Most scientific research requires a convergence of collaborators, facilities, equipment, and funding—with the first three generally depending on the last.
For most scientists, a constant search for funding is a fact of life. This generally means applying for grants made by government and private organizations.
Scientists need a solid track record of research and resulting publications to be competitive in the grant-awarding process. And unlike diamonds, grants are not forever—applying (and reapplying) for grants can be an unending cycle.