Funding for research activities: what does it take?

Funding for research activities: what does it take?

According to the general opinion of scientists, the lack of funding is currently the most formidable obstacle to high-quality scientific research. Nearly half of scientists (46%) consider the lack of funding for basic research as a stumbling block to high-quality research.

So how to get funding for a scientist in the first place, and most importantly, keep it in the future? Our team has prepared all the necessary information for scientists, including an explanation of the need to attract research sponsors and examples of funding sources for a scientist.

Why is the funding of research projects needed?

Science is still the key to our future, and no one can deny its importance. Moreover, we need to combine science with finance to make substantial progress in the real world. People hardly believe that economics is very much related to science. Indeed, they complement each other. They help us manage life, which should make us able to benefit by placing science in the financial field.

Scientific research, like carpentry, farming, manufacturing, or banking, is a type of business. The business of science is to produce discoveries and innovations that advance human knowledge and society. Like any other business, science involves investing money, not only for the benefit of a scientist but to ensure the entire cycle of research.

Research costs money. The funding pays for equipment, assays and reagents, access to high-performance computers, time for scientists, PhD students, students, fieldwork, travel, publications, and support staff. Diverse areas, as well as research, require absolutely different resources and funding. Thus, for example, tens of millions of dollars were spent on the study of space mining of platinum, while analysis of the strength of building structures would take tens or even hundreds of times less money.

There is a joke: mathematics is the second cheapest faculty for funding. All they need is pencils, paper, and erasers. Philosophy is cheaper. They do not need erasers.

Who pays for science?

Government grants, research and development companies, and non-profit foundations fund most scientific research. We also pay for science, like an average person. Conditionally, a can of aspirin bought can fund research in the fight against multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, most countries have research agencies that run open calls for proposals in broad subject areas (humanities, natural sciences, medicine, etc.) rather than narrowly focused ones.

There are several funding options, and one should consider them in accordance with the purpose of the project, the amount of money needed, and further interaction with the funding source. There are four funding sources in total, which are as follows:

  • Government
  • International grants
  • Business
  • Crowdfunding

If you want to consider foreign funding sources, you can, for example, turn your attention to the following programs:


Creative Europe

the European Solidarity Corps

the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme (CERV)

How to find the funding for your research project?

There are several ways to get funding for research:

  • First, there are large, prestigious national research funding agencies. They announce an open call for proposals once or twice a year. These open calls are highly crowded, and the success rate is less than 10%, so research proposals must be carefully composed, fascinating, and compelling.
  • Newcomer researchers, especially those at the beginning of their careers, can benefit from internal research grant programs funded by their university or research institute. They can submit proposals for funding (usually in small amounts) for research on any topic consistent with the institution’s strategy.
  • There are also more targeted grant schemes designed to stimulate research in specific subject areas. Sometimes they launch an open call, and sometimes proposals can be submitted by invitation only. It is possible to get an invitation if you belong to an internal group of researchers who have already established their reputation in the field.
  • If you can hardly find information about grants, you can talk to your mentors, colleagues, and your university’s science department. You can also visit the websites of learned societies in your field, as they frequently advertise such opportunities.
  • Finally, you can start with the following question: “Who can benefit from my research?” If you think you have the answer, check these assumptions by talking to a wide range of potential “clients” to find out what they need and if they can benefit from your work. If need be, adjust your proposal to ensure it meets the needs of end users. Then think about possible funding for your proposal.

How to get a grant for your research?

We have already mentioned that filling out a grant application requires you to approach it as seriously as possible and present your proposal precisely. Besides this, some other factors will affect the final result.

Grant is not a one-week project that you can quickly close. Therefore, you must be prepared to devote yourself to the project for several months or even years. Therefore, you must be prepared to devote yourself to the project for several months or even years.

It is necessary to know that large grants require you to have some foundation in the same area of research. The above involves participation in similar projects, self-financed research, publications devoted to this subject area, and even your scientific experience.

Whatever the appearances, sponsors are likely to finance an experienced scientist with a particular base and knowledge whose success they have already assessed. While the easiest way to succeed in science is not to do routine work but science.

Therefore, E-SCIENCE SPACE undertakes such a task. We handle all the routine tasks associated with your publication in a reputable journal while you do science.