(Sept 2011) Financial Support & Fellowship Application Writing, Part I
FINANCIAL SUPPORT& FELLOWSHIPAPPLICATIONWRITING, PART I CAROLYN.HANK@MCGILL.CA Assistant Professor ▪ School of Information Studies ABCs OF THE PHD SEMINAR SERIES ▪ 15 SEPT 2011 ▪ FACULTY OF EDUCATION
NOTE ON PRESENTATIONAs described in the announcement on thecontent of this seminar: “This session willprovide doctoral students with information onfunding opportunities and tips for successfulfellowship application writing.” The content ofthis slideshow draws on my experience in grant-writing aimed at US-based federal grantingagencies. It is intended to provide some insightinto key components to be addressed in makingone’s case when applying for grants.
NOTE ON SLIDESHOWThis slideshow has been revised from the oneoriginally presented during the live session onSeptember 15, 2011. While the informationalcontent remains the same, some editorialchanges have been made to this presentationfile.
PROPOSAL WRITING BESTS• Divide and conquer.• Don’t ask for money just to ask for money.• Don’t start too grandly.• But don’t think too small.• Be realistic in what you propose to do.• Know when to scale back.• Be honest: Make budget appropriate.• Consider outsourcing as appropriate.
TEN POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN WRITING A GRANT APPLICATION *** FROM IMLS-PERSPECTIVE ***• National Impact • Qualified personnel• Adaptability • Evaluation• Design • Dissemination• Sound management • Contributions Plan • Sustainability• Budget
PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL• Do your homework. • Have boilerplate ready – Be aware of what kinds of and updated. projects were recently • Give yourself plenty of funded by the program you are applying to. time to write the grant.• Contact the program • Have knowledgeable officer or other official people review it before identified by the funding submitting it. agency. • Submit the proposal• Visit the funder’s website. early.• Make it exciting!• Make it convincing.
SUPPPORT• Depending on scope/type/objectives of proposed project, consider establishing a board of advisors to oversee project early in the process (at least get folks to show enthusiasm/support by writing letters of support to be included as attachments.)• Place influential and appropriate people on the board.• Have a good reason for each appointment to the board.• Solicit letters of support from others as well.
PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL• Read application thoroughly.• Follow all instructions.• This includes any and all instructions regarding: length, font size, margin, submission instructions, etc. – E.g., Follow instructions for naming the files and their sequence when submitting online applications.
SAMPLE SECTIONS OF AN IMLS PROPOSAL• Face Sheet • Partnership Statement form (if• Abstract applicable)• Program Information Sheet • Organizational profile• Narrative • List of key project staff and – Evaluation Criteria consultants• Detailed Budget by Year • Staff resumes• Summary Budget Form • Proof of nonprofit status• Budget Justification • Indirect cost rate form• Schedule of Completion • Supporting documentation• Specifications for Projects That (numbered, as appropriate) Develop Digital Products form (if applicable)
E.G.: IMLS FACE SHEET & ABSTRACT• Project Title: – Recommended: Descriptive, results-oriented, benefits-oriented. – Short and easy to remember.• Abstract: – While you may write this last, it may be the most important part. – Information in the abstract should identify: • Who is the lead applicant and who are the formal partners (if applicable)? • What is the time frame for the project? • What community need(s) will the project address? • Who is the intended audience for the activities? • What will be the project’s activities, outcomes, and tangible products? • What are the intended outcomes for audience members in terms of measurable changes in knowledge, attitudes, or behavior?
E.G.: IMLS NARRATIVE• 10 pages; detailed formatting instructions• Things to be included/addressed in narrative: 1. Assessment of need 2. National impact and intended results 3. Project design & evaluation plan 4. Project resources: budget, personnel & management 5. Dissemination 6. Sustainability
IMLS NARRATIVE DO’SDO DOCUMENT THE NEED: DO ADDRESS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR PROPOSED PROJECT:• What is the problem? • Be clear and direct, forceful but not overbearing,• What will happen if the need is not met? • Explain the need for the project.• What could solve or help – Outputs. this problem? – Outcomes.• How will your project help – Who will benefit? solve this problem? • Cite related studies and literature
IMLS NARRATIVE DO’S (CONT.)DO “MAKE THE CASE:” DO “PROVE YOUR CASE:”• Why should your project be • Key informants – quotes, funded? E.g.: letters of support… – Uniqueness of project • Public meetings, – Capacity to complete it. testimony… – Alignment with your • Case studies. institution’s mission • Data from public records… • Survey of population to be helped… • Literature reviews. • Pilot studies.
IMLS NARRATIVE DO’S (CONTINUED)DO ADDRESS HOW YOU WILL DO ADDRESS HOW YOU WILLEVALUATE YOUR PROJECT: DISSEMINATE RESULTS:• Make sure you tell the • Most granting agencies, at funder what will constitute least federal ones, want success and how you will recipients to disseminate figure out if you have their findings, research, or achieved it. digitized materials nationally or wider. • Indicate how you are going to do this.
IMLS NARRATIVE DO’S (CONT.)IF APPLICABLE, DO ADDRESS REMEMBER … BE SURE TOSUSTAINABILITY OF YOUR PROJECT ADDRESS:BEYOND FUNDING PERIOD.• Extending benefits beyond • What will be done? grant period. • Who will do it?• Contribution to systemic • How long will it take? change within /out the • What is needed to institution, as well as accomplish it? information agencies in general. • Be specific and detailed.
E.G.: IMLS BUDGET• Most scrutinized part of grant.• Numbers add up really fast.• Underestimating does not impress reviewers.• Asking for too much or padding the budget doesn’t usually impress anyone either.• Three budget components in application: – Detailed Budget By Year (in Excel) – Summary Budget Form (in Excel) – Budget Justification (Narrative)
IMLS BUDGET DO’S• Only ask for allowable expenses; i.e., not space, electricity, etc. if indirect costs not allowed.• Do make sure in a multi-year proposal that you increase salaries and costs based on expected raises and inflation.• Make sure all the numbers add up!• Be neat and accurate.• In a real-world situation, you will want to make sure your institutional research folks read it (they usually have to sign off).
INDIRECT COSTS• Also known as overhead or F&A (facilities and administration).• IMLS defines indirect costs as: – “ …project costs that an organization incurs that cannot be easily assigned to an individual project. They are also called “overhead” or “administrative costs.” Examples of indirect cost items are charges for utilities, insurance, use of office space and equipment owned by the applicant, local telephone service, and the salaries of the management and administrative personnel of the organization.” (IMLS)
E.G.: IMLS SCHEDULE OF COMPLETION• Shows when each major project task will be undertaken, marks the milestones for each grant activity, and designates how grant funds are to be spent throughout the project• E.g., Table, Gantt Chart, or Chronology indicating the specific steps, start-ending dates, overlaps and dependencies, etc.
E.G.: IMLS ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE/KEY PROJECT STAFF• Organization Profile – 1 page maximum – Mission and service area• Key Project Staff and Consultants and Resumes for Key Project Staff – Listing of key staff and/or consultants – Resumes/CVs (2 page maximum) --- OR --- – Job descriptions
ATTACHMENTS• Think about the attachments: – Vitae, letters of reference, past project descriptions, lists of board members, copies of your organization’s publications, etc. that will add compelling evidence to your case.
WRAP-UP• Tailor your proposal to the funder. – Document what is; – Demonstrate what should be; – Make the case seem important and urgent; – Use sound methodologies in your plan; – Cast the proposal in terms of objectives and deliverables.• Also make sure the proposal meets your needs.• Collaborate as appropriate.• When draft prepared, ask others to review it.
JUST REMEMBER …… If grants were as easy as kittens, we’d all have one.
THANK YOUDR. CAROLYN HANKEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: 514.398.4684Web: http://ils.unc.edu/~hcarolynAcknowledgement: This slideshow revised from oneprepared for INLS 752 (2009), as derived fromslideshows prepared by Dr. Helen Tibbo, School ofinformation and Library Science, University of NorthCarolina at Chapel Hill (2005-2008).