Tips and insights to find the best researchers so you can maximize grant impact.
Launching and maintaining a successful research grant program is no small feat. There are countless considerations that must align to ensure you’re delivering real impact. But perhaps one of the most critical needs is finding the right researchers for the task at hand.
When you’re evaluating how to find the best researchers for your initiative or grant program, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Who’s out there? Who has the right credentials? The right experience? The right contacts?
Let’s start at the beginning.
It can be tempting to approach the question of how to find the best researchers by going straight to the top. The most credentialed team. The most renowned authors. The most talked-about name.
But ultimately, this isn’t about the top fit. It’s about the right one. Because no single research challenge is the same. And there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for each scientific field. So how might we think about it instead?
First begin by clearly defining your objectives, values, and goals for the project well before you start targeting a particular team or individual.
What’s your “why” for the project? What kind of impact are you hoping to make? What values will motivate you and the team as you evaluate grant applications? By focusing more on shared priorities and philosophies, you’ll be able to refer back to these ground rules as you evaluate the best researchers in a given field. Yes, credentials and accolades matter—but shared ways of working and underlying motivations can make all the difference.
Perhaps the most direct and intuitive way to find the best researchers? By running a successful scientific grant program.
For a comprehensive run-through on everything to consider when creating your program, check out our resource article on How to Run a Research Grant Program.Read More
When it comes to broadcasting your grant application online, capturing applications, and managing awards, Altum’s flagship grants management platform, ProposalCentral, can help.
ProposalCentral puts invaluable efficiencies, workflows, and synthesis at your fingertips—but perhaps most valuable is the platform’s network of 700,000 researchers on the platform. By putting care and thoughtful marketing strategies into launching and running your program, your application process and peer review stages will naturally attract invaluable potential teams eager to approach the challenge you’re setting forth.
Tapping into a readymade community of 700,000 scientists saves time and naturally reinforces the likelihood that the applicants to your program are ready, willing, and able to deliver results.
For a more immersive breakdown of how to run a successful grant peer review, check out our eBook.
This valuable resource also includes tips and suggestions for developing a smart scoring rubric and moving smoothly and efficiently through reviews.
By building a foundation of potential authors and researchers over time, both within your existing network and through a research grant management platform like Altum’s ProposalCentral platform, you’ll cultivate a solid foundation.
But what if those avenues aren’t enough? What else might you consider?
Tap Into Your Network
Once you’ve defined your priorities and approximate parameters for which researchers are suited to the challenge at hand, it’s time to find the team who’ll make it happen. And that starts with the perspectives already at your fingertips.
Board of Directors
We’ll dig deeper into digital resources and virtual search options later—but a human-to-human approach is always a powerful place to start. So don’t hesitate to leverage your board of directors. Who do they recommend? Who do they know? Who can they connect you with?
This approach has a two-fold value: First, these individuals have typically reached their role on the board over the course of many years of experience, networking, and cultivating a robust suite of expert insights. Simply put, they know what they’re talking about. And second, that’s precisely what your board of directors is there for. What better way to optimize the potential for your grant program than by putting your board to maximum use by collaborating to determine the ideal team for your project or initiative?
Don’t stop here. Often the best ideas and insights come from the most unexpected places. Consider discussing opportunities with leaders and practitioners alike across your entire organization, going beyond the board to the on-the-ground administrators or division leaders who may bring fresh perspectives to the corps of research teams you may be considering.
Social Networks—Especially LinkedIn
Lastly, cultivate and leverage your social networks, particularly LinkedIn. Invite your community to propose ideas. You’ll amplify your voice as a thought leader in your particular grant funding sphere—and you never know who may have just the right recommendation for your program.
Run a Symposium
Launching a symposium or summit can be an energizing opportunity to bring fresh voices and networks together to discuss the most pressing and thought-provoking topics and research categories of the future.
Attendees will be empowered to present their work, hear emerging perspectives from peers, and discuss the latest developments within their respective fields. And as the hosting organization, you’ll tap into not only the insights of the attendees—but their corresponding contact information and networks as well. Be sure to integrate email signups directly into your programming plan in order to ensure a thoughtful ongoing relationship with attendees.
Build an Online Community
By either launching or tapping into an existing online community or forum, you may discover a number of potential research partners. This can be a valuable strategy for identifying less established authors or leaders in emerging fields who may not be operating within some of the more traditional grant submission and research funding ecosystems.
A few potential established communities to consider include: ORCID, ROR, and Crossref. And even if you’re not building your own community directly from scratch, you can activate and interact with these types of existing communities in order to dig deeper into potential resources or teams who might be well-suited to your particular initiative.
There are countless opportunities to identify new or established researchers who are exceptional at what they do. But beyond these time-tested and emerging avenues for finding the best teams out there, we have one final recommendation to provide: Keep your eyes open. Because you never know when the right person will come your way. They could be the subject of the newspaper article in your Sunday paper. They could be the author of a feature blog post on your favorite scientific trends site. They could be your neighbor’s daughter who just earned their doctorate.
Altum is committed to open science, data transparency, and a more inclusive research ecosystem. And our open philosophy continually drives us to think about things from fresh perspectives. We hope you’ll do the same.