Has anyone here applied for a research grant? — R Voice

Has anyone here applied for a research grant?

Jayashree Rajagopalan
Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 319 admin
edited April 7 in Academic Careers

We've spoken about quite a few things here on R Voice. This morning I realized we don't talk much about research grants. Strangely enough, although I've read a lot about grant funding, I'm curious to hear from someone who has gone through the grant application process. I want to learn more from a first-hand experience about aspects like:

  • When did you apply for a research grant?
  • What was the process?
  • Did you have help preparing for your grant application?
  • How long did it take?
  • Did you win the grant?
  • How was the overall experience?

I feel like sharing experiences around this will help others at some point in the future. Please do share if you've had any experience with research grant funding and how it was for you. If you know of someone who did (perhaps your own lab head/supervisor) and would like to talk about how they went about it that would be great too.

Answers

  • Gayatri Ramachandran
    Gayatri Ramachandran Member Posts: 233 ✭✭✭

    Hello @Jayashree Rajagopalan, those are a very valid set of questions that you have posted, thank you for bringing it up! I did assist my lab supervisor(s) in writing grants. I enjoyed the process since it was 100% learning without having to take the stress nor worry about whether it will be sanctioned or not. It is an endeavour laced with tiny, significant intricacies that it was eye-opening as to what a HUGE task it is (perhaps even more than getting a paper publication)!

    What caught my attention the most was how important networking is for getting a grant sanctioned. Not only that you must know the ones higher up in the hierarchy to give that extra push for getting it sanctioned, but, your network within and outside academia helps ease the collaborations, paperwork and jumpstart administrative hurdles (at least this is true in India).

    Additionally, I understood how equipment purchase decisions have to be made and incorporated accordingly, so as to help the department as a whole and not to just satisfy our laboratory objectives. This is particularly for those high priced equipments the goals of the project demand. Science grants consume a lot of money through equipment purchases and it would be wise to check on what we have at the school or campus or even in nearby research institutes and then include them in our grant cost. Since research is now becoming more and more inclusive of the societal needs we need to keep in mind that it is the tax payers' money that we are spending on our day to day research and this acknowledgement would go a long way in being mindful of what and how much we include in the grant expenditure sheet.