Building the right project team requires a great deal of thought and planning. It is easy to rely on your personal or professional network to source your team, although not always the wisest choice. There are some specific aspects reviewers are looking for in a project team. It is important to consider these qualities when assembling your team and finding employees.
What do Reviewers Want?
The answer depends on several factors, including what agency you are applying to and the type of research being conducted. In general, reviewers want to ensure that the team has relevant prior experience and sufficient knowledge to ensure project success. Reviewers also want to ensure that each team member’s role is clearly defined. They also want a secure management protocol in place. This might mean hiring employees outside your usual professional network or hiring consultants. It is also important to ensure that prospective team members have relevant experience. A potential team member could have all the experience in the world, but if it is not relevant to the proposed activities, it is unlikely to impress reviewers.
Past Award Experience
Sometimes reviewers favor applications that include Principal Investigators or senior personnel that have been awarded federal grants from the same agency in the past. This can be a barrier for those who have not yet received an award and are applying for their first federal research grant. It can be advisable to bring employees onto the team that has this experience, as consultants, advisors, or project managers.
Finding Team Members
But how to find the employees you need? There are several easy ways to source new employees. One way is to get a referral from friends and coworkers. Someone you know personally or professionally maybe acquainted with someone with the necessary experience. Another great way is to use Angel.co. or seek out other locations where startups tend to congregate. Some options are research hubs, co-working spaces, or similar organizations.
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