Obtaining Funding

Funding has an inevitable influence on research. While some research studies can be carried out within existing resources, others require additional financial and human resources. The amount of available funding for the research may also shape the study. It is important to know that there are sufficient funds to undertake a meaningful study for the research purpose. Concerns have been raised about underpowered studies. The CareSearch Grants pages provide information on various types of research grants relevant to palliative care.

There are various sources of funding. Many institutions offer internal grants and awards that can support pilot or exploratory research work. There are philanthropic bodies that provide funds for research and projects. Other organisations such as Cancer Councils raise funds for research purposes. The Australian Government provides significant research funds through its formal agencies, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). State and territory governments also commit funds for research. There are various international sources of research funding.

Grant applications and research funders tend to have specific requirements. Typically you will need to develop a research proposal that describes the purposes of the research and methodology, along with an appropriate budget. Developing these proposals can be time consuming, so it is important to set aside adequate time to ensure applications can be finalised by funders’ due dates. If funding is going to be managed by a University, it is not uncommon for an infrastructure levy to be charged for some types of grants. They will also require additional time to sign off on grant applications, usually at least a week, which must be taken into account when looking at the timelines for application writing.

Protocol development workshops can be a very valuable source of advice and encouragement for new researchers seeking financial support.

The following resource may be useful in preparing requests for research funding: