VALIDATE ECR Workshop Series 2021: Grant Writing

VALIDATE ECR Workshop Series 2021: Grant Writing

Growing your funding


This event took place 24 February 2021, 1300 GMT

VALIDATE members can watch the seminar on the VALIDATE Hub.



Description of the workshop

This workshop aimed to help VALIDATE Early Career Researchers widen and improve non-technical skills necessary to progress their careers. Prof Helen McShane and Samantha Vermaak discussed research grant writing, their experiences both in applying for grants and reviewing grant applications, and answered questions from VALIDATE ECRs.

This workshop is part of the VALIDATE Network 2021 online ECR Workshop Series and is open to any VALIDATE member who would find it helpful.


Helen McShane

Prof Helen McShane

Helen is the VALIDATE Network Director; Director of the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre; Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University; Deputy Head (Translation and Personnel), Medical Sciences Division; and an Honorary Consultant Physician in infectious diseases. Since 2001, Helen has led the TB vaccine research group at the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute. She has held grants awarded by Wellcome, MRC, BBSRC, the EU, EDCTP, the Gates Foundation, Aeras, NIH, NORAD, TBVI, the Botnar Foundation, NIHR and the UK Department of Health. Helen also sits on, and chairs, several funder grant review panels.

Helen collaborates with several research groups across Africa in TB vaccine clinical trials and with research groups across the world to advance TB vaccine research.


Samantha Vermaak

Samantha Vermaak

Sam helped Helen plan, apply for, set up and now manages the VALIDATE Network, a UK Medical Research Council (MRC) project that now has >400 members from 60 countries. This has included running (and sitting on the review panels for) the VALIDATE pump-priming, Fellowship and training grant calls - and being on the other side of the table facing the panel for our VALIDATE grant application interview!

Prior to VALIDATE, Sam worked as Helen's TB group Programme Manager for seven years, where she was responsible for project managing all Jenner Institute TB vaccine clinical trials in the UK and Africa (19 in total; phase I to phase IIb efficacy trials). She managed all the McShane group research grants during that period, and assisted Helen with planning and writing her grant applications throughout this time, locating grant sources, drafting applications, coordinating collaborators, and producing budgets and management plans for applications - in 2015 alone she helped write 19 grant applications, gaining £6.7m worth of funding. To date, she has managed research grants totalling >£28million.


How to attend the workshop

To register to attend this workshop, please sign up using the form below.

Please contact the VALIDATE Management team at with any queries about this workshop.