Answer a Small Research Question

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Even answering a small research question can require significant funding. Answering small questions may be a good way to start a research career.  Your data from an initial study can contribute to a future larger grant application in the same topic area and establishes a publication record.  Completing a small grant application will also give you an idea of the timeline and steps required for future grant applications and builds your network of collaborators.  There are quite a few potential funding options, but here are a few of the more common sources. One of the first questions you need to answer is, how much will it cost to conduct the study  interested in. This can help guide you toward an appropriate funding source.

  • Intramural funding may be the best source, if available
    • Check with your department leadership about what is available
  • Foundation Grants
  • Specialty organizations 
  • Industry funding-Can be utilized for research examining devices or tests manufactured by pharmaceutical companies.  (See A5. Help develop a new pharmaceutical/medical device)
    • Contact industry representative to determine interest in providing the resource. This can benefit both the investigator, by providing an expensive resource at reduced or no cost, as well as the company by providing more data and scientific background for their product.
    • Determine what the company is able to provide, negotiate the price and what the company desires early in the process. Is naming the product in the manuscript enough? Have the agreement outlined in a contract prior to starting the study.
    • Never give up control of the data during negotiation. Negative studies are valuable scientifically but may be suppressed by industry.
  • NIH R03 grants-
    • NIH grant for pilot projects. There are many specific Research Funding Announcements (RFAs) within areas of study, such as aging research, drug abuse, etc.
    • These are competitive and grant writing skills are necessary for obtaining these grants.
    • These are excellent early career grants.
  • State and Local Public Health Departments
  • a source of thousands of ongoing funding opportunities
  • Residents can apply for the EMF/EMRA Resident Research Grant
  • Medical Students can apply for the EMF/SAEM Medical Student Grant
  • Research on a Shoestring Budget lecture by Dr. Robert Hoffman (coming soon)