Funding is key to move your research project out of the lab and into the market. But to get funding you will need to master the skill of writing great applications.
Cathrine Nygaard Christensen is Funding Specialist at BioInnovation Institute and before joining the team, she worked in a consultancy company specialized in helping researchers attract investment and apply for soft funding.
We asked her for tips on how to write an application for BII’s programs.
How do you write a great application?
To write a great application for Creation House you need to be clear on the unmet need for your discovery. You need to have great science and be able to demonstrate that you are first in class or best in class. If you have external validation from patient groups, clinicians, deal takers or partners you will significantly strengthen your case.
Which common mistakes do you see?
Not reading the guidelines for the application is actually one of the most common mistakes. We have written very thorough guidelines for our open calls to make sure applicants know what to do. The guidelines clearly state what we expect to see from the application but for some reason many do not read them before filling in the application.
What is your best advice before applying?
1. Be clear on the commercial potential of your science. If you are used to applying for research grants, you will need to approach the application for BII a bit differently. We want to see that your idea has the potential to attract investments and partnerships so your discovery can eventually impact patients. What problem does your science solve? What is your solution? What does the competitive space look like?
2. Know your limitations. We would like you to be open about your weaknesses. It might be a lack of competencies in the team or an issue you are facing in your research – and let us know how you will mitigate it. Failure to acknowledge weaknesses will give us the impression that you don’t know what you are doing.
3. Build a strong slide deck. The committee needs enough data, but not too much. Communicate your story and demonstrate the commercial potential of your research in a very clear and simple way in your slide deck. Include a strong milestone plan of where the funding from the Creation House program will bring you.
4. Reach out to us before applying. BII is an open house and everyone is welcome. Our Business Development team is happy to give feedback on your science and stage of development before you apply.