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Competing for Funding in the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from USDA

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Food safety, nutrition, and health. Manage, protect public & private lands ... Proposals are not journal articles proposals must be user-friendly and offer a ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Competing for Funding in the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences from USDA


1
Competing for Funding in the Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences from USDA Elsewhere
  • December 12, 2008
  • Jean Ann Bowman
  • jbowman_at_tamu.edu
  • Office of Proposal Development
  • Texas AM University
  • Texas AgriLife Research

2
Funding Sources for Agricultural Environmental
Research
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • National Science Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics Space Admin.
  • National Oceanic Atmospheric Admin.

3
What Well Talk About Today
  • Review of proposal basics
  • Comparing and selecting funding programs
  • Finding similar funding programs at different
    agencies
  • Mapping the proposal to a different agency

4
Funding Agencies for Agricultural Environmental
Research
  • Most are mission agencies
  • Government organizations with specific missions
  • Employ scientists scholars who conduct research
    to address mission and needs of the agency
  • Internal research vs. External research
  • Annual research budget used primarily for
    internal research
  • External research funds to supplement mission

5
Funding Agencies for Agricultural Environmental
Research (continued)
  • Funding priorities change with political
    landscape
  • Stay informed through news, newsletters, agency
    web sites
  • Research mission overlaps across agencies
  • Examples of overlap ecosystem science and
    climate science
  • Agencies approach same topics from varied
    perspectives
  • Know those perspectives and where you fit best

6
Your Research Interests Will Define Funding
Sources
  • Your research interests should align with the
    Mission of the Agency
  • Biological Sciences
  • Natural Resources
  • Biotechnology
  • Nutrition Health
  • Agricultural Development
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

7
Compare Your Research Approach With Agency
Priorities
  • Basic Science
  • Applied Science
  • Education Outreach
  • Solicited Unsolicited

8
Compare Your Research Approach With Agency
Priorities
  • Read abstracts of currently funded projects for
    all funding programs of interest
  • Look for common threads
  • Look for emphasis areas
  • Look at funding levels
  • Look at team members

9
Know the Category of Funding that Fits Your Needs
  • Research
  • Training
  • Instrumentation
  • Student retention
  • Student recruitment
  • Diversity
  • Curriculum
  • International activities

10
Agency Overview USDA
  • Mission
  • Expand and develop markets
  • Address needs of rural America
  • Food safety, nutrition, and health
  • Manage, protect public private lands
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Cooperative State Research, Education, and
    Extension Service (CSREES)
  • http//www.csrees.usda.gov/fundingsearch

11
USDA (continued)
  • National Research Initiative is now Agriculture
    and Food Research Initiative
  • http//www.csrees.usda.gov/AFRI
  • Formal announcement anticipated late November
    2008
  • New Request for Applications anticipated
    mid-January 2009

12
Example of a CSREES Search
13
Agency Overview NSF
  • Mission
  • Advance science
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Biological Sciences Directorate
  • Geosciences Directorate
  • Environmental Research Education

14
NSF (continued)
  • Biological Sciences Directorate
  • Biological Infrastructure
  • Environmental Biology
  • Integrative Organismal Systems
  • Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
  • Emerging Frontiers
  • http//www.nsf.gov/BIO

15
NSF (continued)
  • Geosciences Directorate
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ocean Sciences
  • http//www.nsf.gov/GEO

16
NSF (continued)
  • Environmental Research Education
  • Examples
  • Biocomplexity in the Environment
  • Coupled Biological Physical Systems
  • Coupled Human Natural Systems
  • http//www.nsf.gov/ERE

17
Agency Overview DOE
  • Mission
  • Advance national energy security
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Office of Science
  • Advanced Computing, Biological Environmental
    research, Climate Change research
  • Office of Energy Efficiency Renewable Energy
  • Office of Environmental Management
  • Office of Nuclear Energy
  • http//scalerts.science.energy.gov

18
Agency Overview EPA
  • Mission
  • Protect Human Health the Environment
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Justice
  • Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Program
  • http//www.epa.gov/ncer/grants

19
Agency Overview NOAA
  • Mission
  • Research Global Oceans Atmosphere
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Atmospheric research (e.g., storms, air quality)
  • Climate research (e.g., climate change, El Nino)
  • Oceans and Coastal research (e.g., ocean
    circulation, coastal ecosystems)
  • Monitoring
  • http//www.noaa.gov/research

20
Agency Overview NASA
  • Mission
  • Explore Universe Understand and Protect Earth
  • Funding Programs Priorities
  • Research Opportunities in Space Earth Sciences
    (ROSES)
  • Single solicitation each year covering all
    programs
  • Examples Physical biological oceanography
    land use and land cover change terrestrial
    ecology climate processes water cycle and
    hydrology
  • http//nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations

21
Using the OPD Web Page
22
Grants.gov
23
Grants.gov
24
General Note on Funding Alerts
  • Many agencies have programs that repeat every
    year
  • They are often due at approximately the same time
    every year
  • Its a good idea to get a head start by noting
    those programs and their general dates
  • You can have a good start on your proposal by the
    time the funding alert is posted
  • ALWAYS read the new funding alert to see if there
    have been changes in program priorities

25
General Note on Mission Agencies
  • Funding Cycles Vary
  • Range from one-time only to 36 months
  • Proposal Reviews
  • Often 3-layer science review, panel review,
    agency review
  • Performance Expectations
  • Disseminate results
  • Train students and postdocs
  • Communicate societal relevance of the work

26
Review of RFP Guidelines
  • Use the RFP to make your outline
  • Read the background material referenced
  • Make sure your expertise fits
  • ALWAYS read the whole RFP

27
Introductory Writing Tips or Proposals as Sales
Documents
  • Scholarly and Scientific Merit
  • How will your work add to the body of literature?
  • Clarity
  • Basic science question 1 sentence
  • Hypothesis statement parallels science question
  • Address Program Requirements
  • Pay attention to details
  • Experience Counts Resubmit!

28
Introductory Writing Tips or Proposals as Sales
Documents
  • Summary (Abstract) and Introduction (Specific
    Aims) are key
  • May be all reviewers read
  • Must excite and grab the attention
  • 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

29
Introductory Writing Tips or Proposals as Sales
Documents
  • Sell your proposal to a good scientist but not an
    expert
  • Some review panels may not have an expert in your
    field, or panels may be blended for
    multidisciplinary initiatives
  • Agencies reviewers fund compelling, exciting
    research
  • Proposals are not journal articles proposals
    must be user-friendly and offer a narrative that
    tells a story that is memorable to reviewers

30
Introductory Writing Tips or Proposals as Sales
Documents
  • Central science question and hypothesis
  • What you will do to address the question
  • Why this is needed
  • How this is relevant
  • To agency priorities
  • To the general public
  • What knowledge will be gained
  • Why you are the best person to do the job
  • All of this on Page 1

31
Pay Attention to Formatting Requirements
  • Read all the fine print to find formatting
    requirements
  • Font
  • What point size is acceptable
  • What specific fonts are acceptable
  • Page Margins
  • Use one inch margins all around unless
    instructions say otherwise
  • Page Limits
  • Limits for entire document
  • Limits for individual sections
  • Limits on length of biographical sketch
  • What about page numbers?
  • It will all be in the RFP, but if anything is
    unclear, CALL the program manager

32
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 excited reviewers enough
  • May not be an area they wish to fund now
  • May not fit into their research portfolio
  • Many funded proposals were funded after multiple
    submissions ? intelligent perseverance is the key!

33
Revise and Resubmit Your Application
  • Respect the views of reviewers
  • Read the reviews in detail
  • Are there other funding programs that might be
    better suited?

34
Finding Alternative Funding Programs
  • Significant overlap in environmental funding
    programs
  • There are no quick and easy ways to find
    alternatives
  • Research the programs at every agency that might
    apply
  • Find out where colleagues are getting funding
  • BE OPEN MINDED about the possibilities

35
Example Proposal summary from initial
submission Proposal summary after revisions for
resubmission
36
Example Proposal idea that fits more than 1
funding program
37
Example Proposal idea that fits more than 1
agency
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