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Research funding

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Research funding

Postby P Pang » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:57 pm

I just started my postdoc. I want to pursuit academic career afterwards. I have learned that research funding is very competitive. In USA, how important is getting fundings for a professor, tenure and tenure track? How important is the publication on your first funding application?
As a postdoc, what can I do to prepare for successful funding application?
Any suggestion would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
P Pang
 
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Re: Research funding

Postby PG » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:43 am

Publications are key to getting any type of substantial academic funding and funding is the best way (and maybe the only way) of securing a future academic position.

In addition to publishing high quality papers the best way of preparing yourself not only for a funding application but also regarding getting career advice and support is to do networking. One obvious starting point if your current postdoc advisor. In addition talk with people that are a few years ahead of yourself in the career path and area of research that you are interested in and get their advice on how you should prepare and also more specific advice regarding which grants that you may want to look at etc.
PG
 
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Re: Research funding

Postby Rich Lemert » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:16 pm

I don't know if things have changed in the 25 years since I was looking for an academic position, and my experience was in engineering and chemistry so it might not be applicable to your field. That said, your ability to land an initial tenure-track position depends highly on your success as a grad student/post-doc, and on the recommendations you're able to garther. If you have some top names saying "you should take a look at this person", that's going to make your life much easier.

Initial funding may or may not be an issue. I went to a smaller program at a Tier 2 school, so I did not get much in the way of start-up funds. My post-doc advisor, on the other hand, was able to negotiate a significant start-up fund. It depends on the program - and on your ability and potential.

Down the road, despite all the fancy words people use, tenure is typically dependent on your ability to bring in funding, while funding is highly dependent on publications. It's possible to get funding without publications, but not that common. Publications - by themselves - are generally not sufficient, though.
Rich Lemert
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