Tips for Research Success – Science Cafe Fall 2020

By Morgan Spehar

Paul Benedict, a former investor and current associate professor in the College of Business, spoke about effective methods to receive more research grants and funding at the Oct. 21 virtual Science Cafe

Benedict describes himself as “an investor in and operator of seed- and early-stage technology companies” turned teacher. He is now the director of the Center of Entrepreneurship at Ohio University. 

In his talk, titled “Impact Research: Rallying People and Resources to Your Cause,” Benedict offered the audience seven tips to help unlock funding and opportunities for their research. His first two tips were about passion and authenticity.

“Be yourself,” he advised. “If you’re nervous it’s because you care…be willing to be vulnerable and show emotion.”

His third tip had to do with taking command of the conversation and ensuring that the research topic and purpose is easily understandable. Benedict especially warned against making assumptions about prior audience knowledge; unless the research being presented is somewhat mainstream, he advised to keep it simple. 

Benedict’s tips four through seven were questions, meant for the researcher to ask themselves. What impact can the research have on the world? Who are the “customers” and what’s going to get them interested? What exactly is the idea and what makes it special? What resources are necessary to take this research beyond an academic setting? 

He urged people looking for help finding funding for their research to reach out to him or the broader Center of Entrepreneurship, which, according to its website supports “entrepreneurial education, university-based entrepreneurial activity and regionally focused venture development.”

Watch Paul Benedict’s full Science Cafe talk here.

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