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Securing Funding: How Do I Get a Grant?

By: , Posted on: January 7, 2014

#StartYourResearch fundingWe understand. Most of you [researchers] would prefer not to go through the process of securing funding. There is an excessive amount of pressure that is associated with pitching your idea in front of a group of people that could possibly be the determinate of whether or not you can continue your research. For young researchers, there is even more pressure. Applications for first-time National Science Foundation fell from 22% in 2002 to 15% in 2006.

If this is your first time trying to secure funding for your research project, there are a few guidelines to help you start.

Applying for grants is similar to applying for scholarships. Research is expensive. Lab times and equipment are expensive further pressuring researchers to find grants in order to have a financial cushion to finish their research. In order to have the best chances in securing funding, young researchers should do their homework on big and small grants that apply to their particular research project.

In a study conducted by the U.S Government in 2007, University faculty members spent 40% of their research time navigating through the bureaucratic hierarchy of grants.

It is important to look at both widely recognized grants ans smaller grants that might be less highlighted and possibly less competitive. Also, researchers must understand how qualitative and quantitative based research are awarded differently in the realm of grant funding. Quantitative research have an easier time in securing funding because of the data driven research techniques that allow results to be presented numerically.


Qualitative researchers, don’t count yourselves out quite yet, there are other organizations that specifically appeal to qualitative research projects and it is important to focus on applying to those grants. To add to that, if your research project expands to a different industries grants are more tilted in your favor as grant writers wants to optimize their budget and having a research project that impacts multiple areas of study is even better.

As a young researcher, one of the most important steps in grant searching is to reach out to any advisors or senior colleagues that may have more experience in the types of grants you are interested in. Seasoned veteran researchers whom are affiliated with universities are a big help, as they have previously applied to the same grants as you and have the credibility of doing research.

Finally, one of the most important takeaway points to you all is to not be bogged down by disappointment. Application for grants is competitive so no need to lose faith when one of your grant applications gets rejected, keep on moving on.

Did these tips help? Still have questions or want to share your tips and ideas with other researchers? Use hashtag #StartYourResearch on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion and engage with our community!

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