As mentioned before, scientific research is conducted by universities and academic institutions for their departments to fund through various sources such as grants, fellowships, or contracts. These sources are typically matched with the work being paid for directly through advertising, sponsored events, or direct contributions like money or resources.
Most science departments have internal policies that address how research dollars are spent to ensure full compliance of funding restrictions. This article will talk more about what these policies are and some examples of things that can be considered wasteful spending. If you’re ever questioned if your research costs are appropriate, this article may help prove yourself right!
I hope you enjoyed reading my in-depth analysis of why scientific research budgets seem so large. I also hope it gave you some tips on how to identify potential waste within an institution and how to speak up when you find it.
Review the different types of scientific research
There are many ways to conduct scientific research, and most require you to review some form of license or permission before starting. Licenses vary by field and institution, but typically include things like copyright licenses, patents, and research and development (R&D) permits.
Research that is funded through government agencies must be conducted under their rules and regulations as well as approved internal policies. Some universities have an institutional policy that covers how studies are done so there can be more consistency in process and procedures across researchers.
Private institutions may also have their own guidelines, depending on what kind of study is being done. General tips for conducting ethical science apply here, such as making sure participants know they will be paid fairly and taking care of them after the experiment is completed!
Author: Jessica Day, PhD Student, Department of Kinesiology
Summary: This article will talk about several ways to find funding for your grant. It will also discuss important points to look out for when choosing which sources to approach.
Public funders offer direct support for specific projects. These are usually found through state sponsored organizations or departments that work with various academic fields.
Auxiliary programs exist at larger universities and institutes to promote and recruit new members or sponsors. They are very common at colleges and universities where students are given additional perks for supporting the school or organization.
Examine the different study designs
Certain types of studies are designed to test whether or not one theory is better than another. This is typically referred to as hypothesis testing. Hypothesis testing is an essential part of scientific research, as it requires you to have an idea about what effect something will have before trying to prove that it does!
Hypothesis testing is just like asking if there is water in our glass. You would ask this by putting your hand over the top for a few seconds and then checking to see if your hand is dry. If it is, then you know there is water in the glass already!
In science, we use the same principle. We make an assumption (the theory) and check to see if that assumption holds up (there is water in the glass). If it does, then we accept the original theory; if not, then we change it!
With regard to studying medicine, people often assume that taking drugs directly helps patients get rid of symptoms. However, some theories suggest that sometimes these drugs can do more harm than good. These wrong theories may be due to money, instead of helping people, they are making someone rich.
There are many ways to evaluate if a drug is effective and safe for use with no needed changes. Unfortunately, most pharmaceutical companies do not publish information about their products unless paid to do so. This makes it difficult to find out if their product works or if it has any potential side effects.
Identify the different funding sources
There are many ways that academic research is funded, from government grants to private donations to scholarship funds. These types of funding come in various forms, but all work towards supporting your academia career!
Most universities have several departments that do not share the same set of resources. To keep up with ever-growing demands, most departments start their own internal research programs or team projects.
By investing into our department’s research program, we can increase our chances of finding new knowledge and developing innovative strategies for studying similar topics.
General scholarships and fellowships are an excellent way to stay connected to the field you love while also receiving financial aid.
Seek out private donors
As we mentioned before, most academic research is funded through either public or private sources. Public funding comes from things like government agencies, such as the NIH (the National Institutes of Health), which funds studies about new medical treatments and strategies.
Private donations come from individuals or foundations that believe in the importance of the topic researched and want to contribute to its success. Some may even hire the researcher directly!
Most academics are very familiar with the term “private donor” because it seems like every other day they have to tell you how their latest project was generously financed. But what people don’t realize is that scientific researchers must actively look for these opportunities to fund their work!
Academics usually spend time developing relationships with people in the community, both locally and beyond, and use this network to gain support.
Accept government grants
Funding is always coming in some form from somewhere, whether it’s direct funding of research or sponsorship of events or seminars. Almost every academic position requires their professors to be funded, so most universities actively look for ways to fund your department or area of study!
Governments are constantly looking to invest in new projects, so offering your services as a researcher through an institution that receives funding can earn you extra money. This is not only helpful in terms of adding another source of income, but also helping to keep the university functioning by paying its bills!
There will always be someone willing to pay to learn more about a certain field, even if it’s just to satisfy their curiosity. A good way to find out who those people are is to attend local events hosted by educational institutions or talk to other professionals in your field. Some free tips to help with this include using LinkedIn to search for professional contacts and attending your colleagues’ lectures to see what kind of promotions they use to get attention.
Outsource research to companies
One of the biggest ways that academic departments pay for research is by outsourcing it to other institutions or to private firms. This is very common in social science disciplines like psychology, where studies are often conducted with online survey tools or through recruitment of participants via sites like SurveyJozo.
Academic researchers typically have limited access to funding, so they must find creative ways to fund their projects. By hiring a third party researcher or company to help you with your project, you get outside funding which can be more valuable than internal support systems!
By doing this, you give these professionals permission to use their credentials to promote your project’s credibility.
Combine research with other scientists
Another way to gain knowledge about any given topic is to combine your research with that of others. This can be done by joining an academic department, conducting independent research or presenting a lecture at another institution or conference.
Academic departments typically have seminars, conversations held every few weeks where researchers discuss their work and what they are doing next. Attendees are usually allowed to ask questions and get some insights from the speaker.
You may also find it helpful to attend lectures in related fields or talk to professors outside of your own field to see how they approach their studies.
Researchers who do this build relationships which help them both professionally and personally. It helps you learn more about the area and gives you connections to people who can help you move forward with your career.
Use test subjects
Funding for scientific research is typically sponsored by either an individual or organization that has a goal to find new ways to improve our health, energy sources, environmental issues, and/or sustainable solutions.
These companies and organizations usually hire academic researchers to perform studies they need funded. General medical labs do research on different drugs, nutritional supplements, and treatments for various diseases to see if they work. Environmentally focused groups look into finding more efficient methods to preserve our planet’s natural resources.
By having independent, third party investigations run under controlled conditions, we can be confident in their findings. This helps us feel comfortable using the products after-effectively proving them worthy!
However, this doesn’t always go as planned. Because scientists are often required to follow certain protocols when performing experiments, it is very common to have someone else carry out the study for you.
This person does not necessarily have to be paid, but it is good practice to include costs for things like materials and labor in your budget.
What about those who cannot afford to pay extra? Well, there are many free alternatives to some of the testing done during observational studies. You may be able to ask around at local hospitals, clinics, or universities to see what services they have access to.