Research Grant – Overview
Research grants are grants that fund research. Various institutions, organizations and agencies offer research grants.
These are meant to help fund research projects proposed by individuals, private organizations and educational institutes like universities.
Research grants are provided to cover a variety of topics. You can apply for a research grant to study medicine, literature or the environment. The amount of funding allotted for research projects may vary greatly.
Research grants can be as little as a few hundred to as much as millions of dollars. Research grants are also meant for full, multi-year fellowships.
What is Research Grant?
Research grants can be sought for research projects which have been planned. It can also be sought for research projects that are currently underway. Research into a new field or area of science is usually prioritized for funding.
The research grant proves integral to boosting the research efforts by funneling public or private funds into the research project. The funding can be used for a specific purpose (as defined by the terms and conditions of the specific grant).
The funds can also be used for general purposes. The guidelines of specific grants and funding organizations dictate the use of the funds.
What are the Different Types of Research Grants?
There are various types of research grants available for researchers. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly sought research grants:
1 – Research Grants
Research grants are awarded to medical universities, colleges, schools, hospitals, research organizations, for-profit organizations. It is also awarded to government institutions that plan and conduct biomedical research and development.
The research grant may be used to pay salaries, buy equipment and supplies, pay for travel and other direct research expenses. Research grants are also used to cover indirect expenses incurred by the research organization or institute.
2 – Research Training Grants
Research training grants are meant to cover the indirect costs of research projects. These funds can be used to pay for fellowships, career development awards, institutional awards and other similar expenses.
How to Apply for a Research Grant?
Getting a research grant can seem a complicated process as various disciplines the limited funding every year.
Here are some steps to help you with applying for a research grant:
1 – Get familiar with the Grant
It is highly advised to get some grant writing experience early on. You can ask to see drafts of grant applications that are being done by your office. This helps to get familiarized with the grant application process. It is a great way to prepare before writing your own grant application.
2 – Prioritize Expenses
The next step is to decide what you need the money most for. You need to decide how to allow the funds for the different expenses related to a research project.
You can allot funding for travel expenses or the cost of organizing a workshop that brings experts together to enhance a research point.
You can also discuss this with your colleagues, including research support colleagues and university research offices. Reading the guidelines offered helps avoid applying for research grants that are not too useful for your specific purpose.
3 – Highlight Crucial Research Aspects
You should pick the right scheme and go through the grant guidelines carefully. This helps to cover any stipulations that the research grant application may require in the proposal.
Ensure that you highlight certain research aspects which show that your research project fits into the proposal.
Make sure to highlight things like impact, value for money, rigor and scientific interest of your proposed research project in the grant application.
4 – Consult with Experienced Colleagues
Talking to people within your organization who have already secured funding for research is also highly advised. As different funding organizations have different priorities, you can learn nuances that help make your proposal stronger and better than others.
5 – Keep it plain and simple
Over-ambitious candidates can often forget to read and answer the questions on grant applications with their enthusiasm.
Hence, you need to stay focused on your priorities for the proposed research project.
Always state in clear terms how you would go about your research and avoid using jargon as much as possible.
5 – Ask Questions
It is always good to contact the funding organization. You can usually find an email address to get in touch with the point of contact in the funding organization.
This is a great way to ensure your proposal meets specific guidelines. It lowers the risk of your application getting rejected.
6 – Get grant application reviewed
You can also ask your colleagues, friends or family to review your grant application.
This helps to discover questions and queries that might not have occurred to you. This is a great way to get a sense check and evaluate the feasibility and impact of your research grant proposal.
Once you have taken these precautions, you can go ahead and submit the final draft of your research grant application to the concerned official.
Writing a research grant application can be a time-consuming, complex and tedious process.
However, the success rate increases dramatically when you ensure the best-written research application. This highlights your research application and makes it more compelling than others.