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Mattingly NSF 3

Mattingly NSF 3

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    Presentation 3 Presentation 3 Presentation Transcript

    • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program WRITING WORKSHOP #1 $ Image by Andrew Magill
    • TODAY’S GOALS
      • Discuss basics of grant writing
      • Gain greater rhetorical awareness of both general & sentence-level writing
      • Review NSF-specific formatting
      • Become familiar with grant examples & how to use them as a jumping-off point for your own writing
      • Workshop mini-drafts and other materials
    • BEFORE WE REALLY GET STARTED…
      • - If you haven’t already asked folks for letters of recommendation, do so NOW ! As of today, most deadlines are about 5 weeks away.
      • - You should also have ordered—or, started the process of ordering– your transcripts.
      • - Remember, addressing your own diversity/adversity and your institution’s diversity is a big part of this grant application. To find out more about UCR’s diverse campus environment, visit diversity.ucr.edu !
    • GRANT WRITING: THE BASICS
      • - Understand your audience
      • - Understand your constraints
      • - Formulate your message—and stick to it!
      • - Use words and graphics effectively to sell both yourself and your project
      • - Be consistent and professional
    • GRANT WRITING: THE BASICS
      • Dr. Tom Sant’s NOSE Paradigm
      • N eed : Do you understand—and speak to in your proposal—what the customer/sponsor really wants? This may or may not be in the solicitation.
      • O utcomes : Can you convince the reviewers that you can deliver desired outcomes?
      • S olution : Can you define an approach that will give the customer confidence in selecting you?
      • E vidence : Can you substantiate the things you say? How will you back up your hypothesis? Your approach?
    • GRANT WRITING: A FEW REMINDERS ABOUT SENTENCES
      • Convey Confidence in Your Sentences
      • - Don’t downplay your project– this only plants the seeds for rejection!
      • - Example: “This project , if funded, would demonstrate cold fusion for the first time” VS. “This project will demonstrate cold fusion for the first time by pursuing a newly developed approach…”
      • Don’t Beat Around the Bush
      • - Readers have little time to read your application and don’t want to feel like they have to decipher your application just to try and figure out what you’re saying. What you should aim for: Clarity and an easy-to-read document. Just because your topic may be complex, doesn’t mean that your discussion of your topic/project should be, too.
      • - Be upfront: The most important sentence is the first sentence. Don’t waste it with a statement of fact or background information. A better approach: Start with why you or your work are special, unique, different.
      • - More about being upfront: The first paragraph of your research proposal essay should say what you propose to do, why it’s exactly what the sponsor is looking for, and why your idea is going to work. If that’s buried at the bottom of page 2, after a lengthy introduction, your chances are slim. Be straightforward!
    • GRANT WRITING: A FEW REMINDERS ABOUT SENTENCES
      • Use SHORT Words
      • - Use mostly words of three syllables or less. Remember: NSF folks have to read quickly, so you need to get your point across quickly and easily.
      • - Ask yourself: Is there a shorter word that means the same thing? Is there a shorter word that is just as effective?
      • Use SHORT Sentences
      • - Aim for TWENTY words per sentence. Try not to go over THIRTY words at the very, VERY max.
      • - Short and to-the-point sentences win attention spans and, in turn, $$$.
      • - Write in the active voice. (“It will be demonstrated that…” VS. “This project demonstrates…”)
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #1: What’s good and what’s not so good in this example sentence?
      • The NSF Center for Protein Memories will explore the disruptive technology of protein-based memory to achieve data densities above 100 terabit/in2 and data rates above 1 terabit/second, thus reviving the currently fading technology progress in the multi-billion-dollar data storage industry. This Center will seize the potential to transform the data storage industry and recapture the national lead in this field.
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #1:
      • The NSF Center for Protein Memories will explore the disruptive technology of protein-based memory to achieve data densities above 100 terabit/in2 and data rates above 1 terabit/second, thus reviving the currently fading technology progress in the multi-billion-dollar data storage industry. This Center will seize the potential to transform the data storage industry and recapture the national lead in this field.
      • Good
      • - To the point
      • - Speaks to the NSF GRFP solicitation (“transform”) and highlights Broader Impacts
      • - Captures the sponsor’s objectives (innovation, competitiveness)
      • Not So Good
      • - Average sentence length is 31 words long.
      • - The first sentence could have been broken into two.
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #2: What’s good and what’s not so good in this example sentence?
      • This proposed single-discipline project will address the significant need for diverse and well-trained doctoral level environmental engineers. Clean air, clean water, and renewable clean energy are critical national and global needs. Graduates with advanced degrees in environmental engineering are needed to meet these goals and to sustain America’s leadership in these areas.
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #2:
      • This proposed single-discipline project will address the significant need for diverse and well-trained doctoral level environmental engineers. Clean air, clean water, and renewable clean energy are critical national and global needs. Graduates with advanced degrees in environmental engineering are needed to meet these goals and to sustain America’s leadership in these areas.
      • Good
      • - Short, direct sentences (17 words on average) and short words
      • - Links what WE propose to do with what the sponsor wants to have done by addressing Broader Impacts
      • - Uses language from the solicitation (“diverse”)
      • Not So Good
      • - Language could be a bit more “active”
      • - The second word is “proposed,” which lacks confidence
      • - Better: “This single-discipline project addresses the significant need for diverse…”
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #3: What’s good and what’s not so good in this example sentence?
      • Interfaces are integral to most schemes for solar energy conversion, including solar generation of electricity. For these technologies, the successful control of the properties of interfaces between dissimilar materials is essential. Mechanical stability, charge separation, and charge transfer depend upon detailed atomic configurations, interfacial chemistry, and electronic coupling. Interfaces can be solid-solid, and polymer-solid, and include both bulk-film junctions and junctions between nanomaterials and solids, polymers, molecules.
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #3:
      • Interfaces are integral to most schemes for solar energy conversion, including solar generation of electricity. For these technologies, the successful control of the properties of interfaces between dissimilar materials is essential. Mechanical stability, charge separation, and charge transfer depend upon detailed atomic configurations, interfacial chemistry, and electronic coupling. Interfaces can be solid-solid, and polymer-solid, and include both bulk-film junctions and junctions between nanomaterials and solids, polymers, molecules.
      • Good
      • - Short sentences (16.7 words average)
      • - Short words (two-thirds of the words are one or two syllables)
      • - All active voice
      • Not So Good
      • - Isn’t upfront: What do we propose to do? When will we get around to saying it?
    • SENTENCE LEVEL: LET’S LOOK @ SOME EXAMPLES…
      • EXAMPLE #3: Original
      • Interfaces are integral to most schemes for solar energy conversion, including solar generation of electricity. For these technologies, the successful control of the properties of interfaces between dissimilar materials is essential. Mechanical stability, charge separation, and charge transfer depend upon detailed atomic configurations, interfacial chemistry, and electronic coupling. Interfaces can be solid-solid, and polymer-solid, and include both bulk-film junctions and junctions between nanomaterials and solids, polymers, molecules.
      • EXAMPLE #3: Revised
      • The principal goal of this project is to design and synthesize new classes of chemically complex material systems, including hybrids that integrate organic, inorganic, and biological elements at the nanoscale where every chemical compound has a specific function for revolutionary improvements in photovoltaics. The interdisciplinary team of researchers proposes to demonstrate for the first time the use of bioinspired electrets (the electrostatic equivalent of magnets) in rational design of hybrid photovoltaic (PV) devices with two different device architectures that contain multiple bandgap absorbers in a cascaded manner. These electrets will control the ebb and flow of energy between each element of the device at the nanoscale and would be the foundation of the alternative energy technologies of the future.
    • PERSONAL STATEMENT: EXAMPLES
      • WHAT IT SHOULD DO
      • - “Describe any personal, professional, or educational experiences or situations that have prepared you or contributed to your desire to pursue advanced study in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Describe your competencies and evidence of leadership potential. Discuss your career aspirations and how the NSF Fellowship will enable you to achieve your goals.”
      • QUESTIONS
      • - What is your impression and WHY?
      • - What’s effective or ineffective and WHY? What would you change or keep the same?
      • - Does this document speak to INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACTS? Why or why not?
    • PREVIOUS RESEARCH: EXAMPLES
      • WHAT IT SHOULD DO
      • - “Describe any scientific research activities in which you have participated, such as experience in undergraduate research programs, or research experience gained through summer or part-time employment or in work-study programs, or other research activities, either academic or job-related. Explain the purpose of the research and your specific role in the research, including the extent to which you worked independently and/or as part of a team, and what you learned from your research experience. In your statement, distinguish between undergraduate and graduate research experience. At the end of your statement, list any publications and/or presentations made at national and/or regional professional meetings. If you have no direct research experience, describe any activities that you believe have prepared you to undertake research.”
      • QUESTIONS
      • - What is your impression and WHY?
      • - What’s effective or ineffective and WHY? What would you change or keep the same?
      • - Does this document speak to INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACTS? Why or why not?
    • PROPOSED PLAN OF RESEARCH: EXAMPLES
      • WHAT IT SHOULD DO
      • - “In a clear, concise, and original statement, present a complete plan for a research project that you plan to pursue during the Fellowship Tenure and how you became interested in the topic. Your statement should demonstrate your understanding of research design and methodology and explain the relationship to your previous research, if any.”
      • QUESTIONS
      • - What is your impression and WHY?
      • - What’s effective or ineffective and WHY? What would you change or keep the same?
      • - Does this document speak to INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACTS? Why or why not?
    • MINI-WORKSHOP
      • - What did you bring in today?
      • - How far along are you?
    • IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT FORMATTING DOCUMENTS
      • - The essays must be written using standard 8.5" x 11" page size , 12-point , Times New Roman font , 1" margins on all sides, and must be single-spaced or greater .
      • - Only references and footnotes may be a smaller font, no less than 10-point, Times New Roman.
      • - The Personal Statement, Previous Research Experience, and Proposed Plan of Research essays each have a maximum length of two pages , including all references, citations, charts, figures, and images.
      • - Failure to comply fully with these requirements will eliminate the application from consideration by review panels.
    • MINI-WORKSHOP: DRAFT OUTLINES
      • Outlines…
      • - Looking at this outline, can you imagine what the finished document might look like? If not, what might need to be included?
      • - Does this outline include information that is necessary for the respective document? Is there anything that should be included or especially highlighted?
      • - Does the outline seem to speak to INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACTS?
    • MINI-WORKSHOP: A “HOW TO” GUIDE
      • THOSE SHARING: START BY DISCUSSING
      • 1. WHERE : Discuss with your partner(s) what you have so far AND where you’d like to go from here
      • 2. WHAT : Give your partner(s) a general idea of what your project’s about and why it’s important
      • 3. WHY : What you’d like for them to focus on and WHY?
    • MINI-WORKSHOP: A “HOW TO” GUIDE
      • THOSE READING: WRITING & DISCUSSING
      • 1. 1 ST IMPRESSION : Read for a 1 st impression. What’s the dominant impression you get of the document and why? Do you get a sense of INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACT?
      • 2. STORYTELLING : Essentially, your essays are telling a story about you and your work. How effective is the storytelling and why? Does the storytelling heighten the document’s sense of INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACT? How might your partner tell a more effective story?
      • 3. INTELLECTUAL MERIT : Does your partner, in each of the documents, foreground intellectual merit? Where might your partner include something that speaks to intellectual merit and WHY? How might your partner better highlight intellectual merit and WHY?
      • 4. BROADER IMPACT : Does your partner, in each of the documents, foreground broader impact? Where might your partner include something that speaks to broader impact and WHY? How might your partner better highlight broader impact and WHY?
      • 5. ORGANIZATION : Can you follow along with the document’s organization? Does the organization highlight the document’s sense of INTELLECTUAL MERIT and BROADER IMPACT? Do you find yourself getting lost– where? How might your partner better organize her/his document?
      • 6. GRAMMAR & SENTENCE-LEVEL CLARITY : Correct any grammatical errors. Is your partner consistent (with #s, abbreviations, spellings, annotations, formatting, citations, etc.)? Are there any unclear sentences? Why are these sentences unclear and how might your partner remedy this problem?
    • Q & A
      • - What kinds of questions do you have?
      • - What kinds of concerns do you have?
      • - What would you like to know more about?
      • - What would you find helpful?
    • NEXT WORKSHOP…
      • NEXT WORKSHOP DATE & TIME
        • Thursday, 20 October, 11-1pm
      • PLACE
        • Right here!
      • THEME & TOPICS
        • Theme: Full Writing Workshop
        • Important: Bring in drafts of your documents! They can be really, rough and that’s okay. Even bring in outlines! Remember, the more eyeballs that look at your proposal at different stages of the drafting and writing process, the better. Hopefully, you will bring in expanded/revised versions of what you brought in today!
        • Sample Topics and Activities: Share (fuller) DRAFTS of essay documents, Look Through ESSAY EXAMPLES Together, Discuss any questions you may have