Grants for research help cover a variety of costs include salaries for investigators. Whether you are the lead investigator or an assistant, finding grants that support your research activities is crucial. Even if you are associated with a major research institution, additional funding is always needed.
Before applying for a grant, you will need to conduct grant research. Research is conducted to learn various things related to the grant. If you already have a grant source, you want to research the grantor and learn about their giving history and patterns. If you do not have a grant source identified, grant research is conducted to locate potential grant opportunities.
When researching grant opportunities, you will quickly learn that most local foundations do not support research activities. On rare occasions, they may commission research on a particular community issue. But they are not likely to fund individual research projects. You will need to look toward national foundations and the federal government to identify grants for research.
Research grants are awarded to individuals and organizations. Even businesses can apply for research grants. These grants are typically awarded through the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs which focus on engaging small businesses in research activities needed by every federal department. Thousands of SBIR/STTR grants are administered regularly by the federal government.
Organizations, including nonprofits, can apply for research grants through other federal grant programs such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Individuals can also receive NSF grants for research associated with colleges and universities. Results of federally support research projects are expected to be published in academic and peer-reviewed journals so that finds can be used by the public.
Medical research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Research focuses on new medical devises and technologies used to combat specific illnesses and diseases. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) funds research on warfare technologies and specific military device development. Research grants also focus on technologies that make war safer for our troops such as IED-resistant clothing material.
Regional foundations provide grants for research on topics ranging from entrepreneurial innovation to energy conservation. These grants are intended to provide wide reaching impact upon completion. The foundation will publish a report that details best practices resulting from the funded research. Research findings are then made available to communities throughout the country. The report details steps to reproduce the activity as well as scale it to meet specific community needs. This allows the initial grant funds to impact many more people than the initial grantee.