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Aug 01

No. 84: Keep Time and Recruiting Costs in Mind for Research Team

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Keep Time and Recruiting Costs in Mind for Research Team

Reader question: For my last research project, I completely forgot about the cost and time of recruiting lab techs and other workers for my study. And then the funding ran out. What are the best strategies I can use to avoid this?

Expert comments:

Plan properly, and then meet with the entire team to review the budget line by line, experts say. You should not only have the researchers present for the team meeting, but also those who will play other project-related roles associated.

In addition, get the perspective of the human resources team, the marketing people, and anyone else who has anything to do with your project so that you can put together a realistic budget.

Once you receive notification that your grant application is funded, there’s very little time for celebration. If you put a clear plan into place, then begin the implementation as soon as you get the grant award so that you don’t lose time and you’re not trying to backtrack.

You can also avoid running out of time by taking into account the personal time that each team member may require during your project. For example, if one of your staff is pregnant, she will be taking maternity leave. Determine how much time she will need and find a suitable, temporary replacement. Doing this well in advance will conserve valuable time during your research by avoiding what could be a lengthy replacement search.

Also consider everyone’s vacation schedule, upcoming holidays and leaves of absence. In addition, try to anticipate events that may happen, such as a team member becoming seriously ill or a member of his or her family being hospitalized. Trying to make arrangements during the event will take your focus off your research. Building in the extra time and contingency plans before anything happens will only help you in the long run.

Expert comments from Debbie DiVirgilio of DiVirgilio and Associates, a grant consulting firm in Elkton, Ill.

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