Guide on Scholarly Research Funding

If you are an individual with research you believe to be valuable and essential to the academic world, but you have no means to publish your work, then you may want to consider acquiring funding for your research. However, know beforehand that the process of receiving funding is a long, arduous one, as there are many who are like you and wish to continue their research, but it is time well spent.

Research funding is precisely what it sounds like –– the funding for scientific research, in both the technological and ‘hard’ science divisions, as well as the social sciences. Sometimes it is obtained through a competitive process by an organization, which evaluates the potential research projects and determines which has the highest success factor.

Most research funding is provided through one of two organizations: corporations or governmental agencies, which include universities. These funding bodies provided research funding through either a research grant or scholarship. While governmental funding exists, the most common form of research funding is through a private corporation. Though they are propelled by their motivation for profit, usually it is through private funding that research is carried out for the simple acquisition of knowledge.

To find research funding for your particular interest, first begin with knowing whether you represent a non-profit organization or are a grant-seeking individual. The more common one to receive funding are non-profit organizations, but it is not unheard of for individuals to acquire a grant for their research. Before approaching different funding bodies, be sure to complete your proposal on why it is you are seeking funding for your research.

The process for writing your proposal will not be an easy one, and most funding proposals will be rejected at first, but that does not mean one should give up. Jane Geever, author of ‘The Foundation Center’s Guide to Proposal Writing,’ says the proposal does not stand on its own. It must be part of a process of planning and of research on, outreach to, and cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors. Thus, it is a sensitive process to be undertaken with great care and diligence.

While writing out your proposal, be sure to include an executive summary, a statement of need, a description of your project, a desired budget, and organizational information before concluding your proposal with what you hope to provide for the future in regard to your completed research. Be sure to use an active voice as opposed to a passive one, which will only disinterest your potential funder. There are many guides and resources available in both print and electronic formats to help formulate your ideas and research into a well laid out, written proposal to be presented to funding bodies.

As you continue your process of obtaining funding for your research, set realistic expectations for yourself and your work. Do not place all your focus on one, primary funder, but instead be sure to seek out several options for potential funders. This is a highly individualized process that should be conducted with the upmost respect, and also with great concern. If you are willing to invest the time and energy into your research once you acquire the needed funding, then be prepared to first exert such energy seeking out your funding. Such time invested will be worth it.

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