Ideas with Impact
UNB Faculty of Management

How to get funding for your research project

Author: Liz Lemon-Mitchell

Posted on Feb 28, 2019

Category: Faculty

There is an old saying that if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. This age-old advice certainly applies to Dr. Hsin-Chen Lin, a marketing professor with the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of New Brunswick Fredericton, and her efforts to obtain national research funding. After her first application for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development grant was turned down, her second application as a solo applicant was awarded $46,586 over two years. While she has previously received internal funds here at the university, this is the first major external funding award that she has received to support her ongoing research on electronic word-of-mouth and social media marketing.

SSHRC supports postsecondary research and training in the social sciences and humanities disciplines across Canada. The application process is highly competitive and involves reviews by multidisciplinary committees. Furthermore, it is often very difficult for young and emerging scholars to obtain these grants as a solo applicant, as young researchers are often advised to find an established scholar to help bolster their applications. Lin submitted her applications in February 2017 and February 2018, and she estimates to have worked close to 150 hours on each application. “I came so close in my first application,” she said. “The awards committee funded 16 projects that year, and mine was the 17th.” In her second application, her project was ranked 7th nationally.

The funding that came with her more recent successful application is supporting her research on how companies can use social media posts to promote their businesses and how these activities can be more or less effective across different cultural markets. At the core of this research is the concept of electronic word-of-mouth, or the online communications, between consumers and members of the public about brands or products. In this regard, companies make social media posts which are expected to spur increased communications between consumers on the company’s brands and products. However, these processes are expected to differ across nations and cultures. Thus, her research seeks to understand how national culture impacts the patterns of these online marketing communications that companies have with consumers, and that consumers have with other consumers. Her intention is to help companies use the knowledge gained from this research to better promote their brands online across domestic cultures and national markets. Students, researchers, and companies who are interested in these research topics are encouraged to contact her for research collaboration.

Lin joined the Faculty in 2014 and teaches marketing courses including principals of marketing and more advanced courses on the topics of global marketing and social media marketing. The focus of her research is to understand how word-of-mouth forms and influences our decision making, as well as how opinion leaders, sponsorship, online advertising, and social media marketing affect brand equity across different national cultures and countries.

Her advice to anyone planning to apply for SSHRC funding, or other competitive funding, is to “Just do it! Keep trying to make it better every time and don’t give up.”

Photo: Dr. Hsin-Chen Lin was awarded an SSHRC grant for $46,000.

For more information, contact Liz Lemon-Mitchell.

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