We study a light-weight but intensive observation method to understand researchers' needs for funding opportunities. Our method assumes that access logs of grant search engines reflect researchers' needs. Through an analysis of university grant search engine access logs, we present (1) the features of popular grants for researchers, (2) the reasons for grant needs, and (3) the timing of grant seeking. The results suggest that researchers' needs for funding opportunities can be comprehensively and cost-effectively investigated using access logs to improve research administration services without direct communication with the researchers.
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