The world of research funding contains within it diverse roles and plenty of opportunities for “job crafting”—that is, shaping a specific role so that it fits your unique strengths and interests. Let’s look at some different possibilities that exist for someone who works with academic research grants. Two of our experts work at universities (Nandini Maharajand Brianna Wells) while the other two work at in health research specifically (Tara McDonald and Annie Moore).
What does your work involve?
Nandini: I work in the UBC Faculty of Education, supporting researchers across its four departments and one school. My role entails identifying and communicating research award and funding opportunities from Canadian and international government funding agencies, private foundations, and industry, as well as providing proposal development support for faculty on their research grant applications. I maintain relationships with external research and award sponsors and develop strategic research support plans for the Faculty of Education in collaboration with the associate dean of research and the director of research development.
Brianna: My role is that of research development officer at the UBC Okanagan campus. We’re a smaller campus than UBC Vancouver, and the primary parts of my role are supporting faculty members in the social sciences, humanities, and creative practice in applying for grants. I work with faculty at any point before they submit a funding application, so I meet with people right when they join UBC. I sometimes meet with people as much as three years before they first apply for a grant. Sometimes actually I’m even part of the interview process when there’s candidates coming to campus. So it’s quite a wraparound service!
Annie: I help our healthcare professionals find and apply for research funding, I plan and host educational events, and I manage a wide range of communications (for example, webpages, reports, e-newsletters, and articles).
Tara: I’m contracted to oversee strategic and institutional grants at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading mental health and addictions teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. I provide grant development and writing support to a community of 200 health researchers and clinician scientists, over 400 trainees, and 600 staff; work with executive leadership to plan strategic grant initiatives; coordinate and draft major institutional funding proposals; develop and implement grant policies and procedures; produce data reports and briefing materials for stakeholders; liaise with stakeholders across the research community; design and deliver grant training for diverse audiences; and act as lead contact for our CIHR, Canada Research Chairs (CRC), Canada Foundation for Innovation, and Ontario Research Fund grants, among others. I also developed CAMH’s CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, and led the transition of the grants portfolio from a paper-based approval and tracking system to an integrated electronic research admin platform.
Read the next post in this series: What Prepared You for In-House Grants Editing?
Read the previous post in this series: Getting Started in In-House Grants Editing in Canada