Burning Questions Research Planning Grants Program

Encouraging academic researchers to pursue burning questions

What is this program? What does it aim to achieve?

  • These grants support the development of research plans to study the burning questions, not the full-scale research itself. For example:
    • Hire graduate students to assist with preliminary literature surveys
    • Obtain help for teaching (e.g. in order to devote time to prepare applications for major research grants from the government)
    • Undertake pilot studies (e.g. studies that help produce a ‘proof of concept’) that will lead to full studies and research projects
    • Travel to discuss plans with potential collaborators or funders
  • The grants are offered chiefly to academic researchers in universities, and in exceptional circumstances to researchers in think tanks and international agencies.
  • Applicants must hold PhD/doctoral degree or be enrolled in PhD programs. They need not reside in the U.S, but must be from institutions comparable to U.S. non-profit universities /organizations as the grants are given to institutions.
  • Each grant is minimum $1,000, maximum $10,000.
  • Grant period is four months.
  • There are two rounds /deadlines per year.
  • The number of total grants given each year or round is not fixed.

Why this program and approach?

  • Tiny Beam Fund does not have the capacity to fund research projects to answer the “burning questions”. That would require a vast amount of resources as well as loads of researchers from different fields and disciplines. But it can encourage academic researchers to develop projects and help them obtain grants to answer these questions.
  • Academic researchers often face the challenge of insufficient time and funds to prepare weighty grant proposals. Many excellent ideas are not developed and proposals not written simply because researchers do not have the time to focus on them or do not have the funds to carry out some preliminary work that are required for major grant proposals. The program aims at supporting researchers who face such challenges.

Application for grants

Application now closed. Next round of application opens August 1, 2019, closes October 1, 2019.

Information on how to apply will be available in mid-June 2019.

Queries about these grants are accepted year round. Please contact min@tinybeamfund.org.