Let the grant writing begin. The National Institutes for Health has been among the big winners in the American Recovery Act, a.k.a. the economic stimulus package. Universities are lining up for $8.2 billion in research grants on a wide range of subjects. Almost any nutrition supplement company interested in conducting research in support of a product should be able to establish a relationship with a university researcher. The trick is knowing which grants to apply for and how.
The grants are alphabetical categories ( F, K, P, R, S, T and U) that cover everything from fixing up labs to funding clinical research. And as you might expect, no two NIH institutes support the same funding mechanisms. That’s where the fun — and opportunity — begins. Nutritional companies that partner with an adept research grant writer can find the money. Among the prime places to look:
- National Institute on Aging (NIA)
- National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK)
There are also grants that target minorities underrepresented in the research sciences and something called the Interactive Research Project Grant.
Companies could spend a lot of time trying to figure out which grants best fit their needs, but the best approach is to find a smart university partner. Science departments are mobilizing for the cash, which will help pay salaries and overhead, and could bring them prestige. The corporate partner that brings an opportunity and resources should be able to generate interest from a dean or department chair.
Keep in mind that much of the federal money may go to existing research proposals that got high marks from federal reviewers but were shelved due to lack of funds. Still, opportunities abound for those that move quickly.