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Postdoctoral Funding

While postdocs are generally funded by their Principal Investigators (PIs) for the first year or two, it is typically expected that they eventually seek out their own funding. The process of proposal development and award administration is part of the training and career development process. In addition, successful applications not only support the current research, but they demonstrate independence and look impressive on a CV. UC San Diego provides many resources to support postdocs search and apply for external research funding. See below for helpful resources and tips. Good luck!

General Proposal Tips

✔ Start early!

Allow time for colleagues/institutional administrators to review the proposal, time for you to make edits, and time to navigate through submitting a proposal through UC San Diego systems/processes. It’s a good practice to allow yourself months to develop a persuasive proposal and to plan to submit a week prior to the deadline to allow time to correct any last minute administrative errors.

✔ Be strategic!

Read your solicitation carefully and investigate the funding agency’s priorities. Your research proposal should fit the funding agency's goals. After researching the agency and speaking to colleagues, you could reach out to the agency program office with a polished abstract (well ahead of the submission deadline) to discuss fit.

✔ Keep applying!

The funding landscape is highly competitive. Rejections and resubmissions are part of the process. Incorporate reviewers’ feedback to strengthen your skills as a grant writer to make your future proposals more competitive.