2015 Children’s Prize Round 1 Proposal Feedback
Many of you requested feedback on your round one proposal submission, and we would like to acknowledge your efforts. Although it is difficult to provide hundreds of applicants detailed and personalized feedback, we would like to take a moment and highlight the most common reasons why applications were unsuccessful in moving forward to the second round. The collective feedback we are providing here is important, and it is intended to emphasize the value we place on the connection between feedback and improvement since our goal, as a funding initiative, is to elevate excellence that will result in more lives saved.
The eight observations below are to assist you in any future prize application writing that you may undertake, and were noted among this year’s proposals:
- In general, we highly recommend that an outside person proofread the material you plan to submit prior to submitting. This will ensure that your application conveys what you intend while being clear and concise on your plan. Also, this may be especially beneficial for non-native English speakers.
- The required criteria for the prize was not adequately addressed and/or met. This includes but is not limited to: the under-five children population was not the primary target, the project population to be served was not clearly stated and specified, the project timeline was too long (3 years and over), lack of a data-oriented approach, and proposal submitted in a language other than English.
- The majority of applicants emphasized the problem significantly rather than the proposed solution. In this case, a solutions-focused approach is highly recommended.
- Lack of clarity, application was too vague when outlining the project plan. There is a difference between a project idea and a project plan that is ready for implementation. Successful applicants were compelling and established clear goals with measurable outcomes.
- There were instances where application questions were not answered directly, sometimes ignored completely or response was insufficient. We suggest that each question be answered as direct as possible.
- There were credibility concerns associated with number estimates, proposing a fact/science based project, and the extent of links to community partners outlined. Although you don’t have to be a doctor or part of a large organization to be considered or be successful in the prize process, credibility remains important.
- Applicants proposed a significantly low overall impact for the prize funds.
- Proposals were experimental or strictly research focused. In general, successful applicants balanced cost-effective approaches while introducing novel elements to their work in serving and saving lives under-five in a data-driven context.
Each round of the Children’s Prize serves a specific purpose. The first round is an open call to any person or entity with a ready-to-implement plan that is focused on saving children under-five from preventable and treatable causes. Given the brevity of the initial application as well as the hundreds of submissions received, the applicant will benefit from approaching the first round as a funding request “pitch.” Creating a solid and concise pitch demonstrates your experience and capability to highlight the most important aspects of your proposed intervention(s) and overall project plan.
The second round, which is by invitation only, will be more thorough and comprehensive. It will include requests for additional material that include a project timeline, budget, references, etc. At this stage, only 20% of the round two applicants will continue the process to the third and finalist round where they will be reviewed by an outside panel of expert judges.
We hope that you will continue to pursue your project plans and that although you have been unsuccessful on this occasion, you found the Children’s Prize application process worthwhile, and can use this feedback to help you make a more effective application in the future. Please note, addressing general feedback provided does not guarantee that a future application will be successful.
The Children’s Prize Team