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How to build a research career, with a little help from your friends

Image: Henrik Sandklef [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

The best way to win research grants is to plan well, argue Lyn Airey and Kirsten Bartlett, co-directors of The GrantEd Group consultancy in Australia. They give their advice for building a successful research career, including what research managers can do to help.

The tireless (or tiresome) pursuit of money for research projects is a topic for endless debate. The silver bullet, the magic spell, the secret handshake; the legends and conjecture about how to win “that grant” are endless. Actually, it’s not that hard to identify the critical success factor: planning.

After spending many years reviewing early, mid and late-career research fellowship applications—particularly for Australian federal government schemes such as the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council—we have discovered that more and more researchers are being encouraged to apply for schemes when they are simply not competitive.

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