Technical writers and Pathways to Impact

Categories: funding, resource
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Published on: August 20, 2013

Last week I attended a workshop for e-Infrastructure trainers hosted by the Software Sustainability Institute. As you may know, I am no e-Infrastructure trainer, but training in computing, software, and data analysis definitely affects plant scientists, so there I was. I learned a lot and found some resources to share with the GARNet network in the next few weeks as they become available. However, I also learned something about RCUK funding that is totally non-related to e-Infrastructure training: Technical writers are a suggested expenditure in your Pathways to Impact in RCUK grant proposals.

The Checklist for Completing the Impact Summary and Pathways to Impact (see also this RCUK webpage) lists this as an option:

And the Impact Requirements FAQ state that:

Science outreach, informing public policy or legislation, and skills transfer are all allowed in Pathways to Impact – so long as they are directly related to the proposed research and beyond expected academic output, like publishing papers and going to conferences (see the links above for more details). So plant scientists might use technical writers for:

  • Writing a user interface and training materials for an online resource to be developed during the project
  • Writing a manual for an expected new lab protocol that will come out of the project
  • Writing outreach material designed around your research, for example a website pitched at non-experts or a teaching resource
  • Knowledge transfer to user communities, for example writing a policy briefing or an article for a specialist publication

Have you ever worked with a technical writer on a BBSRC-funded project? Would you consider writing one into your next grant?

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