Grant applications – First experience as a junior researcher

The last couple of weeks (even months!) have been dedicated to grant applications. My first study has been funded, but the grants I received can be considered as minor grants (still I was the PI on those grants). This year, I am going for the home run with submissions to the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR; operating grant) and to the Quebec Research Funds (FRSQ; Research scholar-Junior 1).

At our Institution, a young researcher who has never received funding from, or submitted applications to, major Institutes or Funds has to submit his/her grant to a local mentoring committee before anything else. Individuals evaluating grants on this committee eventually decide if the application can be submitted, or not, to CIHR or FRSQ. Last year, I did the same exercise. Although the application was well written (according to them, not to me :-)), I didn’t have the opportunity to get pilot data, the year before, to support my grant. Consequently, the committee decided that it would be better for me to submit a grant application next year with pilot data.

So here I am this year with pilot data ! Although I had a solid draft revised by my mentoring committee last year, I took several weeks to refine the draft. I also decided not only to submit the grant application to my mentoring committee but also to 2 other researchers outside my field of interest. The application definitely improved (a lot) through this process. I am not overly confident with this submission though. I know too well how hard it is to receive such funding, especially with a first submission ! However, if my application gets a good score, I will be happy. The grant application was submitted to CIHR on September 13th…Fingers crossed now !

This week, I will complete my first Research Scholar (Junior 1) application to FRSQ. This submission is not intended to fund a study but a research program. This application is submitted in French and I had to get through the same process (mentoring committee) as the grant application to CIHR. The deadline for this submission is October 1st. I am looking forward to get through it to finally do some research!

What will I do as soon as I have completed that submission? I have two papers (one paper as first author and one paper as senior author) that need to be resubmitted as soon as possible!!!!


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