Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

“What’s the secret to getting grants?”


A recent column in the Chronicle of Higher Education offers some helpful guidance for faculty seeking to build their research careers with external funding.  The author, Karen M. Markin, director of research development at the University of Rhode Island, based the article on her work with well-funded senior faculty members.

Markin identified factors that tend to separate faculty who are successful proposal writers from those who struggle to win external funding.  Among the advice she offers:

  • Identify the priorities of funding agencies and look for opportunities to make contributions in those areas.  Even a good idea is unlikely to be funded if it doesn’t fit the current goals of the sponsor.
  • Seek out colleagues in other academic areas on campus who can help bring an interdisciplinary perspective to problems you want to solve.  Baylor faculty can search for colleagues in other disciplines using the COS Pivot database.  Contact Blake Thomas in the OVPR with questions about using COS Pivot.
  • Attend academic meetings where you can meet top researchers in your field.  Smaller conferences focused on your sub-field can present opportunities for face-to-face meetings with leading scientists who may be potential reviewers or future collaborators.

Click here to read the full article on the Chronicle website.

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