Managing the Research Partnership
Relationships need care and attention. Funding partnerships can either grow or be allowed to wither away. The difference usually depends on how the researcher manages it. A good relationship makes for a more congenial research process in many cases, and will often make the difference between a good and bad evaluation, and the eagerness of the funder to work with the researcher again. There are three critical success factors for ensuring relationships precede positively: communication, communication and communication. A funding director at a foundation recalls a similar incident, with a research team hoping to conduct in-depth research on homeless teenagers. Ideally, every researcher has a personal, one-to-one relationship with someone inside the funding body who can support the research team through its vicissitudes. Relationships are about reciprocity – about spending time and effort giving and taking things of benefit, and seeking mutual benefits. A relationship means that there is an expectation of reciprocity.