Research is an integral component of improving on society and technology. By continually striving to better what is currently in use, we can continue to make gains, get ahead of the times, and fix mistakes that were once part of life. This applies to all avenues of science, from biological processes to societal norms and beliefs.
But in-depth, ground-shaking, concept improving research takes time and costs money. Some of these experiments can last for years, with the idea that the knowledge gained will have a far-reaching impact. To get them from start to finish, researchers must first find the proper funding sources for their project.
Why a Project Needs Funding
Every research project is unique, but at their foundation, they all have overhead. When a researcher begins searching out funding, they must have a proposed budget already in place.
The funding for these projects can add up, especially if the project is expected to be a long-term one. Budgets can consist of items such as:
● Materials to complete the research
● Essential equipment
● Overhead for facilities to complete the research
● Travel expenses
● Incentives for a pool of people to be used to collect data
● Postage and handling costs
● Publishing costs
The list of potential expenses in a research project can be extensive. Without the ability to fund it out of their own pocket, a researcher must seek out funding sources.
Types of Funding Sources
Once you know what expenses you’ll have, it will lead you into the direction of the types of funding you’ll need. There are multiple avenues, so if you’re open-minded and think outside the box, you may be able to use different funding sources to cover all the bases.
Start with your college or university funding department office. Some institutions have staff who aid students in connecting with sponsored programs and completing grant requests.
Examples of funding sources for research projects include:
● Nonprofits that focus on the same field as your research. If they have a similar interest, they may be willing to sponsor your work.
● Private funding agencies that are known to fund research in the sciences. These agencies may have strict requirements, such as how to be eligible, deadlines to meet, and priorities they fund over others.
● Federal funding sources that focus solely on your specific type of research. Many of these have niched, narrow fields, within a broad scope, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Science Foundation. Others focus on a more specific subject, such as the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Once you find the avenue of funding you’re interested in seeking out, the next step is to put your proposal together.
Creating a Funding Proposal
The format and structure of your proposal will vary based on the type of funding you’re requesting, but most of the elements will be consistent.
Start with a short overview of the research project. Treat this as an abstract in your research papers. The most important aspects of your research proposal should go here, succinctly and clearly. Be sure to include the purpose of the project and the problem you’re addressing, what you expect to achieve and how, and how the success of your project will be verified.
Next, address the statement of need in your proposal. Explain why your project is important and crucial to finding an answer to the problem you’re working towards solving. Establish the background of the problem in context, with details about who will be impacted by the success of your project. Make sure the proposal substantially clarifies the opportunity to solve the issue.
The next section should describe your project’s goals and steps. Delineate the goals and the questions your project will answer. List your objectives and outcomes in SMART format so they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Explain how those outcomes will be achieved through the steps you’ll be taking and how you’ll measure the progress of your project along the way. Be sure to include a timeline.
Finally, include the budget or resources section. Include how much you are asking for, why that particular amount is accurate, and what it will be used for. This may be the part where you create a table using professional academic programs like Impactio. Make sure the budget and table are clearly labeled and justify each expense and why it’s important for your project.
Some funding sources require other aspects of the proposal, such as a cover letter. Use their specific requirements to guide your paper.
Use Impactio for a Professional Proposal
Impactio is an all-in-one platform used by scholars around the world to store their research information and then condense it into a publishable format.
When you’re ready to create a research proposal, the templates Impactio offers will guide you in ensuring your information is professional, organized, and impactful. Your final product can be printed as a PDF document or sent as an expert web page to impress the funding organization of your choice. Even better, your proposals can be easily tweaked and adjusted for each unique funder.
It’s not always easy to get approved for research funding. Make sure your proposal looks professional and powerful by using Impactio to put it all together!