Thursday, July 8, 2010

Becoming a Successful Principal Investigator

Today's Chronicle of Higher Education has a great piece on developing yourself into a successful (i.e. funded) researcher. The author, David Stone, makes important distinctions between establishing yourself as a scholar (e.g. contributing to the literature), a researcher (e.g. having the appropriate skills and contacts to get the work done), and a grantwriter (e.g. compiling the literature review, recruiting the research team, understanding the granting body's regulations and culture).

"Grant writing is the end of a process, not the beginning. Long before you make the decision to write a grant proposal for your research, you should be taking concrete steps to raise your profile in the eyes of reviewers.

What does that mean? Most basically, it means preparing yourself as a scholar, a researcher, and a grant writer in ways that will strengthen the ideas behind your proposal, demonstrate that you have the wherewithal to carry out your project, and enhance your ability to communicate what reviewers are looking for."

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