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Research Funding

Research funding is a term generally covering any funding for scientific research, in the areas of both “hard” science and technology and social science. The term often connotes funding obtained through a competitive process, in which potential research projects are evaluated and only the most promising receive funding. Such processes, which are run by government, corporations or foundations, allocate scarce funds.

Most research funding comes from two major sources: corporations (through research and development departments) and government (primarily carried out through universities and specialised government agencies). Some small amounts of scientific research are carried out or funded by charitable foundations, especially in relation to developing cures for diseases such as cancer, malaria and AIDS.

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Medical Research

While medical research grants and scholarships are very competitive, there is a lot of money available from a variety of organizations. These include the federal government, private corporations and non-profit agencies and foundations. You will maximize your chances of an award if you put in the time and effort to identify available grants that best match your area of expertise.

The federal government is the #1 source of medical research grant dollars. The National Institute of Health (NIH), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the largest source of research funding for medical research in the world. And according to their web site, as a result of the federal stimulus program they have received $8.2 billion in “extramural funding to help stimulate the economy through the support and advancement of scientific research.”

Grants.gov and the websites of individual agencies are a great place to look for grant announcements related to your specialty. A web search specific to medical research grant opportunities in your field may also return unexpected and profitable results.

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How to Find a Research Grant

To find available grants on any topic including medical research, it is useful to start with grants.gov. There you can browse by category or do very specific searches. You can also find valuable sources of information by simply doing web searches in your particular field of interest. Don't forget to check out sites of corporations (such as Pfizer, Inc.), non-profit organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and non-profit organizations you might not think of, such as NFL Charities. NFL Charities is a non-profit making charitable organization, established by the member clubs of the National Football League (NFL) in 1973. It enables the clubs to collectively make grants to charitable and worthwhile causes at the national level.[1] The NFL Charities' main areas of funding/grants are:

  • Sports-related medical research grants
  • Funding for current and former NFL players' working in the local community
  • Youth initiatives
  • Funding the charitable work of the 32 NFL clubs
  • Assistance with former NFL players who have come upon hard times[2]

Grants amounting to $10 million each year are donated to organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Heart Association.[3]

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Research Funding" as well as other cited sources.

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