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STRATEGIES TO PURSUE A CAREER IN RESEARCH

Written by MicroDok

Pursuing a career path in research can be frustrating without a proper and informed guidance and choice as per how to start and go about the whole process of it. You may feel shy at times to ask a senior colleague or friend, or you may not even have anyone to ask, but do not worry, as this little piece might be a helpful companion to you. This article is geared towards helping you to understand some of the important things that you need to know in order to make informed decision as to how best to choose and pursue a career in research. The tips in this section are an excerpt from the NIH (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) guideline on strategies to pursue a career in research.

The guidelines here are from the NIH

CHOOSE A RESEARCH AREA 

  • Find a niche to distinguish your research (gaps in established fields; new fields; new technologies and approaches).
  • Talk to the program officers in several NIH institutes to your research interest.

SEEK FUNDING

FIND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SUPPORT RESEARCH IN YOUR FIELD

  • Multiple NIH institutes
  • Other federal agencies – NSF, DoD
  • Local agencies
  • Philanthropic and disease foundations
  • Align proposed research with scientific mission of funding agency.
  • Know policies and administrative requirements of funding agency.
  • R01, R21, R03 most common types of NIH research grants.
  • All applications must be submitted in response to an open funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
  • Investigator-initiated research: “Parent” Program Announcement FOAs – 3 receipt dates/year.

PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS (PA)

  • Broad research areas
  • No set aside funds

REQUESTS FOR APPLICATIONS (RFA)

  • Specific scientific topics with set aside funds
  • Special receipt date, usually one-time call
  • May have special eligibility or format requirements

ADMINISTRATIVE RESOURCES

  • Administrative support is important for research success. It should include:
  • Identification of relevant funding opportunities.
  • Facilitation of application process.
  • Compliance with funding agency policy.
  • Sound financial management systems for managing grant funds.
  • Mentors for investigators at all career stages.
  • Administrators can use resources like NCURA.

COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

  • Work with experts in different disciplines to study problems.
  • Obtain new ideas, perspectives and methods.
  • Increase potential for innovation, funding.

TOOLS

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES FROM NIH

NIH Clinical Center Department Fellowships and Opportunities

 SOURCE: NIH

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