Should I select my program researcher or outside subject-matter expert at the planning stage of the project or through a competitive selection process post-award?


There are several benefits to selecting a research partner/consultant during the planning stage if your procurement process allows for this.  Partnering at the outset will allow both parties to develop a shared understanding of the project from the very beginning and craft an appropriate scope of work based on the available resources. Selecting this individual or entity at the outset of the project will also prior allow you to leverage any experience they may have with the funder or the grant program you are considering.  Their insights and past experiences may be helpful as you draft your application.  Finally, many evaluators or consultants will assist with the writing of your application at no cost which may improve your odds of being funded.