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Seeking funding for a study or trial can be a disheartening experience. The process is an extremely competitive one because of the restrictions on founding for research and the existing high demands. Also, when seeking founding, you should be prepared to submit a lot of proposals and receive a lot of rejections.

There are many sources of founding: some general as the MRC and some highly specific where the persons seeking funding must specify a particular purpose. More and more even the general funds are being targeted towards particular objectives and calls for proposals in certain areas. There are several guides that may help you when you are seeking funding. Major academic institutions provide information from central research support units that publish listings of available grants. Most major hospitals and universities have similar units that publish internal listings of available grants with deadlines and can also give help in completing the application forms.

When seeking funding you should be prepared to go through two stage commissioning process as applied to major institutions. First, a short initial application is requested which goes through a first round selection procedure. At this stage of the process the result can be acceptance, a suggestion to referral elsewhere or rejections. If you get a rejection when seeking funding for your study you will receive a resume of the reasons for rejection and you also have the possibility to challenge the decision if you feel the decision is unjust. However most of the rejection reasons are valid and you should focus on getting some advice of the grant giving body as to how to modify the proposal and enter the second stage of seeking funding.

If you are selected to enter the second round when seeking funding for a study a fuller application will be requested and it is now necessary to provide exact details of the research proposed and the resources required. Though the odds of success shorten at this stage, the degree of scrutiny increases so the production of this second stage proposal can be much more difficult than the first. For a newcomer that is seeking funding it is recommended that advice be sought on this process from an experienced senior colleague. If coherent planning has been undertaken when seeking funding, most of the information required will be at hand and will be well constructed. The details, which present problems at this stage, are generally to do with financial details.

Another important aspect in the seeking funding process is to identify collaborators that are generally drawn from within a circle of colleagues, often based in the same institution. When seeking funding it is worth considering additional specialist input that can be helpful and seeking them out if necessary. A current issue, which is worth considering at this stage of the seeking funding process, is the likely involvement in co-authorship of any publications produced by the project.

The last stage of the seeking funding process is the evaluation of your proposal. In most cases proposals submitted to grant-giving bodies are peer reviewed by a moderate sized panel of scrutinizers that will evaluate the proposal and usually score it against a relatively tight set of criteria. Once all the grants are scored they are ranked and the available money allocated.

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