Five ways to fund your research

Research funding generally implies any funding for scientific research in the fields of natural sciences, technology, and social sciences. The term often refers to funding obtained through a competitive process, in which potential research projects are evaluated, and only the most promising is received funding.
Funding is sought at various career stages. There are fellowships, awards, and funding for postgraduate students and early career researchers to help young scientists transition to independent research early in their careers. Some of these awards are still available to researchers as they transition to faculty positions. There is also a range of funding, starting with small pilot grants to test whether a project is feasible and extending to large, highly sought grants that support specific, well-developed research projects.

Senior faculty may also apply for training grants that support graduate and postdoctoral educational and research programs. Funding your research can be exhausting and time-consuming but absolutely crucial. According to a recent study, the average researcher puts in approximately 53 hours per week, with 11 percent of that time dedicated to fund-sourcing and establishing research projects. In a typical week, 29 percent of academics work on grant writing and submitting proposals to funding agencies.  Principal sources of research funding can be divided into two categories: companies (through research and development departments) and government agencies (mainly through universities and specialized government agencies, such as research councils).

Charitable foundations fund a smaller amount of scientific research. In contrast to developed countries, where more than 60% of research and development in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, industry contributions in most African countries are significantly lower. In most African research settings, the government funding proportion in certain industries is higher, and it dominates research in social science and humanities. In commercial research and development, all but the most research-oriented companies focus more on near-term commercialization opportunities than on long-term ideas or technologies that can be called "public good." Under these three major research funding sources, there are numerous financing opportunities available to assist researchers, artists, teachers, and others in getting their programs off the ground and becoming fully operational. Are you unsure about where to begin? Try the following options which may be of great help to you: 


The government is a vital resource for researchers and organizations looking for assistance. Innovation and research foster economic growth while ensuring nations remain competitive globally. If you're looking for government grants, reaching out to research consultants may definitely help you to identify sponsors. Alternatively, you can go straight to the source. For instance, in the US, opportunities for scholars in the arts, humanities, science, and engineering will be offered through the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, and the National Academy of Engineering in that order. But that's only the beginning of active government funding opportunities, with government agencies ranging from NASA to the USDA providing their rewards.
Also, don't overlook the NIH's interactive tool for identifying domestic and overseas funding as part of the NIH's Research Career Development Awards. Meanwhile, economic and social issue researchers in the United Kingdom will benefit from significant financing from the Economic and Social Research Council, supporting over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students. 


Many foundations exist solely to assist researchers in furthering their theories and turning them into practice. When it comes to identifying prospective financing worldwide, researchers have a plethora of options, such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the INGKA Foundation, Wellcome Trust, and the Foundation Center. This database, one of the world's largest libraries of philanthropic organizations, has information on over 550 foundations. However, this isn't the only way to find and interact with financing organizations. General awards are available from the Grantsmanship Center, GrantWatch, Guidestar, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, Pivot, and the Spencer Foundation. Numerous other foundations support research in specific areas, such as The Tinker Foundation Research Grants, which fund post-dissertation research travel to and within Latin America. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which supports scientists and scholars from Germany as well as from abroad. Africa has a significant and rapidly growing research market, as evidenced by the financial options available to researchers. The South African National Research Foundation and Medical Research Council, the UK Department for International Development, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and several national development organizations such as USAID, NZAID, and AUSAID regularly fund research in Africa. The focus varies, but much of the financing goes to agricultural programs and medical research, including TB and HIV/AIDS. 

Private Enterprises 

While foundations may appear to be the most visible supporters of science and research for the more significant cause, private corporations are also a funding source for many researchers and scholars. They might contribute because they sincerely want to give back to the community or are interested in their research. The American Honda Foundation, which subsidizes youth education and science academic learning studies, and the Mary Kay Foundation, endorses women's cancer research. 

Your Industry 

Given the multitude of opportunities available online, it's easy to miss local, undiscovered opportunities. Consult your institution's research office as well as associates in your industry for helpful insights on the process. Why? Because while applying for grants through a distant organization or foundation website can feel intimidating. Looking for resources closer to home can help you learn more about funding sources are especially receptive to individuals from your university to which foundations are most inclined to support your specific area of research. 


One of the other ways of taking care of research expenses is deciding to fund yourself privately. You achieve this through savings; you can definitely come up with a way of dedicating your fund for this course of action. You can also seek financial aid from family and friends; this will help you a great deal in covering some of your expenses. There are also student loans that can guarantee you funds, but with a plan of paying the loan back. 

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