Getting funding for a PhD and being a graduate student
Video clip: Eleanor won a Fellowship from her hospital and then applied to the MRC for a Clinical Research Training Fellowship, which funded her DPhil. She was determined to find funding.
So then when did you actually start to do any research?
So after, after the end of that Registrar year I decided I wanted to invest properly in academic, you know medicine, and actually one of the really hard transition points is getting started. It’s actually moving off the standard medical track into, into research and getting that initial period of funding is a really difficult stepping stone. And the Royal Free Hospital at that time had these one year fellowships that, that allowed you to get one year of research experience, and I competed for that. I was successful in that and that was my first year and that allowed you to get some data to then to start, then to apply for more substantive you know funding. So after that I applied through the MRC for a Clinical Training Fellowship, and that’s when I got my training for my DPhil at that point.
You got the funding for three years?
So then I got three years funding.
Do you want to say anything about making that application? It’s quite, I mean young researchers it’s one of the most difficult things for them as you’ve just said is getting that money.
Do you want to say anything about writing fellowships?
Well I think, I think you’ve got to be very, very committed. I mean in fact what I, when I really started research I didn’t, I didn’t have any money at all in fact, so even before I got that one year funding I just decided I was going to do research come what may and so I came to work unpaid for three months in fact before then and I just came to work. I’m going to start research and somehow the money will come. So I mean I was absolutely clear that that was what I was going to do for the next four years come what may and I would make sure the money you know followed. So I think, you know I do think you have to be really determined and it will take many applications sometimes, like three applications and it’s hard not to be disheartened if you don’t get the first one, and I didn’t. I didn’t get the first one, I got the second one.