Identifying research funding

It is quite likely that you have some ideas about who might want to fund your research, but you may not know who they all are. Mainstream funders, such as national Research Councils, major charities and European Union funds are fairly easy to identify, but there may be many other research funders that might wish to consider your proposal.

Help to identify funders

If you have not already contacted the research office in your institution then now is the time. Most research offices have databases of research funders and funding opportunities, often with email alert services. Even if you already know about the funding databases available in your institution (and how to use them), it is often worth talking to your research office as they will often have access to intelligence about up and coming opportunities. They may also offer a tailored service to hunt for opportunities on your behalf - this is where your A4 idea outline comes into its own.  If you have done some work on developing the proposal then that will also help the research office to better assist you.

Choosing a funder to approach

You will need to bear in mind that different research funders may pay differing amounts for the same piece of research. (The reasons for this are outside the scope of this section). Your institution may have a preference for the types of funders that you apply to for research funding, however in general the research itself is more likely to lend itself to one funder rather than another. Ultimately, most institutions will prefer a successful proposal to an unfavoured funder that an unsuccessful proposal to a ‘gold standard' funder. Your Research Office should be able to advise you further in this question

You will need to cost your research and then decide how much money to ask for from your proposed funder.