Tackling the Funding QuestionPosted: Thu 12.15.2011
I love the quote that is underneath the photo to the left. And I loved it when my advisor told me that I would “miss 100% of the buses I didn’t try to catch.” This seems like an apt metaphor for the funding game and the confidence hump that we must all get over in order to recognize our work is “worth it”. I recently submitted a small, within-university grant for a pilot project I want to test. However, when it came time to put the proposal together, my enthusiasm started to wane What if the proposal isn ‘t what they are looking for? How likely was it really that I would get the grant? I felt myself talking my way out of applying bit by bit.
This week, when I received word that I did, in fact, receive the grant I had applied for, I was ecstatic. My advisor was right. Sometimes the only thing standing in my way is me. However, to be successful we all must overcome the reservations we have about selling our research to the wider world. The grant that I received was in line with my research focus, was small enough to fund a pilot without a excess of reporting requirements, and I can rest easy on where the money is coming from ethically. What more could I ask for?
Sometimes, I think as graduate students we get overwhelmed by the funding process because it is such a mystery. But funding for your program, funding for research projects, etc. – these are all necessary elements of maintaining your work. And if we truly believe in the benefit and good of our research, writing those proposals and taking the chance is a no-brainer.
- NSF: Special Considerations for Graduate Students
- Joy of Grantwriting (GradHacker)
- Department of Education, Funding and Grants
- Foundation Center: Resource Lists