CAREER BRIEF

Toolkit: How to find scientific funding

Your science has to be good to attract funding. Competition is fierce, but there are techniques you can use to boost your chances of securing a grant.

Find the appropriate grant agency

Some agencies will be much more receptive to your research or discipline than others. A grant administrator can help if you are not sure where to focus your efforts.

Learn to accept rejection

Rejection and failure are a fact of life in science. Those who learn from one rejection are more likely to succeed the second time around.

Be specific without relying on jargon

Grant administrators want to see detail in your proposal, but do not bore them with overly technical descriptions, particularly in your summary document. Use a simple structure, clear writing and appendices to providing specifics while ensuring your text is readable to a non-specialist reader.

Get edited

In common with a CV or job application, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your grant application can lead to rejection. Ask others to proofread, edit and make suggestions to your proposal at all stages; they will spot things that you have missed.

Meet deadlines

A late proposal is worse than no proposal – you will have wasted your own time and possibly others’ time too. Finalise your application at least one day before the due date.

Find out more

See more information.

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01367-4

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