After knowing that you are eligible to apply for a federal research and development grant, you decided to go for it. You hired a grant writer, without reading the whole guidelines first. You thought it is the duty of a writer to analyze the whole funding guidelines. All you knew is that you need to share your research idea. So, when your grant writer started asking you questions, you were surprised and you seemed not too sure with what you would say. It’s because you did not give much time to prepare yourself for a federal research and development grant. You see, to apply for this type of grant is not easy. In fact, it is strenuous to some. Therefore, there are some factors that you must consider first before pursuing your plan.
Things to Ponder Before Applying Grants for Research and Development
1. Is your research idea innovative?
If your product is already in the manufacturing process, it is certainly not a research idea. More so, if the product is ready for commercial distribution. In applying for a research and development grant program, you must propose an idea that, when funded, will give way to formal research. More importantly, this research concept must be innovative, which means this must be unique in its own way. For this reason, you must research for products that are related to your ideas. If you found even one that is exactly what you will be proposing to fulfill, then your idea is not unique. For sure, it will not be considered for funding. You will have to change your plan.
2. Will it present a technology that addresses the immediate need of the society?
The government looks for technology that will address one (or more) of the current concerns of the society. For example, is your proposed technology something that will pave the way for the early detection of cancer? Or, is it something that will encourage a great percentage of healthcare providers to adapt the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs)? As a grant seeker, you must be able to justify that the proposed project is something that will create social impact.
3. Can your project wait from six months to one year before the implementation?
Most federal grants allow six months to one year, from announcement of award, before the project can begin. Can you wait that long? Well, if you think that the field where your product will become a part of, is likely to progress each month, it may not be suitable for you. Before you can even start with your project, the industry may have already made a huge progress. Your product may not be welcomed at all or may not receive the attention that you expect or want to get. So, always check the funding timeline on the grant guidelines.
4. Are you credible enough to handle this project?
It is not enough that you are a doctor who wishes to create a new technology in EHRs. Yes, as a healthcare professional, you know that physicians need this innovation. But, do you know how to make one? It is not that the funding source will require you to really manufacture one. In fact, collaboration with other groups is highly recommended. This will ensure team work and focus on one’s responsibility. Also, this shows maximum use of people’s potentials to create change and offer benefits to the society. And, because you are applying for a research and development grant, you need to prepare a list of people and groups that will work with you. This must be validated by their letters of support. You must also include in the application the roles that they will play during the project kick off.
You may notice that the questions above are only four. There are still many factors that you have to consider before you seek and apply for any grant. As mentioned, read the grant guidelines carefully to know the directions for you to follow and succeed in your pursuit.
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