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Funding and grant development: the chicken or the egg?

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Chaucer's Pub (Atrium Room)

122 Carling Street

London, ON N6A 1H6

Canada

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An informal pub night to brainstorm and discuss a basic and common 'chicken or egg' problem in funding:

In the research sector, the story often goes like this...

1. An issue is identified that appears to justify further inquiry
2. A source of potential funding is identified that appears to align with the research proposal

In the nonprofit sector, the story often goes like this...

1. An situation is identified that appears to warrant response and resources
2. A source of potential funding is identified that appears to align with the social need

In both sectors, a common question emerges...

3. Where does the time and energy come from to write a grant if key individuals or potential partners are a) already swamped with important existing work, or b) unable to invest/risk unpaid hours in grant development without compensation?

To put the conundrum another way: are there any creative approaches we can employ to navigate, circumvent, or collaborate around the significant 'opportunity cost' of applying for funding? The perennial dilemma here is that grant development consumes and expends precious institutional resources without guaranteeing any return on the investment.

Systemically, there is significant 'waste' (resources invested in unsuccessful grant applications) inherent in the process, but what can we do to avert or minimize this impact at the local level?

This is an informal conversation, to which academics, grant writers, funders, researchers, consultants, and program evaluators of all sorts are invited. We don't assume we are going to 'solve' this question, but we think there is benefit in gathering as a group to swap perspectives.

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Date and Time

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Chaucer's Pub (Atrium Room)

122 Carling Street

London, ON N6A 1H6

Canada

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