The professional research community is an international economic giant consisting of industries ranging from energy to medicine and all points in between. Many of the devices you use and products you consume were provided by engineers, scientists, project managers, consultants and similar such professionals who contribute to research and development.
Acquiring funding for such research and development is another industry unto itself. Sometimes for-profit corporations within industries such as oil or pharmaceuticals finance their own research projects, while other times grant dollars are sought within the nonprofit industry. Nonprofit research funding involves, to name a few, grant writers, public relations personnel, college administrators and, of course, funding entities.
Agencies ranging from regional nonprofit foundations to state governments and Uncle Sam annually contribute the grant dollars that fund the projects taking place at your local colleges, hospitals and laboratories. There is of course an industry-recognized grants process that includes protocol for submitting proposals for funding, conducting research and reporting measurable results.
“When mainstream scientists make funding proposals they are required to present the preliminary data that supports their basic proposition,” explained Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, Professor of Microbiology at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“In other words, they are expected to present hard data that makes their hypotheses reasonable (not necessarily correct, but scientifically reasonable). Not a bunch of unsupported statements – data must be put on the table for review. In addition, the scientists describe – in detail – their proposed course of work; experiments, methods and data analysis techniques to describe how the work will be done and interpreted. The investigators include a detailed listing of their prior funding, publication record and awards to enable their specific competency to perform the proposed work to be gauged. An investigator without a prior track record of success will have to write some pretty compelling material. Finally, the facilities available to the researchers – lab equipment, computers, software – must be listed and a time line provided. All that happens before anyone gets dime one. If funds are granted, the investigators are required to submit progress reports. No progress, end of money.”
Grant proposals typically include sections clearly and specifically explaining such aspects of the project as personnel, research methodology and measurable results, all of which ufologists often omit from discussion. Dissemination of project outcomes is also expected within the professional research community, yet commonly not practiced by ufologists or the nonprofit corporations of which they are involved, a particular irony considering their collective tendencies to rally for disclosure.
“A grant application also has a budget section,” Dr. Kokjohn continued, “an accounting as to how funds are projected to be used by category – salaries/fringe benefits of key personnel, chemicals and enzymes, plastics and consumable items and so on; tubes, syringes, slides – everything is listed. Travel-funds to attend meetings, publications costs, etc. Any needed major equipment along with justification for purchase is explained. The budget must be realistic, in that you request what is necessary to accomplish the goals. The review is just as harsh for a request trying to ask for too little money as one larded with too much. And by the way, in this day and age, it is quite common for granting agencies to say ‘cut the budget by 10 percent’ or more.
“The entire grant application process is confidential and the key personnel salaries are explicitly listed. The cost and full scope of the work that money will provide is known before any funds are released.
“I think one can make a good case that many UFO organizations have the process backward. If one feels that it is OK for them to operate in this fashion, I feel it is also OK to ask what happens to any excess funds collected. As it stands, one has no idea what is done with the money and no recourse.”
Dr. Kokjohn suggested a partial remedy might include the public remembering they are in charge when their money is requested. They, in effect, become the funding entity.
“In this situation, they play the role of grant agency. That gives them some power to set the ground rules before they elect to contribute any money.”
This writer thinks there is a very relevant question commonly omitted from popular consideration: If certain investigators sincerely believe they may be in ongoing contact with non-human beings and even so much as in literal possession of a deceased extraterrestrial biological entity, why do they not simply practice standard research funding protocol as described above to further their work?