I tried a synthesis question (despite) without using ‘the fact that’ after ‘despite’. My answers are (a) and (b) below. The position of ‘despite’ is fixed.
Question: Smith is not interested in participating in the tournament. He was asked to participate by his coach.
(a) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his having no interest in it. (I added ‘his’ to tie back to Smith but don’t know if this is the correct way to do it)
(b) Smith was asked to participate in the tournament despite his disinterest in it.
Thank you for teaching me.