A new study led by researchers from Queensland University of Technology have concluded what most of us suspected all along: grant writing is a ‘soul-destroying’ exercise…
OPUS members Profs Phillip Clarke and Nicholas Graves were involved in the construction of the first study to examine the effects of grant writing in the Australian medical research landscape.
The paper from BMJOpen provides evidence that applying for grants are detrimental to the health and well-being of researchers. Their study touched on subjects that were indeed relatable to most. Respondents reported:
- Workplace stresses – peer pressure, employment security
- Work-life balance – taking work home
- Burden on relationships – responsibilities shift to partners
- Reduced time spent with family and friends
- Poor mental health – depression and anxiety
To help relieve the burden, the study suggested multiple funding rounds for certain schemes or changing the timing of the deadlines. This shifts the enormous pressure off the single annual deadline that everyone frantically tries to meet. It’s something that funding bodies should seriously consider when drafting the revamped NHMRC funding guidelines.
As we head into the murky waters of the next grant season in 2019, this study is a timely reminder for all researchers to ensure their health and family takes priority during the coming months.
What are your thoughts on this topic?
Click here for the full article from BMJOpen: The impact of funding deadlines on personal workloads, stress and family relationships: a qualitative study of Australian researchers.