Citing authoritative sources in your proposal can greatly improve your chances of being funded. Data, statistics, and respected voices in the field will be your best means of persuasion. Multiple current and convincing sources of data will strengthen your argument. Some of the key sources for such data searches are listed below:
Citations from federal studies have an inherent authenticity that appeals to many donors. Regardless of discipline, most researchers and writers can make use of the following sites:
- USA.gov is the most authoritative statistical portal. You can search for and find statistics spanning all topics.
- Data.gov contains data and statistics on several topics pulled from federal agencies, state and local governments, and several major institutions of higher education.
- The Bureau of Labor and Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of work economics and statistics.
- The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics is the nation’s leading data source for science and engineering studies.
- The Department of Education has a large collection of statistical information pertaining to education.
- PubMed is a research warehouse for nearly all medical studies conducted within the U.S.
- All of the 26 federal funding agencies, such as the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture, hold a wealth of data within their individual websites.
- The National Archives and Records Administration provides access to archives and historical records. Historians and librarians will greatly benefit from this site.
Multilateral organizations are a great source of information on national and international areas such as in health, economics, geosciences and education. The following sites are just a few of the major resources:
- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) houses a comprehensive collection of research and statistics with publications in multiple digital formats. The IMF eLibrary is an excellent resource for global statistics and information.
- The World Bank provides data on multiple global-scale topics, such as poverty, education, and technology.
- The World Health Organization is an excellent resource on world health data and statistics.
- The Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank have country-specific economic and business performance measurements, data, and statistics.
- The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has an array of data on culture and education gathered from global studies.
- The Organization for Economic Co-Operation Development (OECD) iLibrary, although not a multi-lateral organization, can be a great resource for international data for many disciplines.
Medical and Scientific Research
The most authoritative place to begin looking for data and resources for medical research is the National Institute of Health (NIH) site. For scientific research, it is the National Science Foundation (NSF). In addition, the following resources provide further statistics for some disciplines:
- Nature.com’s Statistics for Biologists focuses on data and resources in biology.
- The American Physical Society houses resources and guides for physics research.
- The American Cancer Society focuses on data for cancer research.
Social Sciences Research
Social scientists should make use of mixed method research. Both qualitative and quantitative data can be found at the following sites:
- The American Fact Finder pulls statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau data.
- The American Psychological Association provides resources and data for psychological research.
- The American Sociological Association supplies information and links for sociological research.
To have any chance of being funded you must always start with an important idea. Once you have that, citing authoritative previous research and data to demonstrate the completeness, legitimacy, and accuracy of your idea will greatly increase that chance. The resources listed above are only the some of the countless available, but they should provide an excellent start while writing your proposal.
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