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Library Seminar Power Point Presentation
 

Library Seminar Power Point Presentation

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    Library Seminar Power Point Presentation Library Seminar Power Point Presentation Presentation Transcript

    • How to Compete for Research Funding Prepared for the Texas A&M University Evans Library Faculty 8 April 2009 Office of Proposal Development Robyn L. Pearson [email_address]
    • Texas A&M University Office of Proposal Development
      • Unit of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies
      • We provide funding support for TAMU faculty, staff, and students:
        • Workshops, seminars, presentations
        • Identify funding opportunities
        • New faculty initiatives
        • Develop collaborative, multidisciplinary research activities
        • Center-level initiatives
    • Check out the OPD Website!
      • http://opd.tamu.edu
      • Funding opportunities
      • Proposal resources
      • Schedule for seminars
      • and workshops
      • Seminar materials
      • Craft of Grant Writing Workbook
    • Types of Funding Agencies
      • Basic research agencies
        • NSF, NIH, etc.
      • Mission-oriented agencies
        • USDA, ED, NEH, etc.
      • Private Foundations
        • Can be national or local in scope
      • Other
        • Industry, professional organizations, etc.
    • Common Terminology
      • Solicitation – the program description; what the funder is seeking to fund
        • RFP (Request for Proposals), RFA (Request for Applications), PA (Program Announcement)
      • Eligibility – defines who is eligible to apply (i.e., individuals, non-profits, universities)
      • Budget guidelines – how funds may be used and other financial requirements (i.e., cost sharing, matching)
      • Review criteria – how your proposal will be evaluated
    • Learn to search for funding in the right places!
    • Information on the Internet
      • Funding agency and foundation websites
        • Usually the first place an announcement will appear
      • Compilations of funding opportunities
      • Automatic e-mail notification services
      • Database services
      • Google!
    • Funding Opportunities and e-mail Alert Services
      • All Federal Funding Opportunities
        • http://www.grants.gov/
        • Email alert service: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp
      • Foundations
        • http://fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/index.jhtml
        • Email alert service: http:// fdncenter.org /newsletters/
      • OPD website listing of email alert services
        • http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-opportunities/electronic-funding-alert-services-email-alerts
    • Improve Your Success in Finding Funding
      • Get to know your most likely funding agencies
        • Mission, vision
        • Funding mechanisms
        • Recurring funding opportunities
      • Check funding opportunities regularly
      • Learn how to quickly evaluate a potential funding opportunity (eligibility, deadlines, budget restrictions, etc.)
      • Keep a list of funding agencies, funding opportunities with URLs (e.g., Word table with hotlinks)
    • Deciding Whether a Funding Opportunity is Right for You
      • What do they want to accomplish through this program?
      • How much money is allocated and how many awards are anticipated?
      • Who is eligible to apply?
      • What are the budget guidelines or restrictions?
      • What, if any, partnerships are required?
      • What other types of programs have been funded?
    • Explicit Proposal Requirements
      • Note carefully formatting rules (page limits, fonts, margins, etc.) – these may be in a separate document
      • Look for suggested or required sections
        • Make an outline that mirrors solicitation
        • Include checklist of everything that must be addressed, divided by sections; stick to this checklist through early drafts
      • Note supplementary documents needed
        • Bios, Current and Pending Research Funding, Letters of Support, Facilities and Equipment, etc.
    • Proposal Process Planning
      • What do you control?
        • Proposal narrative
        • Collaborators
        • Budget
      • What do others control?
        • Routing & signatures
        • Budget approvals
        • Submission
        • Data requests
        • Institutional support
    • Preparing your proposal
      • Allow lead time
        • To identify and fully assess what you need
        • To review and evaluate funding opportunities
        • To obtain background information on the agency
        • To download application forms
        • To become familiar with application instructions
        • To create a proposal checklist
        • To select collaborators
    • Preparing your proposal
      • Allow work time
        • To talk with the program manager
        • To draft the application
          • Cover sheet, applicant data, abstract, summary, project design, significance, background, literature review, preliminary studies, project schedule, references, biographical sketch, facilities and resources, grant support
        • To prepare the budget and budget justification
        • To request and obtain supplementary materials
    • Preparing your proposal
      • Allow wrap-up time
        • To have your colleagues review your application
        • To revise, edit, and proofread your application
        • To route your proposal and budget for institutional approvals
        • To submit your application
    • Reading the Solicitation
      • Read, read, and re-read the solicitation!
      • The solicitation is not a list of suggestions; it is a list of requirements
      • It is a window into the thinking of the funding agency
    • Things to Look for in the Solicitation
      • Proposal Guidelines
      • Purpose of the program
      • Program requirements
      • Budget guidelines
      • Review criteria
      • Contact information
    • Proposal Guidelines
      • Formatting (page limit, margins, fonts)
      • Document order
      • Project description
      • Scope of work
      • Performance goals
      • Management plan
      • Budget guidelines
      • Attachments
    • Purpose of the Program
      • Commonly discussed in “background” section
      • Make sure the goals of your proposed project mirror the program goals
      • Look for words that are repeated
        • e.g., “innovative”
        • You will want to use these words to describe your project (and back up those claims)
      • The outcomes of your proposed project should support program objectives
    • Program Requirements
      • Read carefully and make a checklist
      • Plan to explain how you will meet each program requirement
      • Start work on setting up collaborations, partnerships if needed
        • Supporting letters may be needed for your proposal
      • To be competitive, you must meet all program requirements
    • Talking to the Program Officer
      • Do your homework
        • Read solicitation carefully
        • Read background documents
        • Investigate previously funded projects
      • Prepare a concise description of your project
        • Goals, objectives, outcomes
        • One short paragraph
      • Try e-mail and phone
        • If possible, use e-mail to set up phone conversation
        • Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully
    • Never be timid about contacting a program officer for clarification
      • Timidity is never rewarded in the competitive grant process.
    • Introductory writing tips
      • Summary and introduction are key elements
        • May be the only section a reviewer will read
        • Should clearly define your core ideas
      • Reviewers will assume errors in language and usage will translate into errors in your program
      • Don’t be overly ambitious in what you propose, but convey credibility and capacity to perform
    • Review Criteria
      • Most important part of solicitation!
      • Plan early how to address each review criterion
      • Structure your proposal outline to reflect review criteria
      • If you are weak in an area, include a plan about how to address this area
    • Connect to Review Criteria
      • Throughout the proposal narrative, point out explicitly how program components address review criteria
      • Address each criterion separately
      • Make this easy to find
      • Make this concise
    • Make your proposal easy to read
      • Reviewers often have numerous proposals to read
      • Use white space, underlining, bold, bullets, figures, flowcharts to make main points easy to find
      • Put main idea of sections and paragraphs up front
    • You must intrigue the reviewers!
    • Collaborations/Partnerships
      • Identify partners before you start writing
      • Be clear about roles of collaborators and partners
      • Establish split of resources
        • For TAMU collaborators, agree on budget split
      • Be sure collaborators and partners get something out of participating in the project
      • If you need a letter of collaboration, offer to write a draft for your collaborator to edit
        • Include specifics on what they will do and support they will provide
        • Explain who the collaborator is and their motivation
    • Examples of Common Proposal Sections
      • Project Summary
      • Project Description/Proposal Narrative
        • Goals/Objectives/Specific Aims
        • Introduction
        • Background and Significance
        • Approach/Methodology
        • Research Plan
        • Preliminary Data
      • Literature Cited
      • Budget and Budget Justification
      • Biosketches and other Supplementary Documents
    • Project Summary/Executive Summary
      • Provides a framework for the reviewer
        • Understand how the executive summary is used in the review process
          • Remember that reviewers must generally evaluate numerous applications
          • Remember that reviewers must generally conduct their evaluations fairly quickly
          • Strive to make a good first impression
      • Remainder of proposal will flesh out this framework
      • Opportunity to make important points up front
      • Communicate your excitement!
    • Project Description/Proposal Narrative
      • Goals/Specific Aims:
        • State specific, measurable goals of your project
        • Tie to program/agency mission and goals
        • If hypothesis-based research, state your hypothesis
        • Discuss expected outcomes
    • Approach/Methodology
      • Be very clear about how you will accomplish your stated goals and objectives
      • Include details
        • What, specifically, will you do when you get the money?
        • Schedules and milestones are often helpful
      • Address any potential dead ends, roadblocks, show-stoppers and how you will deal with them
      • Avoid ambiguous terminology – be very specific!
    • Focus on your program interests
    • Preparing your budget
      • Adhere to agency and program requirements
        • Include only allowable costs
      • Request what you need to complete the project
        • Make sure the budget reflects the project’s objectives, scope, and duration
      • Base budget on real costs
        • Remember that reviewers know what things cost
        • Factor in direct costs
          • Personnel, travel, equipment, materials and supplies, etc.
        • Factor in indirect costs
          • On-campus rate = 46.5% of MTDC
          • Off-campus rate = 26.0% of MTDC
        • Factor in cost escalations for multi-year projects
    • Connect narrative text to budget
      • Budget categories are defined by the funding agency
      • Be sure activities discussed in narrative are reflected in budget
      • Connect narrative text to the budget to ensure appropriate balance and proportion
      • If a budget justification section is requested, use it to complement and deepen the narrative detail
    • Preparing a budget justification
      • Use this section to continue to persuade reviewers that you are a thoughtful and careful investigator
      • Provide a clear explanation of why each budget request is needed
      • Verify accuracy in both the budget and the budget justification
    • Project assessment and evaluation
      • How will you know if you were successful?
      • Describe what will be measured in order to assess how well project met each of its objectives
        • Who will conduct assessment?
        • Discuss logistics
      • Formative assessment: conducted throughout project and results fed back to improve project
      • Summative assessment: final assessment at end of project
    • Revisions
        • Revise, revise, revise!
        • Ask colleagues to review your executive summary
          • Request feedback on scientific/technical issues
          • Request feedback on grantsmanship
        • Incorporate appropriate revisions
        • Proofread the final draft carefully
        • E-mail your summary to the program manager well before you begin working on the rest of your proposal
          • To confirm that you are targeting the right program
          • To obtain suggestions on how to improve proposed project and proposal
    • Interpreting Reviews
      • If you are funded…
      • Whoop!! Go out
      • and play!
      • If not….
        • If you have review comments, read through them carefully
        • Call the program officer for more feedback
        • Decide whether you should resubmit
    • Interpreting Reviews – Planning to Resubmit
      • Were certain issues mentioned consistently?
        • Plan how to address those issues
      • Did the reviewers misunderstand your proposal?
        • Plan how to make your text more clear
      • Was no clear issue mentioned?
        • May not have sold your idea well enough
        • May not be an area they wish to fund now
        • May not fit into their program
      • Many funded proposals were funded after multiple submissions; intelligent perseverance is the key!
    • Don’t give up… be persistent!
    • Summary
      • Start early: It takes time to find a funding opportunity and to craft a competitive proposal.
      • Use all resources at your disposal: Talk with colleagues, mentors, program officers.
      • Know what’s being funded in your field : Do your homework.
      • Follow guidelines and directions: Stick to the program and write clearly and concisely.
      • Persevere: If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
    • Questions??
      • Robyn L. Pearson
      • Office of Proposal Development
      • [email_address]
      • 979-847-9363