Traditional government funding
|111th US Senate class photo, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons|
- Understand the structure of the funding agency
- what have they funded
- what is their relationship with your home institution
- what are you colleagues doing
- be able to articulate what kind of research your colleagues are doing that is already funded by that agency
- Identify who the appropriate program officer is
- send an email with a paragraph in hand about the kind of research you do, and where you are moving. Is this the kind of research you are interested in funding? If not, can you point me in the right direction, and can I use your name?
- Don't ask for information you could have gotten ahead of time online.
- What concepts or priorities have already been approved? Look up the strategic plans. In particular those that are supported by the PO you are going to contact.
- Look for requests for information, and respond with ideas in your area.
- There are no "cons" about talking with PO.
- You cannot talk to PO about a submitted funding proposal that is in review.
- You can (and should) ask, "Do you think this is something your funding agency is interested in in the future?"
- Diversify your support - don't go only to one PO or to only one funding agency.
Serve on review panels
- The best experience you can get for preparing proposals.
- Helps you to develop a good relationship with the PO.
- You learn about what other panelists are expecting.
- Hearing the way people critique, especially what can rule out a proposal.
|Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, photo by Adbar via Wikimedia Commons|
- Structured foundations (corporate and foundations group) generally follow the same rules as government funding agencies.
- Unstructured foundations - do not accept proposals! How to get an "in"?
- Have to make a personal connection with someone who sits on the board
- Pitch your idea in email or on the phone
- Quickly you will hear either: "Great! Send 1 page summary." or "Not interested"
- You are immediately competing with colleagues at your Institution
- How do you interact with rich people? Be social. Join the United Way committee. Join and attend one of the balls that support hospitals.
- Be aggressive about getting out in the community.
- If you are going to meet people with capacity, you need to make the time to do it. Probably difficult for early career scientists.
- Talk with your Institutional office about possible philanthropist connections.
- Check what the past history Institution with the organization-of-interest is.
Public versus private benefits for philanthropists
- Public benefit - Interested in scholarship, research, public outcome of the gift.
- Private benefit - Makes the philanthropist feel good. Seat saved in the front row.
- Most people donate money for the private benefit. Figure out what their private benefit is (prestige, recognition, intellectual discussion, name on the wall), and target that.
- Businesses are interested in partnerships - spinoffs
- Talking to venture capitalists can seem like talking into a vacuum
- Put up the money to start something yourself.
- 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing.
- Businesses/Corporations don't give much to start (average $25-30k), but this can improve
- Underpromise and over-deliver
- Business endeavors are designed to solve a specific problem
Crowd funding for science?
|How to capture the interest of the crowd? Photo by brand via Wikimedia Commons|
- On average crowd funding supports $5,000 grants, generally not hundreds of thousands or millions
- Must utilize all of your networks - at least 12-15 primary people to expand to their larger networks.
- Need a key statement, appeal, and to sell the research
- Often a large time investment, with fairly low pay-off.