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Better written funding proposals can help advance science in Brazil – Journal da USP

Better written funding proposals can help advance science in Brazil – Journal da USP

aFunding proposals (Grant proposals) is the main, if not the only, means of participating in notifications targeting public or private funding of scientific research in various fields of knowledge. Although it is an important type of text, Grant They do not receive the same attention and status as scientific articles, whether by researchers and teachers in the field of academic speech and writing, or by various scientific communities.

However, write Grant It is essential for the advancement of science, because without funding, scientific research cannot be conducted. Moreover, obtaining funding is a means of ensuring career advancement for researchers and serves as evidence of the quality of research institutions and their faculty of scientists. However, despite the essential role it plays GrantHis work in a national and international context, as well as the understanding of how these types of texts are written, are topics that are little published, discussed and studied. This scarcity is mainly observed outside the English-speaking sphere, i.e. countries where English is their official or dominant language.

In terms of support to navigate, manage and understand performance Grant Brazil lacks a public and private financing system compared to the United States and Europe. Here, a few Brazilian educational and research institutions have dedicated offices to support researchers in the stages before and after grant funding, so-called Pre-award that it After the award. Which serves as administrative support for scientists who, therefore, are free to focus fully on research. However, recently, changes in this scenario have come through Exercises provided by funding agencies, such as Fapesp, and by investments by private foundations in research management procedures, such as the Researcher Support Center (NAP) of the Israeli Albert Einstein Research and Research Institute (See the report on Fabisp Magazine). However, despite these efforts, there are still many obstacles regarding research management, such as the lack of professional recognition of those working in this field in Brazil, as indicated by information from the Brazilian Research Administration and Management Association (BRAMA).

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In terms of actions aimed at writing Grant In Portuguese and English, our country is also at a disadvantage. In searching the websites of the agencies that funded the most research in the country from January 2022 to July 2023, according to data obtained from the InCites platform, namely CNPq, Capes, Fapesp, Faperj, and Fabemig, it was not possible to find content and training information and full-text samples of Grant And/or any other source that can be used by researchers who aim to write a research paper Grant.

On the other hand, in international funding agencies, such as the US National Institute of Health, it is possible to find resources such as complete templates and more detailed resources and explanations on writing a report. Grant (Grants and funding). Fapesp, Brazil’s third-largest financier, includes a guide with suggestions but, apart from summaries in its virtual library, does not provide any complete model. Grant Which can be consulted publicly.

This confidentiality of the full content of Grant Researchers defend it internationally, arguing that it aims to avoid revealing research data before publishing study results. Furthermore, they argue that keeping information confidential is a way to protect originality and prevent unscrupulous people from stealing ideas and projects. In fact, this seems like a good strategy, because after all, the academic environment is quite hostile in terms of content publishing, mainly due to high competitiveness and disagreement over rankings between teaching and research institutions.

Although this is a good strategy, what is concerning is the lack of information on how to navigate and more detailed models for writing Grant. This lack of institutional procedures in favor of academic writing is not limited to Grant. This issue was highlighted in research conducted by the study group at the Academic Literacy Laboratory of the University of the South Pacific, which noted the limited content for writing different types of texts as well as oral speeches circulating in Brazilian universities. The laboratory is Central writingIt works in three languages ​​– Portuguese, English and French, and has a ten-year history. It is coordinated by Professors Marilia Méndez Ferreira and Eliane J. Losada, from the English and French areas of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Humanities (FFLCH) of the University of the South Pacific.

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The new doctoral research underway at LLAC, led by the author of this text and under the guidance of Professor Marilia Méndez Ferreira, aims to contribute to the understanding of the working of the financing system and, essentially, to gather information about the writing process Grant. The focus of this research is on studying the rhetorical issues (thought), the overall structure (organization), as well as the lexico-grammatical issues (language description) of this type of text. The crucial point is to understand what can influence the success and/or failure of writing GrantIn English and Portuguese.

Since there is an issue of prejudice regarding confidentiality, this research faces challenges in data collection, and is currently open for contributions from any researcher from different fields of knowledge who wishes to submit their research. Grant In the languages ​​he studies. Assembled Through the online form, hosted on the REDCap platform, is a software that captures electronic data and ensures secure and completely anonymous transmission of texts. Furthermore, the research fully complies with ethical research principles and ensures data confidentiality. Some of the expected outcomes from this research are: Creating content that can contribute to helping those who need writing instruction Grant and produce data that can support early-career researchers and emerging academics from low- and middle-income countries to navigate the national and international funding system.

For national science, it is necessary to have greater knowledge of how the funding system works and about writing GrantEspecially because we lack the educational materials to teach future scholars how to write Grant and navigate the system. Moreover, we cannot ignore that competition for funding is only increasing as funding becomes scarcer, while scientific agendas become more and more protracted. As a result, lack of knowledge of the financing system and lack of proficiency in writing Grant It can mean damage to national science, as well as to researchers, who may consequently lose prominence in their research fields due to restrictions or lack of funding.

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(Opinions expressed in articles published in USB newspaper They are the sole responsibility of their authors and do not reflect the opinions of the publication or the institutional positions of the University of São Paulo. Access our editorial standards for opinion pieces here.)