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Research Plan w/o giving away ideas

  1. Oct 27, 2012 #1
    Can anyone offer advice on how to write a research plan for an academic position (in physics) that is competent and believable without giving away the farm and all your ideas?

    It seems to me these two things are mutually exclusive. A committee will not be convinced without a believable plan, but it is hard to see how one can sound believable without detailing and being specific about your ideas. So what's to stop the search committee from: *snip*, "thanks for my next grant proposal."

    I think anyone who is in the academic physics field knows that there are more than a few physicists out there who can, will, and have done this.

    Obviously I don't yet have funding for my idea, or it would be a moot point. "Hmm, candidate already has grant, hired!" Note that I'm applying to undergrad-focused institutions. In today's market, I'm not even sure people without current grants in their own control are even considered.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2012 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    This happens a lot more in the movies than in real life.

    First, ideas by themselves are not all that valuable. Everyone has ideas - it's whether one can successfully implement them that matters.

    Second, the people who review these proposals usually have ideas of their own they are trying to pursue.

    Third, the funding agencies would surely notice Prof. Bigshot slamming a proposal one year and submitting it himself in the following year.
  4. Oct 28, 2012 #3
    Hey, thanks for your response. I agree with your points (1) and (2).

    However, I can think of 4 friends/colleagues just off the top of my head who shared their ideas with the wrong people and had them stolen. So it does happen a lot more than you would think.

    On point (3), I'm submitting an application to a search committee, not a funding agency. I'd have to simultaneously write a grant and submit that for funding, which I guess I could do. The issue, though, is that in a research plan you really need multiple avenues of science, so it would have to be multiple grants.
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