what if a fella wanted to quit his job and just do bee research? what would one have to do (besides maybe take a few courses in research to get the nuts and bolts of scientific thinking down pat)? Is there grant money for bee research?
If you look hard enough I'm sure you'll be able to find grant money. But grant money is not just handed over. The application process is often extremely competative. There are people who earn their living writing grants.
If you're thinking you can get a grant to support you while you play with bees, I think you are headed for disapointment. Now if you have something truely interesting and innovative... that's another story.
There is grant money available for such research, but you'd be in competition with established scientists. You'd have to convince the panel of scientists or the donor that you deserve their money as a grant more than others who are also requesting that same grant money.
That's where the education and the appointment with a research institution of some sort comes in. As much as anything else, the collegiate degrees and the positions in institutions are factors that "admit" a person into consideration for research monies.
Think about it (and this is in no way intended as a slight against anyone conducting independent research): if YOU were awarding grant money, would you give it to Dr. So-and-so from Somebig University (where they have several scientists devoted to studying, for example, honey bees) who presents you with an experimental design that should produce results able to be published in a scientific journal, or to Joe Schmoe (no college degree) who wants money to study 20 hives in his backyard?
Fordguy, check out SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research, and Education??):
They specialize in funding the Joe Schmoe's of this world. A number of the projects they've provided grants for involve beekeeping.
Dulcius ex asperis
I would give it to Joe Schmoe! That guy gets around. He must be BMOC.
Grants are out there. But being underwritten or sponsored by a university is required for many of them. The SARE grants are a little easier than most.
That's very true, grants are out there. My point, really, was that even the "easy" grants are still pretty competitive. You have sell your experiment -- have a plan of what you want to do, how you're going to do it, why it's worth doing, and how you're going to report it. Most granting agencies are looking for a pretty good "bang for their bucks," too! I think that's one of the biggest hang-ups; getting results published is usually much easier with backing from some research institution than going it alone.
But certainly give it a shot, if you're interested. On a personal note, I would recommend more courses in statistics and analysis than in biology or "science" -- somehow, you're going to have to make sense out of the data you collect, and that's where statistics come in.
There has never been a worse climate for lifesciences funding in the U.S. (ever). Most grants (if not all) are awarded on a competative basis. You should be able to demonstrate: 1) familiarity with the techniques in your proposed reseach 2) a history of successful publication in peer reviewed journals 3) that the research proposed has scientific and practical significance. Usually extensive experience or post graduate training is necessary. Smaller grants from charitable institutions are out there but usually are designed to promote public awareness and educate rather than to advance scientific knowledge.
well, as far as education, i'm probably starting off in the wrong direction as i've got a doctorate degree in law... my sense in all this is credentials while important are probably less important than the topic to be studied, and the way the study is presented. My weakness is I have no scientific training and i'm certainly new to beekeeping. thanks for all the replies, this is very interesting
[size="1"][ February 13, 2006, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: FordGuy ][/size]