If you're an early career researcher, knowing which grants to apply for (and in what order) can be a challenge. If you're like me, I used to take a rapid-fire approach, applying for any and all funds that came across my desk. Obviously - this is not ideal - but it is a common approach that ECRs utilise. Given the benefit of hindsight, I can now strongly recommend taking time to consider your 5-year funding game plan - this helps not only streamline your efforts, but it prevents missed opportunities.
An analysis found that postdoctoral scholars who developed a written plan with their advisers were much more productive than those who didn't. They submitted papers to peer-reviewed journals at a 23% higher rate, first-author papers at a 30% higher rate, and grant proposals at a 25% higher rate than those without written plans. (Davis, 2005)
ECRs are at a unique stage in their career where they can benefit from funds designed to specifically support early career researchers - and this represents a competitive advantage.