5 tips for securing molecular research grants
by Neoteryx, on Jan 10, 2017 9:35:00 AM
Funding is the essential component that enables you to start—or continue—important molecular research; unfunded research simply can't happen. The current climate in scientific research makes funding hard to come by, especially in low resource areas where specimen collection is expensive and logistically complex. When you assess your options for funding sources, use this tips to secure your research grant.
Know what you need
It's beneficial to quantify your funding needs so that you have a good understanding of what levels of funding can do for you. To help prioritize your needs, determine what's essential for your research and what could enable you to expand.
Improve your grant-writing skills
Several online classes are available for improving skills in writing grant proposals, but writing skills alone are not enough. It's imperative to exactly follow the directions; automatic disqualifications are common, even for seemingly minor things such as not following formatting guidelines.
Appropriately target your applications
Many organizations—including governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), corporations, and foundations—fund research. Certain organizations specialize in specific research topics and provide funding only for those who meet narrow requirements. Other organizations, such as the federal government, provide funding for broad and wide-ranging areas of research.
The United States government and its agencies such as the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the United States Military, the National Science Foundations (NSF) regularly hold competitions that award research grants. Certain areas of government are more likely to grant funding for viral load testing or research on infectious diseases. Targeting the appropriate sources can increase the likelihood of receiving a grant.
Privately owned and operated foundations usually operate at smaller scales, focusing their research to support a specific mission. Determining which foundations might fund your type of research will require gathering extensive information.
For example, private corporations typically seek research that will help them increase their profits and will support the narrowest types of research. Thoroughly understanding a corporation's products or services can help you appropriately target your proposals. Many corporations seek to align their grant decisions with their core businesses; for example, a high-tech company might be more likely to grant funding to those using cutting-edge technology.
Increase your odds
As you already know, applying to the appropriate organization for your funding needs is key; increasing the odds of your funding needs being met requires additional analysis. Extremely large organizations such as the NIH receive many submitted proposals. Applying to smaller organizations that receive fewer proposals can increase the likelihood that your request will receive consideration.
Even if you don't receive grants that you applied for, going through the process gives you valuable experience. The more you know about each application, the more you can tailor future requests.