to work on in more detail.

Your need to:

Once you have explored all the calls, and drafted some of your thoughts, you need to choose one. Enter this in your assignment pro-forma cover page.

Week 8: Drafting your project

We will skip the title and lay summary.  These are both best completed once you have worked out what you project includes (we come to these in week 10).  The next step is to plan a skeleton or framework for your project.  You have chosen a call detailed in the assessment guidelines.  You now need to plan the proposal as if you are responding to one of them.  For this Week you are aiming to have a clear idea of the overall project, and the component parts.  You can to this ‘top-down’ or ‘bottom-up’.


  • Start with an overall idea of the what the whole project aim will be.  This could be informed by reading the call information, your prior understanding of this topic, or personal insight into the research topic.
  • Break this overall aim down into component parts.  Do you need to do any exploratory research first?  Are there existing data sets or a literature that might be usefully explored?  Is there an experiment here in terms of quantifying the impact of a variable on something that can be measured?  For all the ideas that occur to you, jot these down as ideas for work packages.
  • You may need to do this in parts – with one package being a primary strand of research, and the other being preparatory, complementary or a follow-up.  


  • Start with individual work package ideas as they come to you.  In response to reading the call for funding, you may have ideas of research work packages.  For all the ideas that occur to you, jot them down as ideas.
  • Think around the work packages that you have.  If one package is a primary strand of research, are there other potential work packages that would be preparatory, complementary or a follow-up?  If so, note these down.
  • Once you have some work packages drafted, take a step back from them and think what the overall project is offering – what is the overall aim?

With either approach

  • Go back to the materials from week 7 and rethink ways of combining research methodologies to achieve effect mixed methods research.  Does one of those circumstances match your project or give you ideas?
  • Go back to the slides from week 8 on research methodologies and think if one of those can be used for your project to add value to it?
  • Go back to the call for funding and check the things they were looking for.  Have you delivered on these?  If not, how can the work packages be changed to better align with the call?

 Some tips:

  • This is just an outline –don’t write in full but make lots of notes. Include web links and papers that you read along the way.
  • Keep a note of all your ideas, even if they are incomplete.  That is fine.  Later you can choose which ones to keep and which to improve on.
  • You are encouraged to use content you have already been taught: refer back to lectures and handouts for background and citations; refer to papers for methods and how to collect data; refer to the call for funding for examples of other projects.


You need to:

Put an ‘Elevator pitch’ summary of your ideas


Method outline.

Overall Project

Research question:

Link with the call:

Literature/references you will draw on:

For each work package (include at least two, but more could be useful at this planning stage):

Research question:




Outcome for the project:


Elevator Pitch

Your Elevator Pitch should summarise you outline. Elevator Pitch proposals are 3-4 sentences, including:

• The research goal,

• Key methods details, 

• The primary outcome or value of the work

 Week 9: Completing your project

Some tips:

  • Take stock of your feedback.  You don’t have to take it all on board, but the feedback of others is useful for understanding things that are not yet clear.
  • You are going to need to be concise here.  Make sure all your words are providing something extra and you don’t repeat yourself.
  • Include at least one paragraph for project aims and links to call, one paragraph for some background literature, one paragraph per work package.  You aren’t going to be able to write out methods in full.
  • Go back to the outline from Week 8 and make sure you have included all the essential details.
  • Cite relevant literature to support your decisions.  There is no word-count on the reference list, and it is good practice to use methods that others have used before you.
  • If you are in any doubt about the best way to do something, find out how someone else has done it from a published paper.
  • Make it clear how your proposal links back to the call.  The best way to do this is to use words that are also used in the call.
  • Be consistent in your use of terminology throughout.  Choose the labels you are using, and don’t change them.

Your need to:

Following feedback and reading of the literature, make edits to the outline from Week 8 and write the research proposal up.


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