Posted by Jonathan O'Donnell on The Research Whisperer, December 12, 2017
Sometimes, this research gap is real. Sometimes, it is a little bit constructed (for the purposes of the theoretical argument, of course). In the end, it doesn’t matter. You’ve found your gap.
That gap in the literature, though? It won’t get you funded.
If you have a gap, and every other applicant has also identified a gap, then that makes your application just like everyone else’s. It doesn’t differentiate you from the crowd. It is a necessary condition for being competitive, not a competitive advantage. Demonstrating it gets you in the game, but it certainly doesn’t win you the grant.
It might have been sufficient in your Masters or your PhD to demonstrate that you were filling a knowledge gap. For a research grant application, not so much. You need to do more than just fill in the blanks. You need to start to add to the map.
What I’m trying to say is that you need to think carefully about your gap, and how you frame it. To read more, click here.