One of the projects I’m currently working on is a funding application to one of the UK’s main funding bodies for an ambitious research project. For this project, we have partnered with another institution in the Greater London area and are planning to submit a joint application.
What are the challenges of working with a partner institution?
1) Things may be harder to coordinate as there are obviously more people involved, whose working practices may differ from yours
2) Because of the above, things may take longer to be completed, so good planning and organisation are essential
3) Occasionally there may be disagreements as to how things should be presented, how costings should be calculated etc.
4) Internal institutional issues may affect the partner institution and the overall application
What are the advantages?
The advantages are much more significant, which is why institutions choose to work in partnerships despite any difficulties:
1) Expertise from different people is drawn together and benefits the project immensely
2) It is much easier to convince the funding council that the existing expertise is suitable for the grant to be awarded
3) The responsibility for the project is divided between the partners and work is easier to be done this way
4) Many minds are better than one alone, so the contribution from many people can be of great benefit
5) The outcomes of the project are likely to be much more sustainable and have greater impact