Finding sources of funding is one of the most important things aspiring scientific researchers must do before diving in. The more source you have, the better chance you have at being selected as an internal or external researcher at a company or institution that can offer research funding.
There are many ways to get research money outside of traditional grants from government agencies or private foundations. This article will go into detail about some popular funding options for science professionals. These opportunities range anywhere form investing in your own professional development to creating and selling products related to your field!
Getting start as a young scientist may mean seeking out different types of funding. As such, it is very important to be familiar with all available funding strategies. More experienced scientists know what resources exist and how to use them to strengthen their career!
The first step towards finding additional sources of income is determining what areas of research are attractive to you. By thinking about what kind of projects you would like to pursue and establishing relationships within the fields, you can begin looking into other avenues to support yourself.
Build a good financial plan
Before diving into the process of seeking funding, you will need to make sure your business is running smoothly and that your finances are in order. This includes having enough money to meet current obligations, such as bills and loans, as well as having an adequate amount saved for future goals.
It’s also important to understand where your money is going now so you can identify potential sources of new funds. For example, if you’re paying off student loan debt, looking to reduce medical costs or improving credit by taking out more responsible loans, these things can help you find extra cash.
In addition to all of this, it’s worth considering whether non-profit resources are available to you. Many universities, research institutes and charitable organizations offer grants and scholarships specific to your field.
Create a company
A great way to get funding is to create your own company. This can be as simple as offering your services to other companies or creating an app that does not yet have its fair share of users. By offering your expertise to others, you are clearly advertising your skills, which is a good thing!
There are many ways to develop your business into something more substantial. Starting with nothing but a goal is a great way to gain some momentum.
From there, you must determine what area of work you would like to focus on. For example, if you love reading, then writing a book may be your next step. If you enjoy making art, starting your own design studio could be your next adventure.
Any field can be made up of several components, so do not feel limited in this area.
Choose a research topic
The second way to get funding is by choosing an interesting, well-researched topic that no one has done before. This is what we call new information or innovative science. By doing this, you are definitely targeting a rich source of grants!
There are many ways to choose a novel area to focus your scientific research. You can do it because you have a passion about something, which would motivate you to learn more about how to make it better. Or you could be passionate about studying infectious diseases, so you decide to look into whether stress makes people become sick.
The key thing to remember when looking at potential areas for innovation is to think beyond just asking if there is already proof that your hypothesis is true. Is your question meaningful? Will it help people? Can you test your theory quickly and easily?
It’s also important to consider how much money is needed to carry out your proposed experiment. If you need lots of money to test your idea, this may signal that others have tried (and failed) to answer your question in past years.
Conduct the research
The second way to get funding is by conducting your own scientific research. This can be done in two different ways, either as an internal project or external grant seeking.
As an internal project, you would develop a hypothesis about something and then test it. For example, you could hypothesize that eating foods with high vitamin content will help keep your skin healthy and vibrant. So you could test whether or not that holds true by looking at a difference in how well people’s skins perform when they eat certain foods.
This is similar to what scientists do when they conduct studies. They create a theory and then try to prove if their theory is correct.
External grants are more direct-you ask someone else to pay you to fulfill a goal. A common example of this is asking someone to fund you so that you can pursue additional training or certification. More advanced forms of this include asking someone to pay you to do a specific job such as running a nursing home or teaching classes.
Write your proposal
Writing a research proposal is not like writing an article or speech, where the content is known and can be copied and pasted from elsewhere.
Writing a scientific research proposal is more like drafting a business letter, as you must include important details such as who the recipient of the email is, what they do for their job, and why it is important to them.
You also need to tell them how you will help them achieve their goal, and what reward they will get for giving you money. All of these things should be clearly defined before getting into the hard work of proposing!
Your recipients may ask about past projects you have done, so make sure to keep copies of those documents somewhere easily accessed. Also remember that this is a formal document, so use professional fonts and tone. Try using easy-to-find pictures or references to add visual appeal.
Prepare your presentation
Before you even approach potential funders with your proposal, you need to make sure that you have done everything possible to ensure their support! This means making sure your proposal is well-organized, clearly written, and has adequate supporting documents and evidence.
You should also be prepared to discuss all aspects of the project, including why it is needed, how much money will be required, and who will benefit from the research. Make sure to keep these things organized and easy to access in order to preserve time spent prepping.
In addition to having all of this information ready, you must be able to back up what you say with strong examples. Try not to rely too heavily on assumptions but instead find proof or solid arguments to back up your points.
Lastly, be careful about overegging the issue. Don’t claim to need funding when you don’t, nor can you assume that people will agree with you.
Practice your presentation
After reading this article, you will know how to prepare an effective scientific research funding proposal. If you are already prepared, then great! But if not, don’t worry, we have provided some helpful tips here as well.
Practice makes perfect, so get into the habit of practicing your proposal out-lengthy-ly. You should do this at least once per week!
You can also take our free online quiz to see what parts of a strong proposal you seem to miss during preparation. It is worth taking just to make sure everything is there!
If you would like even more help, we have created a tool that helps you create a solid plan and structure for your proposal. This includes defining your audience, goal, and hypothesis, along with setting up milestones and timing.
As we mentioned before, there are many ways to get funding for scientific research. Starting with individual donors is an effective way to increase your income as a researcher. Many universities have formal fundraising departments that can help you navigate this process.
Alternatively, you can also choose to try raising money through private foundations or targeted donations from industry sponsors.
Many large companies now fund academic research directly via their internal development programs. These collaborations generate valuable knowledge that benefits both parties and helps retain top talent!
Writing a strong appeal letter about the importance of investing in science will hopefully win over any potential donor.
After receiving their donation, you should spend time celebrating together and reflecting on all of the great work you accomplished. Take some time to chat and connect with each other outside of business conversations.
This isn’t only important to build friendships, it also gives you more opportunities to continue talking about your passion and what you do for a living.
Funding is a constant source of stress at times. Having these personal connections takes away some of the pressure and makes you feel happier. And happiness equals less stressed out researchers = better science.