If you ever tried to complete the research grant application, you know that the amount of information you have to put in it is overwhelming. Granting institutions usually expect not only essential information about the intended project but also financial information and some additional data that may be a reason for your headache. To get it done properly and increase your chance of getting a grant you have to spend hours on not only writing but also research and contacting the institution. The time you can spend on more constructive tasks.
[Note: National Institutes of Health has granted more than 56,000 grants only in 2020. That is the number of applications that were successful. Imagine how many were rejected]
The problem here is not however that similar projects or applications were not granted or were not published. The problem is to find an appropriate source of information and use it for a purpose that is not always visible. Data on previous projects may be quite helpful if you are applying for a grant or making initial research as to whether there is a sense to do it. This information may not be intuitive but with some advanced AI-based tools you might be able to find the right answer.
[Note: more statistics about research grants can be found at ERC website. You can filter by country and the status]
Data mining, web mining, or text mining are the ways (methods) that can be applied to get the right data, make assumptions or predictions, and help you move forward.
Let’s jump to an example. A well-trained data mining tool may search for various databases with research grants, extract specific data (e.g. the subject matter, scope of financing), and put in a clear table with certain recommendations or at least ‘opinion’. Based on that you will be able to assess what factors were (probably) the determinants of the success of the particular application and apply the same approach to your document. Such tools can connect the dots that are not visible for us at first glance and they are doing it in seconds or minutes not hours.
[According to Williams Grant ‘[p]rivate grants take a minimum of three weeks once the writing begins. Government grants can take at least four weeks]
You can also engage such tools and solutions to get a wider view of the situation in the ‘research’ market. Maybe there are currently many researchers in this area and there is no sense to waste your time on it? Maybe there is something unclear, and you could start a new project that will have a high probability of success? Machine and deep learning, natural language processing, and simple statistical methods that are sometimes called Artificial Intelligence are here to help you and to let you focus on real research.
The only thing you need is a clear goal and purpose and at least a list of initial sources of data you are looking for. We will be able to do the rest. We will find links to other sources and data to make the result more complete. Don’t worry.