Once a broad hypothesis is determined, set specific aims so that the research doesn’t appear to be a ‘fishing expedition.’”
Explore This IssueSeptember 2011
“My advice there is really keep it simple,” Dr. Belafsky continued. “Very specific, readily achievable aims that are feasible with the financial resources that the grant will provide as well as your time constraints for the period of award.”
Another key: Communicate clearly what infrastructure will support your grant. Be it collaborators or a commitment from your institution that time will be blocked off for the work, grant administrators are looking for an otolaryngologist’s support system.
“It’s kind of difficult to be a surgeon-scientist with the constraints that we have for providing clinical care,” Dr. Belafsky said. “It’s really essential to have a team around, whether it’s basic scientists or statisticians or veterinarians, in our case,…(grant administrators) want to know you have the resources behind you to get the work done. They don’t want to invest in something that’s not really feasible.”
Perhaps Dr. Belafsky’s best piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to be rejected.
“For every success we have, there are a half dozen failures,” he said. “You have to put yourself out there because that’s how we learn. That’s the whole scientific process, especially with grantsmanship.”