The Process: Getting Started with Research


1. The first step in developing your proposal is to talk to your department chair and dean about your work. Obviously Pacific wants to do everything possible to further your research interests, which enhance your own academic career, improve the opportunities for students to gain research experience, and enlarge Pacific's reputation and influence in the academic world.


2. The second step is to work with the research office ( to find sponsors for your research. This office provides guidance, support and help for you as you move from the stage of ideas to the stage of implementation. They'll help you look for sources of funds, help with the application process, and provide advice about the IRB and the Animal Research Board (IACUC).


3. Early on in the process, as a third step, you should consider what resources, beyond the resources the grant brings to the table, and the resources your department already has, that you will need to complete your research. The Research Office can help you talk to the appropriate Vice Presidents at Pacific who are responsible for technology, finance and facilities to ensure that you have the backing you need well before application time.


4. Once these initial steps are complete, the fourth step of writing takes place in earnest. At this stage, it's a good idea to share early ideas with experts in the field beyond your department. The Research Office can put you in touch with likely expert helpers, and can assist with proof-reading. When the proposal is nearing completion, please be sure the Research Office is in the know, so that final sign-offs, electronic registrations and other details can be attended to. The ‘sooner the better' is the motto here. Some research portals, like eRA Commons, likes you to register two weeks before the deadline. Others are very quick to respond. In any event, organize early is the secret.


5. The fifth and final step is to send the proposal in. Again the research office can help with copies, electronic transmittal, mailing, Fedex, distribution of copies and the many things that are needed at this stage. The successful writing, transmission and award of a grant depend on careful timing, good teamwork, and, of course, your own brilliance and energy! Given sufficient time and care, we can greatly increase the chances that the grant will be funded.