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OPD TAMUCommerce Proposal Development Workshop Topics


Vice President for Research/Office of Proposal Development, ... A unit of the Office of Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. Phone, 979-845-1811 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: OPD TAMUCommerce Proposal Development Workshop Topics

OPD TAMU-CommerceProposal Development Workshop
  • Overview Office of Proposal Development
  • Mission and Culture of Funding Agency
  • Craft of Proposal Writing
  • Collaborative Proposals in Science Education
  • Finding funding on the Internet

Office of Proposal Development
  • A unit of the Office of Vice President for
    Research at Texas AM University
  • Phone, 979-845-1811
  • Fax, 979-458-0036
  • 305K Jack K. Williams Administration Building
  • Mail Stop 2404
  • libbyc_at_tamu.edu
  • http//vpr.tamu.edu/

Office of Proposal Development Group
  • Jean Ann Bowman, Research Scientist PhD Physical
    Geography Hydrology
  • Libby Childress, Administrative Assistant
  • Mike Cronan, PE, Director BS Civil Engineering
    (structures) BA Political Science MFA English
  • Lucy Deckard, Associate Director BS/MS Materials
    Science Engineering
  • Phyllis McBride, Assistant Director PhD English
  • Robyn Pearson, Proposal Development Specialist,
    BA/MA Anthropology.

OPD Activities
  • Works with faculty across Texas AM University to
    plan, develop, and write research and educational
    proposals to federal agencies
  • Helps plan, develop, and write collaborative
    research and center-level proposals
  • Helps interdisciplinary faculty groups across
    colleges plan, develop, and write proposals
    (e.g., materials, ecology, obesity studies,
  • Helps Office of Graduate Studies/System Pathways
    Initiative Associate Dean for Undergraduate
    Research develop proposals

OPD Activities
  • Helps identify and develop research System-wide
    through the Offices of the Vice Chancellor for
    Research and External Affairs Vice Chancellor
    for Academic and Student Affairs and Vice
    President for Research Graduate Studies, Health
    Science Center
  • Offers proposal workshops, presentations, and
    seminars, e.g., career development, undergraduate
    research, graduate fellowships, dissertation
    grants, equipment, craft of proposal writing,
  • Promotes research System-wide by the
    identification of funding opportunities linked to
    VPR/OPD proposal development.

Jean Ann Bowman
  • Jean Ann Bowman, Ph.D., leads proposal
    development initiatives in the College of
    Geosciences and the College of Agriculture Life
  • 20 years of experience in applied hydrology
    research, with a focus on the relationship
    between land surface hydrology and global
    environmental change.
  • B.S., Journalism, University of Colorado,
    Boulder, 1979 M.S., Hydrology and Physical
    Geography, Rutgers University, 1983 Ph.D.,
    Hydrology and Physical Geography, Texas AM
    University, 1999
  • jbowman_at_tamu.edu

Libby Childress
  • Provides project and proposal planning,
    scheduling, and coordination services OPD
    administration coordinates OPD workshops,
    presentations, seminars and TTVN activities, and
    works on special projects.
  • Tracks project development activities,
    collaborative activities, and program evaluation
  • Experience as an account administrator, as an
    IEEE editorial assistant, and as personal
    assistant and liaison to the Vice President for
  • libbyc_at_tamu.edu

Mike Cronan
  • 18 years at Texas AM University in strategic
    planning, development, and writing of successful
    center-level proposals
  • Played the lead development role and was author
    of over 60 million in System-wide projects
    funded by NSF, e.g., Texas AMP, Texas RSI, South
    Texas RSI, TxCETP, CREST Environmental Research
    Center, Information Technology in Science, ITS
    Center for Teaching and Learning, etc.
  • Named Regents Fellow (2000-04 term) for
    leadership role in developing NSF funded projects
    and partnerships System-wide.
  • B.S., Civil Engineering (structures), University
    of Michigan, 1983 M.F.A., English, UC-Irvine,
    1972 B.A., Political Science, Michigan State
    University, 1968 PE (Texas 063512)
  • mikecronan_at_tamu.edu

Lucy Deckard
  • Leads the VPR New Faculty Initiative, and works
    on proposal development activities related to
    science, engineering, graduate programs,
    undergraduate research, diversity, as well as
    equipment and instrumentation
  • 18 years of experience as a materials research
    engineer, conducting applied research and writing
    proposals at Lockheed Martin, Hughes Research
  • B.S., Materials Science, Rice University, 1981
    M.S., Materials Science and Engineering,
    Northwestern University, 1990
  • l-deckard_at_tamu.edu

Phyllis McBride
  • Leads Craft of Proposal Writing workshops
    training initiatives develops AM proposal
    writing workbooks
  • 20 years of technical communications experience
    in publishing, industry, and academe, eight of
    which have focused on proposal development and
  • Worked for Dallas Magazine, EDS, and CH2M HILL,
    and has also taught technical communications at
    Texas AM University
  • B.A., Journalism and English, Baylor University,
    1987 M.A., English, Texas AM University, 1991
    Ph.D., English, Texas AM University, 2000
  • p-mcbride_at_tamu.edu

Robyn Pearson
  • Leads proposal development initiatives in the
    College of Liberal Arts and the College of
    Education and Human Development.
  • Her background includes grant writing, public
    outreach, and marketing for non-profit
  • 15 years of experience in technical writing and
    editing, including books, journal articles, and
    technical reports.
  • B.A., Anthropology, Texas AM University, 1979
    M.A., Anthropology, Texas AM University, 1996
  • rlpearson_at_tamu.edu

Researching Funding Agency Culture
  • Understanding and researching culture, mission,
    strategic plan and investment priorities of
    funding agency (NSF, NIH)
  • (Craft, Collaboration, Find Funding)

TAMUC Workshop Disciplines
  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Bilingual Education
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Counseling
  • Economics and Finance
  • Educational Administration
  • Elementary Education
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Industrial Eng/Technology
  • Institutional Research
  • Literature and Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Secondary Higher Education
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Special Education
  • Speech

Open Forum, QA Format
  • Audience is encouraged to ask questions
    continuously during the workshop
  • Audience questions will help direct, guide, and
    focus the discussion on research proposal topics,
    competitive strategies, and expertise of
    presenters in developing and writing research
    proposals across agencies and disciplines.

Characterizing Culture Mission
  • Funding agencies map to well defined research
    investment priorities reflecting the culture and
    mission of the agency for example,
    characterized by
  • Target disciplines, e.g., science, humanities,
  • Basic or applied research technology development
  • Hypothesis or application driven
  • Research scope performance time horizon
  • Exploratory, open-ended research, or targeted
  • Independent research, or dependent linkages to
    other institutions and agencies, e.g., health
    care, education, economic development, workforce.

Culture Mission Objectives
  • Agencies define a vision, mission, objectives,
    and strategic goals
  • Operational components of agency reflect a range
    of objectives, for example
  • Strategic research plan
  • Strategic investment plan
  • Research portfolio investment time horizon
  • Research priorities characteristics

Basic Research Agencies (NSF, NIH)
  • Independent agency management
  • Independent research vision, mission,
  • Award criteria based on intellectual and
    scientific excellence
  • Peer panel reviewed, ranked, and awarded by merit
  • Focus on fundamental or basic research at the
    frontiers of science, innovation, and creation
    of new knowledge
  • Open ended, exploratory, long investment horizon
  • Non-classified, non-proprietary

Mission Oriented Federal Agencies
  • RD serves agency goals and objectives, but
    reflect Executive Branch policy directions
  • E.g., Agriculture, Energy, Education, Defense,
  • Scope of work tightly defines research
  • Predominately applied research for meeting near
    term objectives, technology development
  • Predominately internal review by program officers
  • Awards based on merit, but also on geographic
    distribution, political distribution, long term
    relationship with agency, Legislative Executive
    branch policies
  • Classified and non-classified research

Backgrounding the Funding Agency
  • Mission
  • Culture
  • Language
  • Investment Priorities
  • Strategic Plan
  • Org Chart Structure
  • Management
  • Program Officers
  • Reports, Publications
  • Leadership Speeches
  • Congressional Testimony
  • Review Criteria
  • Review Process
  • Review Panels
  • Project Abstracts
  • Current Funded Projects
  • Funded Researchers

Funding Agency Investment Priorities
  • National Science Foundation
  • Strategic Plan 2003-08 (http//www.nsf.gov/publica
  • Office of the Director (http//www.nsf.gov/od/)
  • National Institutes of Health
  • NIH Roadmap (http//nihroadmap.nih.gov/)
  • NIH Director Elias Zerhouni (http//www.sciencemag
  • NIH Directors Page (http//www.nih.gov/about/dire

National Science Foundation
  • Home Page
  • http//www.nsf.gov
  • Find Funding
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding
  • Award Search
  • http//www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/index.jsp
  • Upcoming Due Dates
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?orgNSFor

National Science Foundation
Director Deputy Director
National Science Board
Inspector General
Staff Offices
Computer Information Science Engineering
Mathematical Physical Sciences
Biological Sciences
Social, Behavioral Economic Sciences
Budget, Finance Award Management
Information Resource Management
Education Human Resources
NSF Regional Grants Information Conferences
  • NSF Regional Conferences and Workshops
  • (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/outreach.jsp
  • Introduction to NSF (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/p
    olicy/docs/introtampa.pdf )
  • NSF Proposal Preparation (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/d
  • NSF Merit Review Process (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/d
  • NSF Cross Cutting Programs (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa
  • Education and Human Resources (http//www.nsf.gov/
  • NSF Geosciences (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/polic
  • NSF Math Physical Sciences (http//www.nsf.gov/b
  • NSF Office of International Science and
    Engineering (http//www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/do
  • Challenges, Opportunities and New Directions

NSF Guide to Programs
  • Guide to Programs / Browse Funding Opportunities
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/browse_all_funding.jsp
  • Program Description or Announcement
  • Administered by disciplinary programs in
    directorate/ division
  • Typically due once or twice per year (sometimes
    due dates sometimes target dates or
    windows) 1 3 PIs
  • Follow Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)
  • http//www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/nsf04_23/
  • Research interests/ abstracts of funded proposals
  • http//www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

NSF Funding Opportunities
  • Solicitations
  • More focused than program announcements
  • Often tied to particular agency initiative
  • NSF-wide and cross-cutting opportunities
  • Often apply for limited period of time
  • Give specific format, criteria and other
    requirements that may differ from GPG
  • Supplements
  • Additions to existing grants
  • Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Research
    Experiences for Teachers, International
    Supplements, etc.

Other NSF Funding Opportunities
  • Dear Colleague Letter
  • Informs proposer community of upcoming
    opportunities, special competition for
    supplements, etc.
  • SGER (Special Grants for Exploratory Research)
  • Small-scale, high-risk exploratory research
  • 100K or less
  • Approved by program officer (talk to program
    officer before submitting!)

NIH Mission
  • To uncover new knowledge that will lead to
    better health for everyone
  • Basic scientific research in pursuit of
    fundamental knowledge about the nature and
    behavior of living systems
  • Applied scientific research to extend health life
    and reduce the burdens of illness and disability
  • NIH Roadmap
  • http//nihroadmap.nih.gov/

All About NIH Grants Tutorials
  • All about NIH grants
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm
  • Grant Application Basics
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/basics/index.h
  • What is NIH Looking For http//www.niaid.nih.gov/n
  • Overview of the Application Process
  • NIH Has Five Review Criteria http//www.niaid.nih.
  • Other Factors Play a Role in Review

National Institutes of Health, Area Grants
  • NIH Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA)
    Grants - (R15)
  • AREA grants support individual research projects
    in the biomedical and behavioral sciences
    conducted by faculty, and involving their
    undergraduate students, who are located in health
    professional schools and other academic
    components that have not been major recipients of
    NIH research grant funds.
  • http//grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/area.htm

NIH Organization (20 institutes and 7 centers)
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Eye Institute
  • National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute
  • National Human Genome Research Institute
  • National Institute on Aging
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse Alcoholism
  • National Institute of Allergy Infectious
  • Natl Institute Arthritis, Musculoskeletal Skin
  • Natl Institute of Biomedical Imaging
  • National Institute of Child Health Human

NIH Organization (20 institutes and 7 centers)
  • Natl Institute Deafness, Other Communication
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial
  • Natl Institute Diabetes Digestive and Kidney
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute of Environmental Health
  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • National Institute of Mental Health
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
  • National Institute of Nursing Research
  • National Library of Medicine

NIH Organization (20 institutes and 7 centers)
  • Center for Information Technology
  • Center for Scientific Review
  • John E. Fogarty International Center
  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative
  • National Center on Minority Health and Health
  • National Center for Research Resources
  • Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center

NIH Funding Opportunities
  • NIH funding opportunities
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html
  • NIH forms and applications
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm
  • NIH receipt dates and deadlines
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm

NIH Funding Mechanisms
  • (R01) Research Project Grant
  • Supports discrete, specified, circumscribed
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/r01.htm
  • (R03) Small Research Project Grant
  • Supports small research projects that can be
    carried out in a short period of time with
    limited resources
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/r03.htm
  • (R21) Exploratory Research Project Grant
  • Supports exploratory and developmental research
    that breaks new ground or extends previous
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/r21.htm

NIH Award Data
  • http//crisp.cit.nih.gov/
  • Research grants
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/resgr.htm
  • Training and career awards
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/granfell.htm

NIH Award Data
  • Award trends
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/awardtr.htm
  • Success rates
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/success.htm

NIH Tutorials
  • Grant Application Basics
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/basics/index.h
  • How to Plan a Grant Application
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/plan/index.htm
  • How to Write a Grant Application
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/write/index.ht

NIH Tutorials
  • Annotated R01 Application
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/app/default.ht
  • Inside the NIH Grant Review Process
  • http//www.csr.nih.gov/Video/Video.asp
  • Additional Tutorials
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm

Craft of Proposal Writing
  • Craft of Proposal Writing
  • (Mission, Collaborations, Find Funding)

To Submit or Not to Submit?
  • Is an RFP worth it? Remember sometimes the dog
    catches the car!
  • Does the RFP
  • Make fiscal sense
  • Match institutional capabilities
  • Fit institutional strategic objectives
  • Interface well with institutional work-load
  • Have institutional support
  • Strengthen benefit the institution

Good Ideas Serve Agency Mission
  • Funding agencies have a clearly defined agenda
    and mission. Funded grants are those that best
    meet that agenda and advance the mission of the
    funding agency. If a proposal does not meet an
    agency's mission, it will not be funded. This is
    perhaps the most difficult adjustment to be made
    in proposal development and grant writing.
    Having a "good idea" by itself is simply not
    enough. Good ideas have to be connected clearly
    and integrated fully with a funding agencys
    mission and agenda. The proposal must fit the
    mission and strategic plans of the funding

Understand Funding Agency Mission
  • Funding agencies are not passive funders of
    programs. They see themselves as leaders in a
    national dialogue on scientific issues, and as a
    part of the community defining and driving the
    national agenda. A strong proposal allows the
    funding agency to form a partnership with the
    submitting institution that will carry out the
    agency's vision and mission. The grant writer
    must understand the nature of this partnership
    and the expectations of the funding agency, both
    during proposal development and throughout a
    funded project.

Introductory Writing Tips
  • The abstract, proposal summary, and introduction
    are keythat may be all many reviewers read and
    it is here you must excite and grab the attention
    of the reviewers
  • Reviewers will assume errors in language and
    usage will translate into errors in the science
  • Dont be overly ambitious in what you propose,
    but convey credibility and capacity to perform

Introductory Writing Tips
  • Sell your proposal to a good scientist but not an
  • Some review panels may not have an expert in your
    field, or panels may be blended for
    multidisciplinary initiatives
  • Agencies reviewers fund compelling, exciting
    science, not just correct science
  • Proposals are not journal articlesproposals must
    be user friendly and offer a narrative that tells
    a story that is memorable to reviewers

The RFP is NOT a List of Suggestions
  • It is a non-negotiable listing of funding agency
    objectives, requirements, and review criteria.
  • Use it to guide outline and structure of the
  • It is a a treasure map, of sorts follow
  • Respond fully to every item.
  • RFPs are not a menu or smorgasbord offering the
    applicant a choice.
  • Use it to review final text the final text must
    mirror the RFP by structure, topic, and
  • Never be in the position of later reading over
    the RFP of a submitted proposal only to say

The RFP Reveals the Mind of the Funding
Agency--Know it Well
  • The RFP needs to be treated as the "Revealed
    Word" of the funding agency. It is not a
    document to skim quickly, read lightly, or read
    only once. The RFP defines the path to follow to
    be competitive for funding. It needs to be read
    and re-read and fully understood. The RFP is the
    starting point of the successful proposal. It
    sets the direction and parameters of every aspect
    of the proposal development and grant writing
    process. It typically includes, or references in
    other documents, the requirements for proposal
    submission, e.g., eligibility, program
    guidelines, review criteria, due dates, available
    funding, estimated number of awards, format
    requirements, topics to address, order of
    document, section headings, specific issues to
    address, program goals, performance expectations,
    and section points or review weighting.

The Proposal is the Only Reality
  • In its final form, a proposal is not unlike a
    novel or a movie. It creates its own,
    self-contained reality.
  • The proposal contains all the funding agency and
    review panel will know about your capabilities
    and your capacity to perform.
  • With few exceptions, an agency bases its decision
    to fund or not fund entirely on the proposal and
    the persuasive reality it creates.

Analysis of the RFP/Language
  • The grant writer must be highly skilled at
    echoing the language of the funding agency. All
    funding agencies, like most institutions and
    disciplines, speak in a unique language, or
    dialect. Learning the language of the funding
    agency is critical. Grant applicants must
    translate their institutional language into that
    of the funding agency. Fluency in the use of the
    funding agency language is critical. The RFP is
    the starting point for this process.

Accumulation of Marginal Advantage
  • The successful proposal represents an
    accumulation of marginal advantage gained from a
    series of decisions made during project and
    proposal development
  • These advantages are gained from curiosity and
    persistence, attention to detail, mastery of
    facts, facility with ideas and concepts,
    commitment and passion, creative strategies,
    innovation solutions, and original perspectives

Analysis of the RFP/Details
  • RFP Read it carefully read it again!
  • Think about it discuss it
  • Use RFP as outline template for text, graphics,
    tables, budget, and appendices
  • Echo RFP language in proposal text
  • Echo RFP concepts and vision in text

Analysis of the RFP/Details
  • Talk to the program manager
  • Ask questions that fully reveal agency agendas
    driving the RFP's program vision, objectives, and
    performance expectations
  • Ask questions that elicit the program managers
    views, opinions, objectives, vision, experience,
    and knowledge of successfully funded projects by
    that agency--echo these in the proposal

Analysis of the RFP/Talk to Agency
  • Encourage a general discussion with the program
    manager to better place the specific project in
    context with the broader agency agenda
  • Develop a relationship with the program manager
    over time that subtly includes the manager as a
    member of your proposal team--get the program
    manager vested in the effort by "ownership"
  • Done wisely and astutely and with restraint, an
    echoing of the program manager's ideas and vision
    in the proposal text puts that person in the
    position of accepting or rejecting their own
    ideas during the proposal review process.

Ideas Matter (Slogans are not Ideas)
  • Shaping ideas by language is hard work
  • Do not confuse slogans, effusive exuberance, and
    clichés with substantive ideas
  • Show the reviewers something new by developing
    ideas that are clear, concise, coherent,
    contextually logical, and insightful
  • Capitalize on every opportunity you have to
    define, link, relate, expand, synthesize,
    connect, or illuminate ideas as you write the

Good Writing Cant Be BeatGood writing is more
than mechanics, and includes
  • Strong, comprehensive, integrated knowledge base
  • Organizational clarity (stepwise
    logic/connections sequencing)
  • Structural clarity (integrative logic
    transitions fabric)
  • Argumentative clarity (reasoning ordering
  • Descriptive clarity (who, what, how, when, why,
  • Clear, consistent vision sustained throughout
  • Comprehensive problem definition corresponding
    innovative solutions
  • Confidence in performance must and excitement for
    your ideas must be instilled in reviewers
  • Capacity for synthesis

Knowledge Base
  • The knowledge base includes
  • Technical
  • Program
  • Institutional capabilities, mission, and
  • Knowledge of funding agency
  • Knowledge of competitors
  • A little gold-dust
  • Synthesis Synergism

Good Writing Wins Awards
  • Good writing lies at the core of the competitive
    proposal. It is the essential framework upon
    which the competitive writer cleverly crafts and
    structures the arguments, ideas, concepts, goals,
    commitments of performance, and the logical,
    internal connectedness and balance of the

Internal Consistency Synthesis
  • A competitive proposal must be internally
    consistent by language, structure, and argument
    all internal ambiguities must be resolved.
  • The competitiveness of a proposal increases
    exponentially with the capacity of the author to
    synthesize information.
  • Synthesis represents the relational framework and
    conceptual balance of the proposal. It is the
    synaptic connections among concepts, ideas,
    arguments, goals, objectives, and performance.

Craft a Well-Written Proposal Introduction
  • Always take the time to craft a well-written
    proposal introduction. It will serve as a focal
    point not only for the proposal itself but also
    for project development and grant writing.
  • The introduction is a means of taming by language
    ideas and arguments that may as yet be unrefined
    and unconnected, or not yet fully developed and
    structured on a logical framework.

Craft a Well-Written Proposal Introduction
  • Writing and rewriting the introduction
    continuously refines how you think about the
    proposal, the arguments developed, the ideas, the
    goals and objectives, and the logical
    connectedness of it all.
  • Start the introduction early in the grant writing
    process and keep coming back to it as ideas are
    put forth, or revised, or abandoned.

Be Thoroughly Versant with Review Criteria
  • Applicants often overlook agency review criteria,
    or give them only a cursory look, and thereby
    respond only in part.
  • The RFP contains a section describing the review
    criteria an agency will use to evaluate a
  • Program managers use these criteria internally to
    constitute the charge to external reviewers and
    review panels.

Be Thoroughly Versant with Review Criteria
  • In many ways, review criteria are like a judge's
    instructions to the jury before they begin
    deliberations. They set the standard of
    judgment. Review criteria are detailed and
    linked to the agency mission.
  • Review criteria address performance expectations,
    institutional expertise, technical or
    programmatic soundness, experience of the
    principal investigators, outcomes, resource
    allocations, intrinsic merit, and demonstrated
    organizational commitment to the project.

Understand Agenda Behind Review Criteria
  • Develop information on agency review criteria
  • Talk to those who have reviewed for an agency
  • Talk to those who have been funded by an agency
    ask to read reviews
  • Talk to those who have been denied funding by an
    agency ask to read reviews
  • Read abstracts of funded projects to identify
    common themes of the successful applicants

Know Yourself--Know Your Competition
  • Know institutional strengths and weaknesses,
    experience, capacity to perform, and uniqueness
    (e.g., technical, geographic, demographic)
  • Clearly state how these capacities relate to
    funding agency mission, e.g., by circumstance
    such as geography, demographics, target
    population, or by technical expertise and the
    capacity for innovation
  • Know or anticipate your competition
  • Identify strengths and weakness of competition
    vs. your own
  • Anticipate competitors arguments

Purposes of the Succinct Proposal Introduction
  • Serves as reviewers road map to the full text
  • Functions as a miniature, condensed proposal
  • States vision, concepts, goals, objectives,
    outcomes, and deliverables
  • Briefly tells who you are what you are going to
    do how you are going to do it who is going to
    do it why you are going to do it and
    demonstrates your capacity to perform

Connect Narrative Text to Budget
  • Budget categories are defined by the funding
  • Budget and text must be integrated thematically
    for a competitive proposal
  • Connect narrative text to the budget to ensure
    appropriate balance and proportion, i.e., budget
    categories and level of requested funding will
    affect the arguments made in the text and the
    detail and length of narrative components
  • If a budget justification section is requested,
    use it to complement and deepen the narrative

Beware of Boiler Plate Dont Pirate, Copy Paste
  • Boiler plate refers only to the grant application
    forms required by the funding agency
  • Thinking of proposal narrative as boiler plate
    will result in a mediocre, disjoint proposal
  • Never pirate text if your own, be very careful
  • Begin each proposal as a new effort, not a copy
  • Be very cautious integrating text inserts
  • Strong proposals clearly reflect a coherent,
    sustained, and integrated argument grounded on
    good ideas

Deliverables, Outcomes, or Unit of Change
  • Develop short, hard-hitting, informational lists
    off-set by bullets or other typographical formats
    that clearly and quickly illuminate for the
    reviewers the proposal deliverables, outcomes or
    unit of change
  • Develop a logical order to the deliverables
  • Define the problem
  • Make the argument
  • Develop a solution
  • Present the deliverables
  • Develop a visual time-line and schedule of

Proposal Aesthetics
  • Make the text reviewer friendly
  • Use white space, font size and style, line
    spacing, tables, figures and graphics, and good
    writing for a professional package
  • Follow funding agencys proposal format

Craft of Grant Writing Web Sites
  • http//cpmcnet.columbia.edu/research/writing.htm
  • http//nextwave.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/19
  • http//grants.library.wisc.edu/index.html
  • http//www.research.umich.edu/proposals/PWG/pwgcom
  • http//www.asru.ilstu.edu/grantwritingseries.htm

Craft of Grant Writing Web Sites
  • http//grants.nih.gov/grants/grant_tips.htm
  • http//www.epa.gov/seahome/grants/src/title.htm
  • http//www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf04016/start.htm
  • http//www.aecom.yu.edu/ogs/Guide/Guide.htm
  • http//www.awag.org/Grant20Seekers20Tool20Kit/i
  • http//www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDet
  • http//www.pitt.edu/offres/proposal/propwriting/w

A stepwise process for developing a competitive
research proposal
  • Preparing to write
  • Developing the hypothesis research plan
  • Preliminary data research readiness
  • Writing the proposal
  • Post review process
  • Competitive resubmissions
  • Multidisciplinary research collaborations

Preparing to write the competitive proposal
  • Understanding the program guidelines
  • Relationship with program officers
  • Developing a sound, testable hypothesis
  • Understanding funding agency culture (
    sub-cultures), language, mission, strategic plan,
    research investment priorities
  • Understanding agency review criteria, review
    process, review panels

Developing the hypothesis research plan
  • Who is your audience (e.g., agency, program
    officers and reviewers) and how do you best
    address them?
  • What is a fundable idea and how is it best
  • How are claims of research uniqueness and
    innovation best supported in the proposal text?
  • Can research plans be overly ambitious?
  • Important distinctions to note between mission
    focused agencies (NASA, USDA) and basic research
    agencies (NSF, NIH) in proposing research plans?
  • Differentiating between hypothesis driven
    research application (goal) driven at basic
    research and mission agencies
  • How do you best communicate passion, excitement,
    commitment, and capacity to perform to review

Preliminary data research readiness
  • What evidence needs to be presented to show that
    the proposed work can be accomplished?
  • What evidence of institutional support for the
    research, e.g., facilities, equipment
    instrumentation, etc., is important to
    demonstrate and address in the proposal?
  • What counts as preliminary data and how much is
  • How do you best map your research directions and
    interests to funding agency research priorities?
  • What do you need to know about research currently
    funded by a particular agency within your
    research domain, e.g., through reports,
    publications, journals?

Writing the proposal
  • Who do you need to impress with your research?
  • How do you tell a good story grounded in good
    science that excites the reviewers and program
  • The successful proposal represents an
    accumulation of marginal advantage accrued at
    decision points over a period of weeks or months
    to ensure the proposal is competitive for
  • What are key decisions points in proposal
  • How do you best plan and schedule proposal
  • How do you use program guidelines as a proposal
  • Importance of good writing, clear arguments, and
    reviewer friendly text, structure, and
    organization in proposals
  • What are other core competitive characteristics
    of a successful proposal needed to complement
    research merit?

Post review process
  • Respecting views of peers
  • Response to reviewer comments
  • Discussion of reviews with program officers
  • Discussion of reviews with senior faculty
  • Reviewing the reviews
  • How do you make an assessment of reviews as a
    reliable guide for the next funding cycle?

Competitive resubmissions
  • How do you best plan and position for a
    competitive resubmission?
  • How do you conduct a reassessment of the
    intellectual merit and excellence of your
    research based on reviews?
  • How to you assess if a research direction should
    be abandoned, or the research submitted to
    another agency?
  • What are strategies for identifying more
    appropriate research directions and funding

Visualize the Process
  • An important transition must take place in which
    the grant writer moves from promoting ideas to
    describing in the text how those ideas will be
    manifested in practice. This is often a very
    difficult transition to make, but it is a
    critical one because reviewers and funding
    agencies need to clearly understand the detail
    and process by which funds will be expended on a
    project and have confidence that the performance
    objectives will be achieved. Having good ideas is
    often the easiest part of grant writing. The
    hard part is translating those ideas into the
    day-to-day details of project operations,
    performance objectives, and deliverables, or the
    "product" produced with the agency's money. One
    good technique for making the transition from
    project ideas to project operations is to
    visualize the process in much the same way that
    many athletes visualize their event.

Collaborative Proposals
  • Developing Collaborative Proposals in Science and
  • (Mission, Craft Writing, Finding Funding)

Analysis of the RFP/Proposal Team
  • Assemble proposal development team
  • Partnerships/collaboratives are often more
  • Ensure team members bring something to the
  • Clearly define reasons for and nature of
  • State concise benefits of the partnership
  • Review each team members relevance to the RFP
  • Use RFP as road map to concept development
  • Develop major concepts specific to each RFP item
  • Develop global arguments specific to each RFP
  • Initial teaming process and brainstorming will
    not be linear
  • Distill concepts and arguments into linear
  • Converge drafts and interactions to final text.

Partnerships Consortia
  • Partnerships and consortia are the trend in
    funding, but they require
  • More effort and longer lead time for proposal
  • Fiscal trust among the partners
  • A true partnership in terms of equivalent
    commitment and effort
  • Continuous communications among partners

NSF Science Education Partnerships
  • Undergraduate Students
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type
  • For K-12 Educators
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type
  • Research in Undergraduate Institutions
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id55

NSF Science Education Partnerships
  • Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology
  • Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    Talent Expansion Program
  • http//www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05519/nsf05519.htm

Department of Education
  • Unsolicited Applications Announcement
  • http//www.ed.gov/programs/edresearch/unsolicited.
  • Department of Education Grant Awards Search
  • http//wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/grantaward/start
  • Gaining Early Awareness Readiness for
    Undergraduate Programs
  • http//www.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html

NIH Bridges to Baccalaureate
  • Each proposed Bridges program must consist of a
    partnership between at least two institutions.
  • One must be an institution that offers the
    associate degree as the only undergraduate degree
    in the sciences within the participating
    departments AND has a significant enrollment of
    underrepresented minorities.
  • Another partner must be a college or university
    offering the baccalaureate degree in areas
    relevant to the biomedical sciences.
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-0

How To Conduct Electronic Searches For Research
Funding Opportunities
  • How To Conduct Electronic Searches For Research
    Funding Opportunities
  • (Mission, Craft Writing, Collaborations)

Finding Funding on the Internet
  • Funding opportunities hotlink table
  • Funding agencies hotlink table
  • Email alert services
  • Leverage the Web
  • Google is your best friend

Research Funding Agencies on the Internet
  • The Internet is the writer's best partner in
    developing a competitive proposal. It opens a
    portal to critical information on an agency's
    mission, objectives, and funding history.
    Competitiveness depends on both tactical and
    strategic decision making throughout the proposal
    development period. Competitive advantage
    represents an accumulation of many small
    advantages gained at decisions points throughout
    proposal development. Knowledge about an agency
    helps the writer make good decisions.
    Researching a funding agency--at the agency web
    site and linked sites where funded projects are
    in operation--allows the writer "to enter the
    mind of the agency" and understand its internal
    decision making process. That allows better
    internal decisions to be made as the proposal is

Agency Information from the Internet
  • Organizational structure
  • Programs
  • Program managers
  • Agency mission
  • Strategic documents, studies, reports,
    publications, web links
  • Information on funded projects, e.g., abstracts,
    principal investigators, progress reports,
    evaluation and assessment data
  • Future directions in programs, funding, and
  • Agency budgeting categories

Email Alert Services
  • Email Alert Services for Funding
    Opportunities--TAMUC Workshop.doc
  • US NSF - MyNSF.pdf
  • Weekly new document summary.eml
  • NIH Guide LISTSERV_ Subscribe.pdf
  • NIH GUIDE TOC - MARCH 4, 2005.eml
  • EDInfo Home Page.pdf
  • DoED Notices Inviting Applications (March 4,
  • US Dept_ of Education Grants Forecast FY 2005.htm
  • Grants Posting System.htm
  • Grants_gov Opportunities Posting Update.eml
  • PND RFP Bulletin.htm

Leverage the Web
  • The Fellowship Database at Cornell
  • http//cuinfo.cornell.edu/Student/GRFN/
  • Iowa State University
  • http//www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/OSP/FundingOppor
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • http//www.umass.edu/research/ogca/funding/alert.h

Leverage the Web
  • Duke Office of Research Support
  • http//www.ors.duke.edu/find/
  • University of Oregon Office of Research
  • http//oregonstate.edu/research/osprc/preparation/
  • University of Vermont Research Funding
  • http//www.uvm.edu/ospuvm/?PageFunding_Opportuni

Google is Your Best Friend
  • http//www.google.com/
  • http//www.yahoo.com/
  • Search for research opportunities
  • Backdoor/end run to subscription funding services
  • http//carousel.lis.uiuc.edu/7Eiris/deadlines/all
  • Find funded programs, abstracts
  • Find workshops, conferences, seminars
  • Find reports, publications, project documents
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