We work with you to make it possible, helping you through the process.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how much 2000+ pictures are worth? The cost of instrumentation often necessitates gathering multiple internal resources or applying for an external grant. Typically, researchers apply to NIH, NSF, or similar large government funding sites. In order for you to have the best chance for getting successfully funded, Micro Photonics will work with you to get you the material you need for a strong proposal. Below are some tips and advice from past experiences that has worked well for other researchers. These are in addition to the resources found online, some of which we have included at the end of the article.
- Make sure you follow the rules and deadlines for the grant. It may seem obvious but it is also a prerequisite to having the grant reviewed rather than rejected outright. With so many researchers applying for grants, planning ahead is the best way to ensure you have enough time to solidify the fine details.
- Determine if the grant is geared toward a single user / application or if the organization is looking for a multiuse facility that serves several researchers and departments, either in the same organization or local geographic area. This can change over time as trends go from emphasizing singularly focused work to multidisciplinary research.
- The cost of the instrument will determine what type of grant you will need to apply for and can also affect if you need to bring in other researchers to support it as well. We would be happy to discuss with you and your collaborators the different instruments available and the advantages of each so you can determine which level of funding best suits your research.
- Having data, images, and support material for each application will strengthen your justification why the selected instrument is essential for all researchers involved. We have worked with a lot scientists and engineers in a wide variety of applications and can provide an expert explanation of our technology as it relates to your field of study, including conducting evaluation tests from your specific material or specimens for your grant proposal.
- A lot of grant organizations require the instrument to be serviced under a warranty or extended warranty for a set amount of years (varying between 2-7 years). Determine the duration of the warranty coverage required and assess how this might affect the total value proposed. You may have to include the price of extended warranties into the grant submission.
- Grant panels will also want to know who is going to be in charge of running the system and maintaining it at your facility. Designate the person and describe their past experience supporting similar instruments.
- Find out if there are consumables that will need to be purchased and how often. Consider if there are any other facility requirements necessary that are not included in the price of the instrument (i.e. electrical, water cooling, compressed air hookup). It may be difficult to secure additional funding after the fact for these peripheral items.
- Some grant organizations what to know if there are similar system in the same university or even in the same geographical region. If so they may preclude you from applying for a grant or weight that against you. If there are reasons that you can’t use the other instrument, state that in the proposal.
- Have a structure as to how you will bill other researchers within your University and also those outside the University for work done on the instrument that isn’t included in the grant.
Lastly, we find that it often takes multiple submissions to the same organization to get a grant funded. Listen to the comments of the reviewers and adjust your proposal accordingly. If it requires more data or application support we would be happy to help.
Micro Photonics also offers leasing options for you to consider as an alternative to purchasing a system outright. If that isn’t an option we also offer contract work on most of our systems so you can get the results you need without having the capital equipment budget.
Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants
Richard Male’s ‘Tips for Writing Effective Grant Proposals’
US Department of Health and Human Services
NIH’s website regarding grants
NSF’s funding site
NSF’s – ‘How to Prepare Your Proposal’