We were both experienced and successful academics with experience both in winning grants and in funding decisions on other peoples grants before we gave it up and set up the company. The division of labour between us is that Andrew delivers the workshops and coaching and Amanda runs the office and provides decision support.
Andrew has in-depth experience of the research funding process. His first research grant was a Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research, which he obtained in the year he finished his PhD. His research was continuously funded by fellowships, project and programme grants, awarded for applications that he wrote himself, for the next 30 years.
He served on research grant committees for several UK research councils and the Wellcome Trust. He has participated in committee decisions on several thousand grant applications. The approach to grant writing that he teaches is based on his analysis of those decisions.
Andrew’s management experience extended from leading half a dozen research associates in his research group to managing a faculty of over 400 academics, and included sciences, social sciences and humanities. He was head of the Department of Psychology and the School of Biology at Newcastle University. He then spent three years as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Kent and three more as Pro Vice Chancellor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Liverpool.
Andrew has also worked as a journalist. He won a Science Media Fellowship, which enabled him to work full-time at the Financial Times for 3 months. Then, over several years he wrote two successful columns in the Financial Times. The Nature of Things was about science – from astrophysics to zoology. Psych Yourself Up was a guide to the different kinds of psychotherapy available in the UK.
Amanda Parker has also had a successful career as an academic researcher, specialising in the neuroscience of memory and emotion. She was a research fellow in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford and at the National Institutes of Mental Health in Bethesda before taking a teaching and research position at Nottingham University where she was promoted to Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, and at Newcastle University.
Amanda is also experienced in grants’ committee work, having served a term on the BBSRC Animal Sciences Committee.