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A Diversified Funding Portfolio

Posted on June 27, 2013

Samantha Meltzer-Brody (bio) explains the importance of being open to many types of funding sources.


I think to stay afloat in this day and age you have to have a diversified portfolio. And I think that my research is driven by the research question and then trying to marry that with a funding source that's going to fund the project. So if NIH will fund it that's fabulous.

If you're looking at in the case of AstraZeneca, I had an idea for currently approved medication but using it for an off label use. And so I wrote them and said I have this idea and I'd like to do a randomized trial because I'm using it clinically off label but it would be really cool to see if it works. So we just finished those results and I'm presenting those in June at a conference and getting the manuscript written now.

The Foundation of Hope allows us to do sort of innovative small scale projects somewhat like TraCS (North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute) but again as a foundation. And so I think you have to be really resourceful when you're trying to develop a small scale project and get that pilot funding before going for a bigger grant. You have to fund it somehow and really being open to all different areas and avenues and being creative. And I think one of the things I've realized is you just have to be tenacious and you have to be open to multiple different opportunities. And you can't just stick with one thing and expect that to work. I don't think you can just stick with NIH funding in this day and age and expect to have enough money to fund all the projects and to run a lab.

I think people need to know that you really just have to be very persistent, you have to be passionate about what you do and you really have to roll over every potential rock and see what's under it.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in 2013 at the North Carolina Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute.

The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute is the integrated home of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is supported through the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) grant ULTR000083.


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