It’s necessary, of course, to have a good handle on research that is published. But did you know that you can look into the future of research? Do this by querying databases of research that has been funded. For the National Institutes of Health, you can search funded work using the NIH Reporter tool –
Search some keywords of your research interests, or put in the name of authors that you are following. Explore the various search options. Read the abstracts of the projects. Pay attention to the people that are currently funded to work in your area. You might want to then search their prior publications, or look for what they are presenting at upcoming conferences. Think critically about the aims of the work, looking for themes and angles. Remember that these funded projects represent a highly selective group of work judged to be the most likely to have an impact. There is a tremendous amount of information here that can be used to foster your understanding of your field and help guide and refine the work that you will do.