Seeking research sponsorships requires identifying a prospective sponsor and preparing an application to demonstrate how the sponsor's funds would further research and provide a tangible benefit. Sponsorships are available from private companies, academic institutions, government agencies, and organizations interested in furthering various causes. Learning how to apply for and secure sponsorships can be an important aspect of developing a research career, as researchers often need outside funding assistance to complete their projects.
The first step involves sitting down to determine what kind of research is being performed, and writing up a detailed plan. The plan should include a discussion of the nature and purpose of the research, with an outline of how it will be done. This will be important for the application, and can also help applicants outline potential areas of interest for identifying sponsors. For example, if a research project involves finding new treatments for cancers, pharmaceutical companies and cancer organizations might be interested in a research sponsorship.
With information about the project in hand, the next step requires seeking out prospective research sponsors. Some organizations may advertise the availability of sponsorships, providing information about how to apply. In other cases, it is necessary to find organizations and companies that might have an interest in the research, and to arrange an appointment to discuss the possibility of a research sponsorship. Public outreach coordinators are often a good initial point of contact, as they can help applicants locate the best person or department to address a request for sponsorship to.
Obtaining a research sponsorship typically requires submitting an application, including supporting documents about the research, who is involved, and related matters. It is often possible to duplicate this information to apply for multiple sponsorships at once, taking care to customize the application in areas where it is necessary. A request for research sponsorship aimed at a private company, for example, may take a different tack than one addressed to a public service organization.
Researchers can expect interviews if there is interest in offering a research sponsorship. The organization may also want to see the facility where research is being performed to learn more and verify the statements made in the application. Graduate students sometimes need research sponsorships to continue with their work or prepare an application to an advanced degree program. PhD programs may only accept applicants with funding secured, in the interest of avoiding situations where students cannot finish their research and fail to graduate. In these situations, it is advisable to note that the nature of the research may shift slightly once the researcher actually starts school.