Saturday, May 08, 2010

Proposals, Grants and Funding Cycles

Proposals, Grants and Funding Cycles

1. How do research proposals for established companies vs. university grants differ?

I would think as many of our resources this week indicate that corporate research is better funded, structured and managed to lead to profit-based results which will increase the value of product or service and shareholder interests. In terms of Brian Martin's Assessment Orientation Table 1 corporate funding appears to rely more heavily upon administrative and performance-based funding decisions. In contrast university resources appear to be more publicly funded and thus more accountable to administrative requirements in terms of disbursements with a greater focus on peer review and equal allocation. Perhaps fewer information sharing limitations might exist which encourage more open data sharing? Does the public and university research sphere provide the proving ground for more confidential corporate research?

Our global innovation industry profile indicates the software & internet, health, computing & electronics, technology, aerospace & defense and automotive research fields are the largest and most competitive in terms of sales ratios while probably also the most highly commercialized and corporately funded. "Everything else" from humanities to creative industries or community-based projects would more highly contend with university-based research grant allocations. Independent self-funding researchers might enjoy this short presentation by Elizabeth Gilbert on the nature of creativity among non-sciences based researchers.

2. Why is it important to be aware of grant cycles?

The research proposal itself would need to be iteratively reviewed and updated to ensure that the grant funding cycles do not end prior to completion of research. If various grants are being cobbled together to complete a longer term of research than a few months at a time there would need to be many consecutive milestones or sets of results to achieve some level of entrenchment to carry over from one stage of research to another. It appears many grants are short-term in orientation and so without consecutive successful applications to provide for various sequential results based elaborations on previous research conclusions it would be at times impossible to meet research goals and time constraints in funding sources.

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