What are the possible answers for such interview question assuming a new graduate with no funds! How much funding you will bring to the department?

  • 12
    "All of it! I shall crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentations of their postdocs!"
    – jakebeal
    Jan 18, 2015 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


This is an invitation to discuss your plans for obtaining external funding. They want your answers to questions like the following:

  • What agencies fund research like yours?

  • What projects do you have that you think would be successful in gaining external funding?

  • Why do you think you would be successful? Can you point to similar (but not too similar) projects that have been funded? Why would a funding agency agree your work is worthy of support? Why would they agree that you are a qualified person to carry out the work, and that your project is likely to actually produce useful results? How would you convince them? What supporting evidence would you use?

  • How large would those grants be likely to be? How do you know?

  • When do you propose to begin applying for such grants? Is there anything specific that needs to happen first?

  • Do you have collaborators in mind with whom you might co-apply? Have you discussed this with them?

  • So the original question is not about how much do you have "currently"? And how would someone know how much funding he can get, and prove that, assuming there wasn't a previous record of PI grants?
    – Thomas Lee
    Jan 19, 2015 at 23:12
  • 4
    @Thomas: The question may have been meant to ask about how much you have. But if you don't have any, don't just say "none"; talk about how you're going to get it. Of course you can't prove that you will get such-and-such an amount, but you want to make a convincing case that you have an excellent chance of obtaining significant funding. Jan 19, 2015 at 23:16

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