Writing a grant is hard work. It takes special and sometimes new skills. Writing grants is challenging, time consuming, and with a funding line of 15-30%, the odds are your proposal won’t be funded. So why should you spend your time writing and applying for grants?
It is your pathway to independence as an academic scientist – If your goal is to be an independent, academic, scientist – then you must be able to convince funders to give you money for your research.
Grant funding is the internationally recognized credential for independent scientific achievement – If funders give money for your research consistently over time, it is assumed that you are productive and your research has impact. The more funding you have, the easier it becomes to get additional funding as your record begins to speak for itself.
Grant funding lets you set your own course of investigation – As long as you can convince a funder that your research is of value, you can decide what direction your research should go in and what questions you want to pursue.
But even if you don’t want to be an independent scientist in charge of your own lab, there are multiple reasons you should know how to write a grant:
- You increase your value as a team member
- You can participate in group submissions
- You broaden your career opportunities
Knowing that grant writing is hard and requires new skills, you need to practice. Don’t wait until your career or position is on the line to write your first grant. Start writing and submitting now, when the consequences of failure (remember the odds) are less. And start writing and submitting grants when there are people offering to help!