Seeking funding for a study
or trial can be a disheartening experience. The process is an extremely competitive
one because of the restrictions on founding for research and the existing high demands.
Also, when seeking founding, you should be prepared to submit a lot of proposals
and receive a lot of rejections.
There are many sources of founding: some general as the MRC and some highly specific
where the persons seeking funding
must specify a particular purpose. More and more even the general funds are being
targeted towards particular objectives and calls for proposals in certain areas.
There are several guides that may help you when you are
seeking funding. Major academic institutions provide information from central
research support units that publish listings of available grants. Most major hospitals
and universities have similar units that publish internal listings of available
grants with deadlines and can also give help in completing the application forms.
When seeking funding you should
be prepared to go through two stage commissioning process as applied to major institutions.
First, a short initial application is requested which goes through a first round
selection procedure. At this stage of the process the result can be acceptance,
a suggestion to referral elsewhere or rejections. If you get a rejection when seeking funding for your study
you will receive a resume of the reasons for rejection and you also have the possibility
to challenge the decision if you feel the decision is unjust. However most of the
rejection reasons are valid and you should focus on getting some advice of the grant
giving body as to how to modify the proposal and enter the second stage of seeking
If you are selected to enter the second round when
seeking funding for a study a fuller application will be requested and it
is now necessary to provide exact details of the research proposed and the resources
required. Though the odds of success shorten at this stage, the degree of scrutiny
increases so the production of this second stage proposal can be much more difficult
than the first. For a newcomer that is seeking funding it is recommended that advice
be sought on this process from an experienced senior colleague. If coherent planning
has been undertaken when seeking funding,
most of the information required will be at hand and will be well constructed. The
details, which present problems at this stage, are generally to do with financial
Another important aspect in the seeking
funding process is to identify collaborators that are generally drawn from
within a circle of colleagues, often based in the same institution. When seeking
funding it is worth considering additional specialist input that can be helpful
and seeking them out if necessary. A current issue, which is worth considering at
this stage of the seeking funding
process, is the likely involvement in co-authorship of any publications produced
by the project.
The last stage of the seeking funding
process is the evaluation of your proposal. In most cases proposals submitted to
grant-giving bodies are peer reviewed by a moderate sized panel of scrutinizers
that will evaluate the proposal and usually score it against a relatively tight
set of criteria. Once all the grants are scored they are ranked and the available