Funding In Health Care and Nursing Research

Afza.Malik GDA

Nursing Research and Funding in Health Care 

Funding In Health Care and Nursing Research

What is Funding,Proposal Characteristics,Institutional Funding,Positive Points of Proposal,Target Population Selection.

What is Funding

    Funding is the provision of money or other resources to carry out a research proposal, usually for a specific period of time. Resources may be money, time, or people to carry out the scientific work. 

    Funding may be intramural (coming from an individual's place of employment, such as a university) or extramural (coming from a source that is external to the recipient or the recipient's place of employment, such as a federal or state agency or a private foundation) . 

    Extramural funding almost always is preceded by a scientific or technical review for merit by experts who are considered peers of intended applicants. At times there is also a second level review made to determine the goodness of fit between the proposed project and the program that will fund it.     

Many research institutions also have instituted internal peer review of scientific merit for intramural funding.

Proposal Characteristics 

    In addition to scientific merit, proposals are usually reviewed for human subject safety, animal welfare if animal models are proposed, and the reasonableness of the scientific return for the overall cost of the research to be undertaken. 

    This last focus is designed to provide opportunity for consideration of cutting-edge research in comparison to research that may be very well designed but may not provide new knowledge. It also provides opportunity for discussion of new, highly innovative research that may lead to future advances.     

    Organizations that fund research are looking for scientifically superb proposals focused on cutting edge health problems and issues where the expenditure is reasonable given the complexity of the study.

Institutional Funding 

    Funding sources for nursing research are numerous and varied. Such support could be funding for the conduct of research or for research training and career development for nurse scientists interested in a mentored research experience. 

    The National Institute of Nursing Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the principal federal source. It announces its research interest areas on the NIH homepage and through the literature. 

    However, other NIH institutes and offices that fund clinical research with a specific focus, such as cancer, heart disease, or complementary therapies, are also important resources for nurse investigators. 

    All the institutes at NIH accept and encourage investigator-initiated research. Therefore, it is advisable not to wait for publication of information about an exact topic; if the general topic is related to the institute's mission, contact them to discuss specific ideas. 

    These and similar sources with specific interests should be pursued because their use enlarges the resources available for nursing research.

Positive Points of Proposal

    Information about research interests of the NIH and its institutes can be found through the NIH homepage at 

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are an important source for prevention and health promotion research and demonstration projects and can be contacted at

    Also, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research funds research on general health services, care delivery models, outcomes, and health care costs. Information about its research interests can be found at 

    Generally, federal agencies make their research interests known through their homepages or through contacts with staff listed on the homepages. Also, some agencies provide access to information about funded research. 

    The NIH provides this through the Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) database, available through the NIH homepage under grants and contracts. Other nonpublic sources of funding are foundations, product and drug companies, and business corporations.

Target Population Selection

    Foundations usually have highly targeted interest areas or specific populations of interest. For example, the WT Grant Foundation is interested in children; the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation is interested in end-of-life care, home care, and economics of health care projects, among others. 

    Many foundations have homepages; for example, Robert Woods Johnson's. The Foundation Directory and various online programs available through libraries are good sources of information on national, regional, and local foundations. 

    Product and drug companies frequently seek clinical investigators to assist with human testing, and nurse investigators have been active in this area. There are research grant programs available for small businesses to test products and to transfer technology into usable health products. 

    The NIH, the Food and Drug Administration, and other federal agencies that fund clinical research are sources for these funds. Funding from entities that may have a vested interest in a particular outcome from the research they support requires special consideration that offices of university sponsored programs usually can provide.

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