NIH Isn't the Only Source for Grant Funding
We all know the adage about diversifying revenue sources. Building the relationships to diversify revenue sources, especially from private funders, takes some work, however, the benefits are long-term.
While we know that government funding remains the major source for basic research grants, private funding (philanthropic foundations and corporate support) can also be an important source. In a survey conducted by the Science Philanthropy Alliance, U.S. research institutions received more than $2.3 billion in grants to conduct basic research in 2016. The 25 institutions that participated in all three years of the survey reported that funds from private sources increased by 40% between 2015 and 2017.
Private funders often function outside the space of federal funding. These funders may be less risk adverse, provide funding over longer grant cycles, and be more focused on the big picture of transforming care. An article in The Scientist notes that private funders may also offer more flexibility because they do not have to stick with the more rigid requirements and protocols of federal funding. This level of flexibility can allow the researcher the opportunity to tweak projects and deadlines based on the data. Private funding can also fill gaps in federal funding such as contributing to activities not allowed by federal grants or filling in when federal funding is reduced.
APS has been fortunate to receive impactful foundation grants to support early career researchers, specifically, the Mayday Foundation and Rita Allen Foundation. These grants are designed to help early career researchers do the work and meet the requirements for future NIH funding. The success of past recipients demonstrates how the early career research grants made an impact. As of April 2017, past recipients have been published 897 times and gone on to secure 82 NIH grants valued at $58,957,565 (as of 4.10.2017).
Federal funding still is the major source for basic research funding and probably always will be. However, we are grateful that the private sector is involved in supporting basic researchers and continues as an impactful resource to provide a broad and diversified source for funding to allow for innovation, risk, and flexibility. To help in your search to diverse your research funding support, the Open Education Database OEDb offers a long list to find funding for research.