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Going For The Gold: Some Dos And Don'ts For Grant Seekers

Sorry to say it, but if you are a scientist who has had a tough time obtain- ing federal funding to carry out your research, life is apt to become even more difficult in the next few years. In 1987, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded 6,446 competing grants. In 1990 the agency expects to fund only 4,719 grants. By cutting the number of grants it makes, NIH intends to boost the size of each grant. The move apparently stems from the agency’s feeling that too many scientists hav

Liane Reif-lehrer

Sorry to say it, but if you are a scientist who has had a tough time obtain- ing federal funding to carry out your research, life is apt to become even more difficult in the next few years. In 1987, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded 6,446 competing grants. In 1990 the agency expects to fund only 4,719 grants. By cutting the number of grants it makes, NIH intends to boost the size of each grant. The move apparently stems from the agency’s feeling that too many scientists have been working with too little funding, causing real changes in the research projects that were originally proposed, reviewed, and approved.

As a result, the competition for NIH grants is going to increase, and the quality of your proposal to that agency had better improve. Indeed, standards of excellence among other grant-making organizations are rising as well, so you should give...

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