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I often read in research articles acknowledgments such as

The first author is (partially) supported by a grant of the National Science Foundation of Sikinia no. 1234567890.

What are the guidelines for acknowledging funding agencies? Should I mention, for instance, grants that cover some research expenses or sponsor my participation to a conference? Or only those who pay me directly?

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Generally the funding agencies provide guidelines regarding the kinds of acknowledgements you need to use. When reporting to the funding agency, some will only accept papers that have been appropriately acknowledged. Others are happy just to see papers produced by the people they fund.

For instance,

  • EU Projects require acknowledgement, and a specific phrase must be used.
  • Flemish FWO projects require no such acknowledgement.

In any case, it never hurts to acknowledge your source of funding.

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  • Similarly, the U.S. "National Science Foundation" basically requires a recommended phrase if you've had/spent any of their money, whether as income, travel money, whatever, if it is in the form of a grant with your name on it. – paul garrett Jul 30 '12 at 23:15
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The general rule I recommend is extremely liberal: If you write or publish a paper while being funded by a grant in any capacity whatsoever, acknowledge the grant. ("Work by this author was partially supported by...")

When in doubt, say thank you.

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  • 7
    +1. For smaller grants, also let the funder know. I've found they like knowing that their money is going to visible science. – Fomite Jul 30 '12 at 23:56
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    +1 for "When in doubt, say thank you." Not just in acknowledging funding; in life. I take a similar approach to the whole Acknowledgements section of the paper. If anyone did anything to measurably improve the paper, I thank them. – Dan C Aug 1 '12 at 21:39

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