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Securing Endorsements.

28 August 2012

Today I heard back from a major agency which is dedicated to researching diabetes and delivery of care therefore. I had approached one of their investigators who has done work on retinopathy in order to ask her to read my aims and consider supporting my grant. She, on her own initiative but with my permission, shared it with the governing committee of the entire research organization. And today I was told that they would be writing a letter of support, from the organization. This is a huge deal. A letter of support from an organization like this can be a crucial difference between funding and no funding in the agency I’m applying to.

One of the major requirements for funding in the organization I’m working in is collaboration. They simply won’t consider an application which doesn’t have a strong set of endorsements. The reason for this is that there is a huge focus on dissemination in my system. They are determined to fund “the best science”; their definition of that includes the best plan for encouraging adoption of results, and the spread of ideas. It is explicitly stated that peer-reviewed publications are necessary but insufficient for a dissemination plan.

Therefore, having the endorsement of a major diabetes research organization (basically equivalent to an NIH center of excellence), one dedicated to implementation and adoption of research, with a statement that my project is aligned with their goals, will be of critical value in the eyes of reviewers who are specifically told to look for such evidence. There is another organization whose endorsement I want to secure, which is a health care engineering institution. If I get that (and I believe I will without much difficulty), I will have demonstrated that I have strong partners dedicated to the dissemination of my findings.

Additionally, the researcher I initially approached has agreed to serve as a consultant for my grant. This means that not only will I have the organizational endorsement,  but I will have a collaborator sitting in their midst. There can be no stronger statement of support than that. This is the beginning of something good. I can tell. I am going to be putting together a major project, and it’s going to be good. Or my name isn’t whatever my name is.

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