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How to Write Competitive Proposals for Research Funding: Strategies for Starting your Career as a Re

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Title: How to Write Competitive Proposals for Research Funding: Strategies for Starting your Career as a Re


1
How to Write Competitive Proposals for Research
Funding Strategies for Starting your Career as
a Researcher Thursday, November 17, 2005, 1-5 PM,
601 Rudder A seminar for graduate students and
post-docs planning to enter research-related
careers requiring the writing of proposals to
federal agencies, foundations, and other granting
agencies, presented by the Office of Proposal
Development
2
Presentation topics
  • Overview of Office of Proposal Development
  • Generic competitive proposal writing strategies
    Identifying Funding Analyzing the funding
    agency Reading the proposal solicitation
    Understanding the review process Craft of
    Proposal Writing
  • Breakout topics NSF Defense Agencies
    National Institutes of Health Earth and
    Environmental Sciences Social Behavioral
    Science and Education Funding Opportunities in
    the Humanities
  • Craft of Proposal Writing

3
Office of proposal development
  • Jean Ann Bowman, Research Scientist
    (jbowman_at_tamu.edu)
  • B.S., Journalism B.S., Ph.D., Hydrology and
    Physical Geography
  • Focuses on proposals dealing with earth,
    ecological, and environmental sciences, as well
    as those dealing with agriculture.
  • Libby Childress, Administrative Assistant
    (libbyc_at_tamu.edu)
  • Scheduling, resources, and project coordination.
  • Mike Cronan, Director (mikecronan_at_tamu.edu)
  • B.S., Civil Engineering (Structures) B.A.,
    Political Science M.F.A., English
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas (063512)
  • Lucy Deckard, Associate Director
    (l-deckard_at_tamu.edu)
  • B.S. and M.S., Materials Science and Engineering
  • Leads the new faculty initiatives. Focuses on
    proposals dealing with the physical sciences,
    interdisciplinary materials group, and equipment
    and instrumentation. Leads training seminars on
    graduate and postdoctoral fellowships,
    undergraduate research, and CAREER awards.

4
Office of proposal development
  • Susan Maier, Research Development Officer
  • B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., Psychology
    (SMaier_at_vprmail.tamu.edu)
  • Focuses on the Health Science Centers NIH
    biomedical science initiatives, as well as on the
    HSCs University partnership initiatives. Leads
    training seminars on NIH.
  • Phyllis McBride, Assistant Director
    (p-mcbride_at_tamu.edu)
  • B.A., Journalism and English M.A. and Ph.D.,
    English
  • Leads the one-day Craft of Grant Writing Seminars
    and the fifteen-week Craft of Grant Writing
    Workshops. Focuses on DHS and NIH initiatives,
    and provides editing and rewriting.
  • Robyn Pearson, Research Development Officer
  • B.A. and M.A., Anthropology (rlpearson_at_tamu.edu)
  • Focuses on proposals dealing with the humanities,
    liberal arts, and social and behavioral sciences,
    and education. Provides support for the
    development of interdisciplinary research groups
    and provides editing and rewriting.

5
Google is your best friend!
  • http//www.google.com/
  • http//www.yahoo.com/
  • Search for research opportunities
  • Find funded programs, abstracts
  • Find workshops, conferences, seminars
  • Find reports, publications, project documents

6
Funding opportunities in the humanities
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities
  • http//www.spo.berkeley.edu/Fund/hpostdoc.html
  • Funding for New Faculty
  • http//www.umass.edu/research/ogca/funding/newfacu
    ltydisc.html
  • Major Funders in the Humanities
  • http//townsendcenter.berkeley.edu/funding_lists.s
    html

7
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9
Major funders in the humanities
  • American Council of Learned Societies
  • http//www.acls.org/
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • http//www.daad.org/
  • Fellowships Post-docs National Academies
  • http//www.nationalacademies.org/grantprograms.htm
    l
  • Fulbright Scholars Program
  • http//www.iie.org/cies/

10
Major funders in the humanities
  • International Research Exchanges Board
  • http//www.irex.org/
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
  • http//www.gf.org/
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • http//arts.endow.gov/
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • http//www.neh.fed.us/

11
Major funders in the humanities
  • National Humanities Center
  • http//www.nhc.rtp.nc.us/
  • The National Research Council
  • http//www.nas.edu/nrc/
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • http//www.rockfound.org/
  • Smithsonian Institute Fellowships Grants
  • http//www.si.edu/ofg/
  • Woodrow Wilson National Fellowships
  • http//www.woodrow.org/

12
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13
ACLS Charles Ryskamp Research Fellowships
  • http//www.acls.org/rysguide.htm
  • These fellowships support advanced assistant
    professors in the humanities and related social
    sciences whose scholarly contributions have
    advanced their fields and who have well designed
    and carefully developed plans for new research.
    The fellowships seek to provide time and
    resources to enable these faculty members to
    conduct their research under optimal conditions.
  • Appropriate fields of specialization include but
    are not limited to anthropology, archaeology,
    art history, economic history, geography,
    history, languages and literatures, law,
    linguistics, musicology, philosophy, political
    science, religion, and historical sociology.
    Amount 64,000, plus 2,500 for research and
    travel, and the possibility of an additional
    summer's support. Tenure One academic year, plus
    one summer if justified by a persuasive case. Due
    Sept. 28

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15
National Endowment for Humanities
  • NEH Connect, National Endowment for the
    Humanities
  • http//www.neh.gov/news/nehconnect.html
  • Stay connected to the humanities with NEH
    Connect! Each month NEH Connect! delivers the
    latest news, projects, upcoming events, and grant
    deadlines from NEH.
  • Grant deadlines
  • http//www.neh.gov/grants/grants.html

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18
Leveraging the internet in funding search
  • Duke University Funding Alert Newsletter
  • http//www.ors.duke.edu/index.html
  • Arts Humanities Community Development
    Curriculum Development
  • Environmental Life Sciences Funding News
    Graduate Funding
  • Health Sciences International Opportunities
    Multidisciplinary
  • Physical Sciences Engineering Postdoctoral
    Funding Social Sciences

19
Duke University Research Support
20
Leveraging the internet in funding search
  • University of Iowa, Funding Opportunities
  • http//research.uiowa.edu/grantTrack/grantbulletin
    .php
  • Arts and Humanities Biological Sciences
    International Multidisciplinary Physical
    Mathematical Sciences Social Sciences
  • Iowa State Opportunities by Due Date
  • http//www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/OSP/FundingOppor
    tunities.html
  • http//www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/OSP/Maillogs.htm
    l
  • Michigan State U. Graduate Fellowship Listings
  • http//www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/3gradinf.ht
    m
  • Michigan State University provides links to
    fellowship funding lists in over 40 different
    academic disciplines.

21
University Iowa Grant Bulletin
22
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23
Weekly Funding Opportunities
24
Leveraging the internet in funding search
  • Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley
  • http//townsendcenter.berkeley.edu/postdocs.shtml
  • This is excellent listing of national
    Postdoctoral fellowships in the humanities
    organized in a table of URLs.
  • The University of California at Berkeley
  • http//www.spo.berkeley.edu/funding.html
  • Links to table of programs, profiles, and URLs
    for researchers seeking funding in the following
    areas Faculty Individual Prizes and Awards,
    Equipment Grants, New and Young Faculty Grants,
    Travel Grants, Women and Minorities Grants, and
    Postdoctoral Funding in the Biosciences.

25
Leveraging the internet in funding search
  • U. Massachusetts New Faculty Research Funding
  • This site offers an excellent, comprehensive
    compilation of federal agency and foundation
    research awards targeting tenure track faculty in
    the following areas Agriculture Food Science,
    Arts Humanities, Cancer, Chemical Sciences,
    Computer Information Science, Education,
    Engineering, Environmental Science, Health
    Medical, History, Mathematics, Neuroscience,
    Nursing, Physical Life Sciences, Religion,
    Social Behavioral Sciences, Science Education
  • http//www.umass.edu/research/ogca/funding/newfacu
    ltydisc.html

26
Leveraging the internet in funding search
  • Funding for New Faculty Junior Investigators
  • http//www.umass.edu/research/ogca/funding/newfacu
    ltydisc.html
  • http//www.physics.harvard.edu/grants.htm
  • http//www.unh.edu/osr/funding/support/young_pi.pd
    f
  • http//www.sfsu.edu/ptf/docs/NewInvestigatorAward
    s.pdf
  • http//www.spo.berkeley.edu/Fund/newfaculty.html
  • http//grants.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/ind
    ex.htm
  • http//www.columbia.edu/cu/opg/fund/newinvest-1102
    .pdf
  • Above URLs at various universities offer a fairly
    exhaustive compilation of funding opportunities
    for new and junior faculty and career awards in
    most academic disciplines.

27
Accumulation of marginal advantage
  • A successful proposal represents the accumulation
    of marginal advantage gained from a series of
    decisions made during each step of the proposal
    planning, development, and writing process.

28
Reading the proposal solicitation
  • The RFP contains most of the essential
    information the researcher needs in order to
    develop and write a competitive proposal that is
    fully responsive to the agencys funding
    objectives and review criteria.
  • The RFP is not a menu or smorgasbord offering the
    applicant a choice of addressing some research
    topics but not others, depending on interest, or
    some review criteria but not others.
  • The RFP is a non-negotiable listing of
    performance expectations reflecting the stated
    goals, objectives, and desired outcomes of the
    agency.

29
Preparing to write the competitive proposal
  • Understanding the program guidelines in planning,
    developing, and writing a competitive proposal
  • What should be your relationship with program
    officers?
  • What do you need to know about funding agency
    culture, language, mission, research
    priorities?
  • What do you need to know about the review
    criteria, review process, review panels?

30
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.
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