In order to fund an internationally competitive and nationally relevant research and innovation centre, we have submitted 37 grants in 2018. This was not an easy task for a 2 years old research centre, which now employs over 40 people. In order to be competitive, we needed to create a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, grants managers, financial and operational managers. In addition, we had to learn to work with short deadlines and different grants formats and evaluation processes as we did submit grants to 11 agencies (both nNationally in South Africa and internationally).
Researchers also need to get used to plan in advance (as grants take time to be funded) and be able to receive criticism and to deal with grants rejections and awards. It is common to a good researchers to have 30% of their grants funded and 70% of them rejected. For example, as of February 2019, we are still waiting for the results of 17 grants (i.e. pending results). We had a successful year of 2018 (so far) and had 13 grants awarded but also 7 rejected. Below the result of the grants submitted in 2018, by funding agency.