Research is one of the most valuable aspects of South Florida State College. The strength and reputation of the institution are anchored on the high-quality research by its faculty. However, research is an expensive affair requiring extensive funding, even from external sources. Research in South Florida State College currently depends on multiple sources for funding, including local and state agencies, private foundations, and federal agencies. In recent times, these funds’ availability has fluctuated significantly due to the changing budget decisions of the different sources and the general financial climate.
Competition for funds supporting research in learning institutions has increased in recent years, which has seen the percentage of successfully funded projects drop significantly. The funding deficit has resulted in multiple adverse effects on the research department, some of which will be far-reaching if not addressed in time (Wong, 2019). For instance, if the deficit continues, the organization will lose some highly trained personnel. Notably, most of these individuals possess unique skills, making it challenging to replace them even if funding becomes available later. As a result, the institution has had to make more applications to obtain the necessary funding to maintain the research faculty without compromising the quality of its outcomes or losing valuable personnel.
It is in the best interests of South Florida State College to protect its research department by ensuring that a funding gap does not occur. In this regard, the institution has set up a program to acquire funds that will act as a bridge by supporting the department in times of funding crisis. The program will buffer the institution’s research department from any funding gaps, protecting it from losing valuable personnel and ensuring the continuity of quality research at all times (Schneider et al., 2019). It will be dubbed Research Guard Fund (RGF).
The Need Being Met
Research typically takes considerable time to prepare and undertake, meaning that delays translate further prolonging the process. Taking more time than necessary during research negatively affects the budget, resources, equipment, and personnel. In this regard, the Research Guard Fund will buffer the most critical research projects and those with the highest probability of restoring external funding from funding gaps that could affect them adversely. Primarily, the purpose of RGF is to support full-time tenured projects that do not have other funding sources and demonstrate the likelihood of getting their funding renewed. Notably, this program will not be used as a funding source for new or high-risk projects. Any research yet to establish a track record of external funding or undergone at least three external funding sources is not eligible for the RGF. For the 2022-2023 academic year, the projected total funds required to run the RGF is $500,000.
Why RGF is the Most Suited Solution
Inadequate research funding is a challenge facing most research institutions and scientists around the globe. The current economic climate coupled with the increased competition for funding has made it challenging for researchers to acquire the necessary funds for undertaking research (Krog 2019). Only a few research institutions receive substantial federal and local research grants, necessitating the need to source external funding. Notably, external funding sources are usually hard to acquire, and they take time. Considering that time is essential in any research project and the adverse effects of losing time, such as loss of valuable staff and affecting the feasibility of the study, it is necessary to ensure that research projects do not encounter funding gaps during their execution.
The RGF will protect continuing projects from the adverse effects of funding gaps by offering an alternate resource. Typically, most of the funding gaps are unforeseeable; hence they occur unexpectedly and affect projects in multiple ways, most of which continue to worsen with time (Lee, 2021). It is almost impossible to anticipate funding gaps since researchers usually plan for their projects after establishing their funding sources. However, they are sometimes inevitable hence the need to stay prepared for such occurrences at all times. In this regard, having a standby budget is the most appropriate way for the research department to prepare for the enforceable scenarios. Irrefutably, a fund that will act as a buffer during challenging phases of research is the most viable solution for protecting ongoing projects from funding gaps.
How Donors can Help
You help is needed in setting up the RGF fund to cushion some of the most essential research projects from adverse effects of funding gaps and to protect the institution from losing its valuable personnel. The funds will be critical in ensuring that continuing projects do not stall and the institution does not lose valuable staff due to funding gaps. One-time contributions are welcome and ongoing donations will aid even more. All contributions will be deposited directly to the fund. They will only be used to fund ongoing, low-risk research projects that demonstrate a high likelihood of restoring external funding. Would you please help us realize our estimated budget of $500,000 for the RGF?
Krog Lind, J. (2019). The missing link: How university managers mediate the impact of a performance-based research funding system. Research Evaluation, 28(1), 84-93. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvy038
Lee, Y. H. (2021). Determinants of research productivity in Korean Universities: The role of research funding. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 46(5), 1462-1486. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10961-020-09817-2 Bottom of Form
Schneider, F., Buser, T., Keller, R., Tribaldos, T., & Rist, S. (2019). Research funding programmes aiming for societal transformations: ten key stages. Science and Public Policy, 46(3), 463-478. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scy074
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Wong, N. (2019). The changing landscape of research funding: Challenges for mid-career researchers. Genome Biology, 20, 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-019-1798-9