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Q: How to get a financial, science grant? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How to get a financial, science grant?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: pendleton-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2003 10:45 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2003 10:45 PDT
Question ID: 237416
What is the manner and with what group or foundation 
can one apply for and get a financial science grant?

Specifically-- to order to show the mechanism and cause of sun spots?

Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 31 Jul 2003 19:10 PDT
Hi Pendleton,

You're to be commended for your ambition to do great things in
science, and for the intellectual curiosity that fuels it.  However,
although the process of obtaining grant funding is no great mystery,
the price of your question doesn't allow for a detailed explanation of
the process, nor a comprehensive list of possible sources. You might
consider raising your price if that's what you require.  Please see
Goggle pricing policies here:

On the other hand, if you'd be satisfied with some general advice
about the grant application process, together with a few links to
information on educating yourself further, as well as information on
where and how to locate sources of funding, do let me know and I'll be
happy to provide you with those.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by pendleton-ga on 02 Aug 2003 14:20 PDT
yes, Byrd. Your suggestions are what I am looking for.
A more detailed answer as you correctly state is definitely
worth more. I want your comments and a few web sites, etc.
to get me thinking. From there, I will decide me next question
and steps of action.

Thanks so much!
Subject: Re: How to get a financial, science grant?
Answered By: byrd-ga on 03 Aug 2003 08:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Pendleton,

All right then. I appreciate the opportunity to give you an assist in
beginning to learn the ins and outs of the grant application process. 
Obtaining grant funding is no great mystery, but it does take a good
understanding of the grant process, skill in making application, and
research into sources of grants for a particular purpose.  After that
it takes dedication, perseverance and, most of all, patience.  Most
grants require you to submit your application at least a year in
advance of actual disbursement.  Some take longer.  And you absolutely
must follow every little rule to the letter.  Ignore the rules; be
passed over for the money.   Also bear in mind that you must have the
necessary qualifications.  For example, funds are sparse for
undergraduate students (though not nonexistent), but become
increasingly available as one goes up the scale to graduate student,
post-graduate, professional astronomer, consortium, scientific
institute on up to major research universities.

Getting the first grant is usually the hardest.  Once that's done,
however, you'll find other doors more likely to open.  It's as if
grant funds administrators look at the applicant and think, "Hm, this
other foundation thought this candidate was worthy of funds; perhaps
he is.  Maybe we should give him some money too."  One very important
note of caution is to be sure to follow the rules as to simultaneous
applications.  That is, don't submit applications to more than one
source for the exact same thing at the same time.  If a source denies
your request, then you can apply to another source, but do it
sequentially, not simultaneously.  That is not to say you can’t submit
multiple applications at the same time.  You can, but only for
different purposes.  For example, if you've applied for funds to pay
for a telescope, then make your next application for a computer with
which to catalogue your observations.  It’s a small world, and the
scientific community is an even smaller segment of it.  Grant-giving
entities do have contact with each other, and word gets around. Ignore
this caution to your peril.

Starting with the first part of your question, here are some links to
sites that give information that can help you begin to educate
yourself on "grant writing." That term really means "completing grant
applications," a field of endeavor which is actually a career for many
people.  These sites offer good information, advice and are, best of
all, free.

Using the search terms “grant writing” or "proposal writing" will
yield many more returns, though people apply for grants for every
conceivable purpose from business to film making to scientific
research.  You’ll need to look through them all to find the ones with
advice most appliable to your situation.

Once you've got a good handle on the grant writing process, then you
can search out sources of funding for your purpose, which is
astronomical research.  It would be nearly impossible to list every
source that gives grants for scientific purposes or even astronomical
research.  Believe it or not, there are people who build whole careers
on searching out sources of grant funding, which range from tiny
private foundations to the federal government and even international
entities, and most of these people charge quite a bit for their
expertise.  However, take heart, as with the advent of the internet,
it's become very possible for an applicant to do much of this
previously esoteric research on his or her own.   To get you started,
here are some links to sites with information on available funding for
scientific research, including astronomy:

Search terms to use for turning up others could include: 

  grants astronomy OR astrophysics
  research grants astronomy OR astrophysics
  grants “astronomical research”
  Federal grants astronomy OR astrophysics
  private grants astronomy 
  state grants astronomy

You might also experiment with including terms such as undergraduate,
graduate, awards, fellowships, and/or prizes in order to uncover even
more sources of funding.  In searching through the results, I’d
recommend that you start with general scientific sources, look for
those that indicate or state an interest in astronomical research, and
then gradually narrow them down to the ones that would best fit your
specific area of proposed research.

Also, for the purpose of this answer, I’ve assumed, perhaps wrongly,
that you reside in the United States.  If not, you might add the name
of your country to the above general search terms to narrow down the
results.  But bear in mind that the scientific community is a global
one, so just because a grant source is located in one particular
country, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be interested in funding
research in another.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of assistance. I hope you’ll find
this information useful for your needs.  Please do ask for
clarification if there is something you don't understand so I can try
to clear it up for you and ensure the information provided is what you
were looking for.  Best of luck in your quest.

pendleton-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Excellent job Byrd!!!! You really got me going. When I am ready for
step two, you will see my question here and a more worthy price offer.

Thanks ever so much. You really did a great job for me. Man, I feel
the fog lifting.

God bless you to know and do His will!

John-- being astronomer with lots to learn and prove.

Subject: Re: How to get a financial, science grant?
From: byrd-ga on 04 Aug 2003 19:59 PDT
Dear John,

I am absolutely delighted that you are so pleased with my efforts, and
thank you very much for the great rating! Your enthusiam is almost
palpable, and with that kind of energy, I'm sure you will be going far
-- to the stars perhaps?  I'll definitely be looking forward to the
possibility of being able to assist you further in future.  Many
blessings to you in your endeavors!

Warmest regards,

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