Why do I need a grant?

In some fields, it’s obvious: You need a grant in order to purchase expensive equipment necessary for your research, run a lab, or conduct experiments involving large numbers of human subjects. In other fields, it’s sometimes less obvious. Here are some of the main reasons you really do want a grant:

  • Summer salary: Depending on the granting agency, you can add up to 3/9 to your current pay.
  • Sabbatical support: Take a 2/3 pay sabbatical and top off your salary with a grant.
  • Travel support: Don’t limit yourself to just travel for research. You can budget for conference and other travel for the dissemination of research results, travel for training programs and workshops, for your students, or for colleagues at other institutions you’d like to have visit UC Irvine.
  • Graduate student researchers (GSRs) / research assistants: By supporting a student on a grant, you simultaneously:
    • Free up more resources for other students in your program
    • Gain graduate student labor and expertise
    • Provide opportunities for your students to work on your research project, prepare and present research findings, and receive valuable training and mentoring
    • Depending on your field, gain a co-author who can help prepare and publish your results

And, depending on availability of funds, you may get to make a deal with your Associate Dean to help cost-share and make your grant money stretch further, so you may travel more, buy a new computer, hire an undergrad to do your filing, etc.

You also may need a new computer or two, an iPad, a smartpen, lots more books, and subscriptions to journals and professional societies…

Here’s a fun podcast by a “text-based” Canadian researcher on why you need a grant – worth listening to if you are thinking, “All I do is read books, think and write; I don’t need a grant.”



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