Who Pays for Science? Why is Funding Important in Research?

Funding Important in Research

As Robert Heinlein once said, “Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done.” This quote cannot be more accurate.

All the discoveries we know now are previous theories that were proven true. We have Science to thank for all the findings and advancements that have been proven helpful in our lives.

The majority of the problems we face today- resources, energy, health, environment, climate, transportation, communication, and technology- will require solutions brought about by Science. 

Through research, we can address the urgent challenges we face today like how to deal with illnesses with no cure yet or new viruses, how to address climate change, or even social science concerns. Endless possibilities are waiting to be revealed, and questions may almost get answered.

However, the challenge is to get funds to support the research of our scientists. Every study will entail expenses. It can be the person-hour pay or salary, equipment, chemicals, tools, and fieldwork expenses like travel and accommodation costs.

These are some of the few expenses you will need to consider when researching. There can be more things you need to budget!

Who Pays for Science?

It is a good thing that there are research fundings. Research funding is a term used in funding any scientific research. Being chosen for research funding entails a competitive process in which you need to prove that your proposed study is most worthy to receive funding.

Government agencies fund most scientific researches. Through their research and development departments, some corporations provide funding. Individuals and non-profit charitable foundations also budget research, especially if the study supports a cause close to their mission. 

Why is Funding Research Necessary?

Funding is vital in scientific research can birth innovation. Imagine discovering solutions and treatments for different sicknesses and problems. Many studies may slow down or even get suspended without appropriate research funding. The lack of budget may undermine scientific progress.

Through funding research, health, well-being, and safety improvements may be unearthed. This is a way to secure the future for the next generations. A good example is the current times.

Imagine if there are no scientific researches funded nowadays that we are experiencing a pandemic. There might be no vaccines available or ways to recover from the deadly COVID-19 virus. 

Researches also benefit the economy. Industries can be more competitive through funding research since it can produce new knowledge that can boost technology. In fact, countries investing in scientific research can pull up their status and GDP. 

Here are some tips on how to get approved with your funding request.

  • Identify the idea and design of the study. Your proposal aims for buy-in from the stakeholders. Make sure that the proposal includes valuable information like the type of study, methodology, sampling, measurements, and statistical analysis.
  • Prepare for the request. Get to know the requirements needed for the request and the budget available for the grant. Then, make sure that you submit all necessities.
  • Formulate a budget proposal. The budget is as important as the methodology of the study. Conduct a price survey of all the costs that you might entail, like the purchase of the equipment, consumables for research, hiring of the needed personnel, travel and accommodation expenses, publication expenses, and of course, your miscellaneous contingency expenses.  
  • Add the timeline to your proposal. Stakeholders would want to know how long the study will run and the milestones that they can expect. This will also help the approvers picture what will happen in the research.

While the study is ongoing, make sure to account well the expenses incurred to show transparency. Looping in the stakeholders on the research progress and how much of the budget was used can be advantageous for you.

Using different tools in monitoring your budget can help you be accurate, such as accounting software. Using such tools will let you focus on the more important stuff, which is the actual research rather than the logistics. 

Upon completing the research project, make sure to submit a completion report to the funding agency. Submit the final expense report, reflecting how money was spent, and deviations on the proposed budget, if any. This can be used especially in audits conducted after the study.

Ensure that your discoveries will be published too. The primary purpose of researches is to widen scientific knowledge. The research may birth or support other related studies in the future. By documenting your research results, you are not putting all efforts to waste.

Final Thoughts

Research funding is a vital part of conducting scientific research. Researches cannot be cost-free, and scientists need the appropriate support to pull off their investigations. Fundings in research can help better all people’s ways of living.

We all reap the benefits of Science and previous studies conducted. As they say, knowledge is power. By expanding our knowledge on how the world works, we gain the ability to live fully and safely. 

Put to mind the wise words of Polish-French physicist Marie Curie, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.”

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