Resources Q & A

Is there administrative help available at institutions to assist with putting a grant proposal together?

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In the US there one can usually avail of administrative assistance while applying for grants, which are typically very competitive. In India the reality is that there are far fewer decent grants submitted compared to available funds, so any decently written grant has a very good chance of getting funded. It is not as stressful to write grants and get funding! (other things ARE stressful—getting your consumables ordered being the biggest one-see the relevant Q&A). So it's just a different set of challenges that Investigators spend time on....

There are usually colleagues who are happy to serve as a sounding board for grantsmanship and for talking through the scientific parts, but one might not find formal mentors as there often are in US institutions. Regarding the administrative side—many institutes have a specific office for providing information about granting agencies and institutional guidelines/compliance with various requirements such as biosafety, animal ethics, human subjects, etc (in CSIR labs this is called the PME—Project Monitoring and Evaluation—Cell). All grant formats are available online but most submission is still as hard copy—soon to change, so stay tuned!

In some Institutions, once the grant has been received, all expenditure and staff attendance, etc are online and can be tracked by the PI. Others are moving to such a system. Again, this is something to ask about.