Assessing Partner Needs
Successful researchers become adept at finding out as much as possible about a potential funding partner before they decide to submit a proposal. The first stage of needs assessment is to become clear about the many different groups involved in what may appear to be a single funding organisation. Every organisation is involved in a hierarchy of relationships of which potential partners would be advised to become aware. Any organisation which hands out funding for research has to satisfy a number of people and other entities to whom they are accountable in some way, or who have some kind of interest in what they are doing. Private sector organisations have multiple stakeholders, including shareholders, staff, customers, the media, industry groups, legal and regulatory bodies, potential employees, pension fund investors and competitors. The most remote group in the assessment process seems to be that which is known as ‘peer reviewers’.