June 2, 2020

How Funding Works for Research Institutions

Funding for scientific purposes in research institutions works differently today than in the past. Traditionally, the sciences were predominantly funded through private sources. Today, though, governments and large corporations recognize the need to stay on the cutting edge of technology, and this has opened funding up in institutions to levels never before seen. This increased funding comes with a price, as some methods have disadvantages that hinge on their funding.
Source: Unsplash

Research institutions understand that there’s an essential need for scholars to pursue knowledge to improve and enhance the world on a community, national, and global level. However, actually implementing the research can be expensive. From paying for people to do the work to the equipment required, the costs add up.

Funding for these research projects in institutions traditionally came from private sources. But today, funding comes from private companies and foundation or public-funded government agencies. These large corporations and sectors see the value in keeping up and ahead on technology. While the methods have opened up wider areas of funding for researchers, it has also brought into the scene disadvantages that must be dealt with.

Research Makes a Social or Global Impact

Government agencies and private companies have their own focal agendas. They may pursue research that leads toward curing a disease or solving an ecological problem. When your research goals align with theirs, they’re more likely to fund your project.

Your project is more likely to be funded if it makes a strong social or global impact. Some of the most common categories where funding from both the government and private sectors are most often funneled include:

●      Pharmaceuticals or other solutions for cancer treatment

●      Reduction and treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease

●      Genetic analysis and evolution 

●      Behavioral and social sciences

●      Ecological improvement

●      Emerging infectious diseases

●      Artificial intelligence innovations

●      Computer security

●      Military enhancements and improvements

●      Space exploration

Although these are some of the most predominant sectors of funding, they’re also typically costly and time-consuming.

Methods of Funding and Their Pros and Cons

As an academic principle, research institutes must offer unbiased, completely objective outcomes from their work. However, going outside the institute for funding sources means that the potential for bias exists.

It’s a vicious circle that the researcher steps into. They must have a backer who is interested in the results of the study, but that backer may have a stake in how the study is performed or the end results. Because of this potential muddying of objectivity, it’s crucial for a researcher to gain a full of understanding of the funding source’s interest in backing their study.

Public funding is a preferred source of revenue for researchers because it comes with less headaches. However, it’s a competitive system because there are too many ideas, not enough money available. Over the past few years, only 10% of grants are funded.

Private funding has many advantages to it for the researcher. There are usually fewer strings attached, less red tape to jump, and a larger pool of money to pull from. But the private backer may want a say in the study’s design or final interpretation to attempt to sway the outcome in their favor if they have a stake in the final results. Additionally, biased funding can cast a shadow on the legitimacy of the whole project if people believe the results were influenced in any way.

Federal government funding has a lot of benefits as well. Directly government-funded research is often seen as more credible. The funding agencies have access to experts who can help the project reach a wider audience and have a more significant impact. Government agencies fall under an umbrella that encompasses a wide variety of research, including transportation, food, communication, health, chemistry, genetics, computer sciences, and many more fields. Because of this, if you have a research project in mind, there’s likely a source of funding for it offered by the federal government.  

However, along with those advantages comes extra red tape, often redundant and time-consuming paperwork, rejections, and a hand in the project that requires frequent updates and the knowledge that funding can be removed at any time. 

Grants, private backing, and federal funding are the most common sources of financing for research institutions. The key is to determine which funding options your project qualifies for, and then to narrow down those that would possibly make your work subjective or biased and avoid those avenues.

Impactio Can Help Your Research Project

When it comes to professionalism through publication and creation, academic experts choose Impactio. It’s an all-in-one platform in which scholars and researchers can store their citation and publication information, compile it into professional documents and web-pages, and then track the impact of their work’s results as it moves around the globe.

When you have a research project, it needs to be clearly written and formatted. Impactio’s templates can guide you into sections to put together every step from your research proposal to your presentation in front of your target audience.

For professionally finished products and an academic reach, the experts choose to use, turn to Impactio.

Tags Research Funding Academic Impact
Jason Collins
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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