Funding for research is quite limited and very competitive. You might have a brilliant experiment but others might not give you the funding because they think it is not good enough…so that is always a bit challenging! Other than that more needs to be done to promote science for all communities so that people can be motivated…unfortunately only a few people are interested in promoting their work to the public.
I don’t do that much research anymore, I’m more involved in diagnostics. I do remember that funding was an issue – it’s quite limited and very, very competitive. As some of the others have said, you might have an amazing idea, but someone else might have another amazing idea and they might get given the money over you.
The big challenge is that the research is new, so nobody else has the answer – which means I have to work it out for myself. I work with my team to think of theories and knowledge which can contribute or help with the problem, and I have to do the work from there.
For me it’s getting time to do research. I am in an office based leadership role which has amazing advantages (and I am paid more than I was when I was lab based), but research is now a very small part of my job.