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Writing Effective Research Grant Proposals Office of Proposal Development Presentation to WTAMU Lucy


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Title: Writing Effective Research Grant Proposals Office of Proposal Development Presentation to WTAMU Lucy

Writing Effective Research Grant ProposalsOffice
of Proposal DevelopmentPresentation to WTAMU
Lucy DeckardL-deckard_at_tamu.edu October 26,
Overview of Presentation
  • Office of Proposal Development who we are
  • Identifying Funding Opportunities
  • Understanding the Funding Agency and Program
  • Preparing to Write
  • The Craft of Writing a Competitive Proposal
  • Funding Opportunities for Junior Faculty

Office of proposal development
  • A unit of the Office of Vice President for
    Research at Texas AM University, partnered with
  • Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and
    Federal Relations,
  • Office of Vice Chancellor for Academic and
    Student Affairs, and the
  • Health Science Center

Office of proposal development
  • Supports faculty in the development and writing
    of large and small research grants to federal
    agencies and foundations.
  • Focuses on support of center-level initiatives,
    multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research
    teams, research affinity groups, new and junior
    faculty research, diversity in the research
    enterprise, and long-term proposal planning.
  • Helps develop partnership initiatives at Texas
    AM, across the AM System universities, and HSC.
  • Supports proposal development activities and
    training programs to help new faculty write more
    competitive proposals.

Office of proposal development
  • Jean Ann Bowman, Research Scientist
  • B.S., Journalism B.S. and 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
  • Handles scheduling, resources, and project
  • Mike Cronan, Director
  • B.S., Civil Engineering (Structures) B.A.,
    Political Science M.A., English
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Texas (063512)
  • Helps develop partnerships. Leads center- and
    program-level proposals. Establishes new
    initiatives and sets the direction of the office.
  • Lucy Deckard, Associate Director
  • 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. Also leads training
    seminars on graduate and postdoctoral
    fellowships, undergraduate research, and CAREER

Office of proposal development
  • Susan Maier, Research Development Officer
  • B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., Psychology
  • 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
  • B.A., Journalism and English M.A. and Ph.D.,
  • 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
  • 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.

Looking For Funding Opportunities
Types of Funding Agencies
  • Basic research agencies
  • (e.g, NSF, NIH)
  • Mission-oriented agencies
  • (e.g., NASA, DoD, ED)
  • Foundations
  • Other
  • (industry, professional organizations, etc.)

Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals
  • Unsolicited
  • Investigator-initiated no specific solicitation
    or RFP
  • Typically long-running program relatively
    general statement of research topics of interest
  • For NSF and NIH, recurring due dates or target
    dates each year
  • Common for foundations
  • Rare for Mission Agencies (DOE, USDA)

Example Program Description(unsolicited)
  • The Geography and Regional Science (GRS)
    Program sponsors research on the geographic
    distributions and interactions of human,
    physical, and biotic systems on the Earth's
    surface. Investigations are encouraged into the
    nature, causes, and consequences of human
    activity and natural environmental processes
    across a range of scales. Projects on a variety
    of topics (both domestic and international)
    qualify for support if they offer promise of
    contributing to scholarship by enhancing
    geographical knowledge, concepts, theories,
    methods, and their application to societal
    problems and concerns. Support also is provided
    for projects that explicitly integrate
    undergraduate and graduate education into the
    overall research agenda.

Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals
  • Solicited
  • Terminology
  • Request for Proposal (RFP)
  • Program Solicitation
  • Request for Application (RFA)
  • For NIH, Program Announcement (PA)
  • Tied to specific agency initiative
  • May only last a few funding cycles or may go on
    for years
  • Have specific additional evaluation criteria
  • Often have specific formatting requirements

Solicitation Example
  • This solicitation invites proposals for
    "information infrastructure testbeds", each of
    which would include the development of the next
    generation of cybertools applied to data from
    various sources collected in two areas of
    research fundamental to social and behavioral
    scientists organizations and individuals. The
    tools that are developed on these platforms must
    not only change ways in which social and
    behavioral scientists research the behavior of
    organizations and individuals, but also serve
    sciences more broadly.
  • It is envisioned that proposals for the
    "organization information testbed" will address
    three specific components
  • the development of tools that facilitate the
    integration of qualitative and quantitative
    information from heterogeneous sources, multiple
    media, and/or multiple modes
  • investment in basic research that addresses the
    protection of the confidentiality of respondents
    in computerized, widely accessible databases and
  • the development of incentives, standards and
    policies for collecting, storing, archiving,
    accessing, and publishing research results using
    organization-relevant information.
  • It is envisioned that proposals for the
    "individual information testbed" should concern
    cybertools that can be applied to both large
    scale and distributed data-sets. Proposals should
    address cybertools that facilitate automatic
    collection, integration, annotation, archiving,
    accessing, and analyzing of
  • existing distributed data sets and/or
  • extensive audio and video recordings and details
    of physical artifacts, while paying special
    attention to
  • the protection of the confidentiality of
    participant identity in widely accessible,
    computerized databases.

Ways to Find Funding
  • Talk to colleagues doing similar research
  • Look for funding sources credited in books and
    journal articles describing similar research
  • Use the web and other information resources

Funding opportunities search criteria
  • Define disciplinary domain of interest (e.g.,
    science, social sciences, humanities, education,
    health and biomedical sciences, engineering)
  • Characterize the nature of the research (basic,
    applied, applications)
  • Identify a subset of funding agencies whose
    mission, strategic plan, and investment
    priorities are aligned with these specific
    research interests.

Refining the funding search
  • Identify research opportunities with regular
    grant cycles within a particular agency (e.g.,
    NIH and NSF have regular grant cycles of specific
    research programs that remain open for many
  • Identify new research opportunities and
    investment directions at funding agencies
  • Expand the base of potential research funding

Information on the Internet
  • Funding Agency websites
  • Compilations of funding opportunities
  • Automatic e-mail notifications services
  • Database services
  • Google is your best friend

Funding Agencies Hotlinks Table
  • Funding Agencies Hotlink Table.doc
  • Federal Grant Making Agencies.doc
  • Notes about agency web sites
  • First place funding opportunities will show up
  • Pages with funding opportunities can be buried
    when you find a good one, make a note of the url
  • Look for unsolicited proposal opportunities
  • Look for additional info on opportunities

Compendia of Funding Opportunties
  • All Federal Funding Opportunities
  • http//www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/index.html
  • Foundations
  • http//fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/index.jhtml
  • University grants office websites
  • Iowa State
  • http//www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/OSP/FundingOppor
  • http//www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/OSP/Maillogs.htm
  • Duke University http//www.ors.duke.edu/find
  • University of Iowa http//research.uiowa.edu/dsp/m

  • One of the best portals to funding opportunities
  • Tabular listing current funding opportunities and
    URLs for 45 research funding agencies (see
    following slide)
  • FedGrants
  • http//www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/index.html
  • FedGrants Grants Synopsis Search
  • http//www.fedgrants.gov/grants/servlet/SearchServ
  • FedGrants Notification Service
  • http//www.fedgrants.gov/ApplicantRegistration.htm

University Grants Websites (contd)
  • Cornell http//www.osp.cornell.edu/Funding/
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • University of Oregon http//rfd.uoregon.edu/fundin
  • University of Vermont Research Funding
  • http//www.uvm.edu/ospuvm/?PageFunding_Opportuni

Email Alert Services
  • Email Alert Services for Funding
  • NSF
  • http//www.nsf.gov/mynsf/
  • http//grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/listserv.htm
  • Dept. of Education
  • http//listserv.ed.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A1ind05Ledinf
  • http//www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edinfo/index.ht
  • Federal Grants
  • http//fedgrants.gov/ApplicantRegistration.html
  • Foundations
  • http//fdncenter.org/newsletters/
  • NASA
  • http//research.hq.nasa.gov/subs.cfm

Federal Grants Notification Service
  • Home page http//www.grants.gov
  • To receive automated funding alerts tailored to
    your research interests, visit http//www.grants.g
  • Select one of four automated funding alert
    options Selected Notices Based on Funding
    Opportunity Number, Selected Agencies and
    Categories of Funding Activities, Selected
    Interest and Eligibility Groups, or All Grants
  • Click on the link for the option that best suits
    your needs, enter the required information, and
    click on the Submit to Mailing List button.

NEH Connect!
Google is Your Best Friend
  • http//www.google.com/
  • http//www.yahoo.com/
  • Search for research opportunities
  • Backdoor/end run to subscription funding services
  • E.g., IRIS
  • http//carousel.lis.uiuc.edu/7Eiris/deadlines/all
  • Find funded programs, abstracts
  • Find workshops, conferences, seminars
  • Find reports, publications, project documents
  • To search within a site, type keywords siteurl
    of site
  • E.g., preservation languages sitewww.nsf.gov

Ways to Improve Your Success in Finding Funding
  • Get to know most likely funding agencies
  • Mission, vision
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Recurring funding opportunities
  • More on this later
  • Check funding opportunities regularly
  • Fine-tune search parameters for subscription
  • Learn how to quickly evaluate a potential funding
    opportunity (more later)
  • Keep a list of funding agencies, funding
    opportunities with urls (e.g., MS Word table with

Six major funders for TAMU-System
Backgrounding an agency and evaluating a
potential funding opportunity
Backgrounding the Funding AgencyQuestions to Ask
  • What are its mission and goals?
  • What are its investment priorities, strategic
  • What time horizon are they aiming for?
  • How do they get their funding?
  • What procedures do they use to notify the
    community of funding opportunities?
  • Who influences their planning and goals?
  • What language do they use?

Backgrounding Funding AgencyQuestions to Ask
  • What is their culture like?
  • What procedures do they use to review proposals
    and make funding decisions?
  • What are their review criteria?
  • How are they organized?
  • Who are the personnel and what is their
  • What have they funded in the past?
  • What is their budget?

Backgrounding the Funding AgencySources of
  • Web site
  • Solicitation
  • Organization Chart
  • Strategic Plan/ Roadmap
  • Bios of Program Officers
  • Reports, Publications
  • Contacts with Program Officers (visits,
    conferences, phone and e-mail conversations)
  • Agency workshops and seminars
  • Leadership Speeches
  • Congressional Testimony
  • Current Funded Projects Databases
  • Project Abstracts
  • Contacts with Funded Researchers
  • Contacts with former Program Officers
  • Contacts with former Reviewers

Funding Agency Culture Mission
  • Agency reflects vision, mission, objectives, and
    strategic goals of founding intent
  • Operational components of agency reflect a range
    of objectives, for example
  • Strategic research plan
  • Strategic investment plan
  • Research portfolio investment time horizon
  • Technology transfer, patenting, licensing,
  • Research priorities characteristics

Funding Agency Culture Mission 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

Funding Agency Culture Mission
  • Mission-oriented federal agency research
  • RD serves agency goals and objectives, but
    reflect Executive Branch policy directions, or
  • E.g., Agriculture, Energy, Education, Defense,
  • Scope of work tightly defines research
  • Predominately applied research for meeting near
    term objectives, technology development
    transfer, policy goals
  • 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

Funding Agency Investment PrioritiesExamples
  • National Science Foundation
  • Strategic Plan 2003-08 (http//www.nsf.gov/od/gpra
  • 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

Funding Agency PrioritiesExamples
  • Department of Education
  • Dept of Ed Strategic Plan http//www.ed.gov/about/
  • Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative
  • Mission Statement, Strategic Plan and Goals
  • Reports and resources http//www.ed.gov/about/offi

Funded Projects Databases
  • NSF Award Search Site (abstracts of awards
    available) http//www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/index.js
  • NIH Award Search Site (abstracts of awards
    available) http//crisp.cit.nih.gov/crisp/crisp_qu
    ery.generate_screenhttp//crisp.cit.nih.gov/ DoD
  • SBIR/STTR Search http//www.dodsbir.net/Awards/Def
  • NEH Awards Search http//www.neh.gov/news/recentaw
  • USDA Awards information and Forms
  • US Dept. of Education Awards Search (limited)

Sifting through RFPs
  • What do they want to accomplish through this
  • How much money is allocated and how many awards
    are anticipated?
  • Who is eligible to apply?
  • What are the budget guidelines?
  • What, if any, partnerships are required?
  • Have other grants been made under this program?

Request for Proposals, RFP
  • Program Description
  • Mission Context
  • Eligibility Information
  • Award Information
  • Review Criteria
  • Program Officers
  • Reference Documents
  • Award Administration
  • Proposal Guidelines
  • Format
  • Document Order
  • Project Description
  • Scope of Work
  • Performance Goals
  • Management
  • Attachments
  • Budget Guidelines

Performance Expectations
  • Publications
  • Curriculum
  • Commercialization
  • Patents
  • Degrees awarded
  • Technologies
  • Map to RFP Evaluation Criteria
  • May require internal and/or external evaluation
    annual performance review

Researching a Specific Funding Opportunity
Reading the Solicitation
  • Read and re-read the solicitation!
  • The solicitation is not a list of suggestions it
    is a list of requirements
  • It is a window into the thinking of the funding

Things to Look for in the Solicitation
  • Purpose of the program
  • Research topics of interest
  • Changes from previous programs
  • Inspiration for program and references
  • Program requirements
  • Proposal requirements
  • Budget guidelines
  • Review criteria
  • If you are pursuing an unsolicited
    opportunity, you will have to find these things
    out using other available information sources

Purpose of the Program
  • Commonly discussed in background section
  • Make sure the goals of your proposed project
    mirror the program goals
  • Look for words that are repeated often
  • e.g., innovative
  • You will want to use those words to describe your
    project (and back up those claims)
  • The outcomes of your proposed project should
    support program objectives

Research Topics of Interest
  • Understand which topics are fundable under this
  • Read solicitation
  • Look at funding history (use databases, if
  • Talk to Program Officer
  • Note terminology and language used you will want
    to use similar terminology in your proposal

Inspiration for Program and References
  • Program may be result of committee report (e.g.,
    National Academies, National Science Board,
    special study committees)
  • May be documented in Workshop presentations and
  • May be documented in final reports and
    publications of previously funded projects
  • May be outgrowth of agency roadmap, strategic
  • Read and cite these reports in your proposal

Program Requirements
  • Read carefully and make a checklist
  • Plan to explain how you will meet each program
  • Start work on setting up collaborations,
    partnerships if needed
  • Supporting letters may be needed for your
  • To be competitive, you must meet all program

Explicit Proposal Requirements
  • Note carefully formatting rules (page limits,
    fonts, margins, etc.) these may be in a
    separate document
  • Look for suggested or required sections
  • Make an outline that mirrors solicitation
  • Include checklist of everything that must be
    addressed, divided by sections keep this
    checklist through early drafts
  • Note supplementary documents needed
  • Bios, Lists of Current Funding, Letters of
    support, Facilities and Equipment, etc.

Unspoken Expectations
  • Qualifications and experience of PI(s)
  • Infrastructure provided by PIs institution
  • Preliminary data
  • Very important!
  • Varies greatly depending on agency, discipline,
  • Info sources
  • Previous awardees
  • Previous reviewers
  • Program officers and previous program officers

Talking to the Program Officer
  • Do your homework first
  • Read solicitation carefully
  • Read background documents
  • Investigate previously funded projects
  • Prepare a concise description of your project
  • Goals, objectives, outcomes
  • One short paragraph
  • Try e-mail and phone
  • If possible, use e-mail to set up phone
  • Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully

Talking to Previous Awardees
  • Most previous awardees very generous (unless they
    will be competing with you for renewal)
  • Ask about program reviews, feedback from program
  • Be aware that programs may evolve and criteria
  • Previous awardees often also reviewers
  • May make sense to cite results of previous
    awardee or forge a connection with previously
    funded programs

Review Criteria
  • Most important part of solicitation!
  • Plan how you will meet each review criterion
  • Structure your proposal outline to reflect review
  • If you are weak in an area, plan how you will
    address this

Review Process
  • Could be
  • Standing review committee
  • Ad hoc panel
  • Ad hoc mail reviews
  • Internal review
  • Combination
  • Who will be your reviewers and what is their

Preparing to Write
  • Research agency
  • Research program
  • Develop detailed outline
  • Research literature and previous work
  • Generate preliminary data, if needed
  • Develop collaborations, partnerships, support, if
  • Line up institutional support, if needed
  • Line up colleagues to edit your outline and
  • Generate schedule for producing your proposal

Set up a Schedule to Produce Your Proposal
  • Work back from deadline
  • Start budget early
  • E-mail your draft text and final budget to
    proposal administrator for routing
  • Allow at least 4 days for routing additional
    time if multiple investigators
  • PI
  • Department Head
  • Dean
  • Office of Sponsored Projects

  • Work on these before you start writing
  • Be clear about roles of collaborators and
  • Establish split of resources
  • For TAMU collaborators, agree on budget split
  • Be sure collaborators and partners get something
    out of participating in the project
  • If you need a letter of collaboration, offer to
    write a draft for your collaborator to edit
  • Include specifics on what they will do and
    support they will provide
  • Explain who the collaborator is and their

Preliminary Data
  • Understand the expectations of the agency and
  • How much preliminary data is expected?
  • Higher risk research will require more
    preliminary data
  • Less experienced researchers will generally need
    more preliminary data
  • Preliminary data should strengthen reviewers
    perception of your chance of success

Line up Editors
  • Look for colleagues who have been funded by
    agency to which you are applying
  • Talk to them early
  • Ask colleagues to review your detailed outline
  • Look for someone who will be brutally honest

Institutional Support
  • Is cost sharing (matching) required?
  • What type? (Cash, in-kind?)
  • What rules apply?
  • Are other resources required?
  • Work to set these up early
  • Typically start with your Dept. Head and move up
  • If specific facilities required, work with
    facility provider
  • Determine supporting documentation needed
  • Research Foundation can help

Contact Your Proposal Administrator
  • May need to log in proposal
  • Provide help with budgets
  • Oversee approval process (routing)
  • Officially submit proposal
  • Contact your proposal administrator early!

Writing the Proposal
Introductory writing tips
  • Summary and introduction 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

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
  • Proposals are not journal articlesproposals must
    be user-friendly and offer a narrative that tells
    a story that is memorable to reviewers

Following agency guidelines
  • Read solicitation and/or proposal guide carefully
    for formatting requirements and follow
  • Font and font size
  • Page limits
  • Biosketch formats
  • Citation format
  • Avoids disqualification of your proposal
  • Avoids irritating reviewers

Make your proposal easy to read
  • Reviewers often have 8 or 10 proposals to read
  • Use white space, underlining, bold, bullets,
    figures, flowcharts to make main points easy to
  • Put main idea of sections and paragraphs up front

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Must Convince Reviewers
  • Your proposed research should be funded
  • Its important and supports the agency mission
    and program goals
  • Its exciting
  • It has a good chance of succeeding
  • You are the person who should conduct the
    proposed research
  • You are knowledgeable and well-qualified
  • You have the support and resources required

Structure of Proposal
  • Often dictated by solicitation or other agency
  • NSF Grant Proposal Guide
  • NIH PHS 398
  • DoD Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
  • Also guided by evaluation criteria
  • ED often assigns points for each criterion

Proposal Sections Examples
  • Project Summary
  • Project Description/Research Narrative
  • Goals/Objectives/Specific Aims
  • Introduction/Overview
  • Background and Significance
  • Approach/Methodology
  • Research Plan
  • Preliminary Data
  • Broader Impacts (NSF)
  • Literature Cited
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification
  • Biosketches
  • Funded Projects
  • Equipment and Facilities

  • May be the only thing the reviewer reads
  • Must grab the reviewer
  • Should communicate concisely
  • Intellectual framework of proposed project
  • The goals and signficance of the proposed project
  • Who will be conducting the project and, briefly,
    their qualifications
  • Project outcomes
  • Must communicate excitement
  • Check for additional requirements
  • E.g., intellectual merit and broader impacts in
    NSF proposals
  • Project name, category, etc.

Goals/Specific Aims
  • State specific, measurable goals of your project
  • Tie to program/agency mission and goals
  • If hypothesis-based research, state your
  • Discuss expected outcomes

  • Provides a framework for the reviewer
  • Remainder of proposal will flesh out this
  • Opportunity to make important points up front
  • Communicate your excitement!

Background/Literature Review
  • Spend some time researching this
  • This section should tie closely to your proposed
  • What are the holes in current knowledge that your
    work will fill?
  • How does your research extend and advance
    knowledge in the field?
  • Do not be dismissive of previous research
  • Be thorough in citing important work but be

  • Explain explicitly why proposed research is
  • Tie to agency and program goals
  • Relate to review criteria
  • Make this easy to find

Preliminary Data/Previous Work
  • Be aware of expectations regarding amount of
    preliminary data
  • Varies by agency
  • Varies by program
  • Varies by discipline
  • Higher risk projects may require more preliminary
  • Discussion of preliminary data must connect
    clearly to proposed project

Approach/Research Plan/Methodology
  • Be very clear about how you will accomplish your
    stated goals and objectives
  • Include details
  • What, specifically, will you do when you get the
  • Schedules and milestones may be helpful
  • This is especially important if you are a
    relatively new researcher
  • Address any potential dead ends, roadblocks,
    show-stoppers and how you will deal with them
  • Avoid ambiguous terminology be very specific!

Connect narrative text to budget
  • Budget categories are defined by the funding
  • Be sure activities discussed in narrative are
    reflected in budget
  • Connect narrative text to the budget to ensure
    appropriate balance and proportion,
  • If a budget justification section is requested,
    use it to complement and deepen the narrative

Beware of Boiler Plate
  • Thinking of proposal narrative as boiler plate
    will result in a mediocre, disjoint proposal
  • 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

Outcomes or deliverables
  • Develop short, hard-hitting lists off-set by
    bullets or other typographical formats
  • Relate outcomes to goals and objectives
  • Outcomes should be specific and measurable
  • Timelines and schedules with milestones can
    orient reviewers and provide a quick overview of
    how program components fit together

Project assessment and evaluation
  • How will you know if you were successful?
  • Describe what will be measured in order to assess
    how well project met each of its objectives
  • Who will conduct assessment?
  • Discuss logistics
  • Formative assessment conducted throughout
    project and results fed back to improve project
  • Summative assessment final assessment at end of

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
  • 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

Interpreting Reviews
  • If you are funded..
  • If not.
  • Put the reviews away for a few days
  • Then take them out and read carefully
  • Call the program officer for more feedback
  • Evaluate if you should resubmit

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!

Early Career Programs for Faculty
  • DoD
  • Young Investigator (ONR, ARL)
  • Congressionally Mandated Directed Medical
    Research Programs Young Investigator
  • NASA New Investigator Program in Earth-Sun
  • NIH
  • Scientist Development Award for New Minority
  • Career Development Awards (K-awards)
  • Esp. Career Transition (K22) Award
  • NIAMS Small Grants Program for New Investigators

Early Career Programs for Faculty
  • Foundations
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund
  • PhRMA Foundation
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Early Career
    Fellowship in Economic Studies
  • Kellogg Forum Rising Stars, etc.
  • Professional organization early career or
    young investigator programs
  • American Philosophical Society Franklin
    Research Grants
  • Listing of Programs
  • http//www.spo.berkeley.edu/Fund/newfaculty.html

  • Duration 5 years
  • Funding level minimum 400K total (except min.
    500K total for BIO directorate)
  • Eligibility
  • Have a PhD
  • Untenured, holding tenure-track Asst. Prof.
    position or equivalent
  • Have not competed in CAREER more than two times
  • Have not won a CAREER award
  • Due July 19 21 depending on directorate
  • Typical 10 20 success rate
  • Solicitation http//www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_

ONR Young Investigator Program (Office of Naval
  • 100,000 per year for three years
  • FY 05 proposal was due 13 January 2005.
  • FY06 announcement will be posted in September
  • http//www.onr.navy.mil/02/baa/docs/fy2005yip.doc
  • U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents
    earned PhD within last 5 years
  • Approx. 24 awards

ONR Young Investigator
  • The objectives of this program are to attract
    outstanding faculty members of Institutions of
    Higher Education (hereafter also called
    "universities") to the Department of the Navy's
    research program, to support their research, and
    to encourage their teaching and research
  • Proposals falling within the broad scope of
    naval research interests will be considered.

ONR Areas of Research Interesthttp//www.onr.navy
  • Information, Electronics Surveillance (Code 31)
  • Electronics Math, Computer and Information
    Sciences Surveillance, Communications, and
    Electronic Combat
  • Ocean, Atmosphere Space (Code 32)
  • Sensing and Systems Processes and Prediction
  • Engineering, Materials Physical Science (Code
  • Physical Sciences Materials Mechanics and
    Energy Conversion Ship Hull, Mechanical
    Electrical Systems Navy ST Ship Office
  • Human Systems (Code 34)
  • Medical and Biological Division Cognitive,
    Neural and Social Division
  • Naval Expeditionary Warfare (Code 35)
  • Strike Technology Expeditionary Warfare

Army Research Lab Young Investigator
  • Up to 50K per year for 3 years
  • Eligibility
  • U.S. citizens holding tenure-track positions at
    U.S. universities and colleges
  • have held their graduate degrees (Ph.D. or
    equivalent) for fewer than five years at the time
    of application.
  • Broad Agency Announcement at http//www.aro.army.m
  • Research Areas
  • Proposals are invited for research in areas
    described in PART I, Research Areas 1-8 only of
    this BAA. Proposals may be submitted at any time.
    As is the case for the regular research programs,
    we strongly encourage informal discussions with
    the cognizant ARO technical program manager
    before submission of a formal proposal.

NIH K programs for New Faculty
  • Series of very targeted programs
  • See K Kiosk at http//grants.nih.gov/training/care
  • Directed at retraining, professional development
  • Check CRISP data base on NIH web site for info on
    funded programs
  • Recent TAMU winners
  • Christopher Quick (Vet) K-25
  • Victor Ugaz (Chem E) K-22
  • Helene Andrews (HSC) K-08
  • Alberto Gallegos (Vet) K-25

Other Programs
  • NASA New Investigator Program in Earth and Sun
    System Science
  • http//nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/
  • Notice of intent due June 30, 2005
  • Full due August 31, 2005
  • Carl Sagan Fellowship for Early Career Research
  • Varying submission times depending on topic
  • http//nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/

Other Programs
  • Foundations
  • Check their annual reports for goals, culture
  • Burroughs Wellcome Fund
  • PhRMA Foundation
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Early Career
    Fellowship in Economic Studies
  • Kellogg Forum Rising Stars, etc.
  • Professional Organizations
  • Search on Google
  • early career, young investigator, junior
  • Check
  • http//www.unh.edu/osr/
  • http//www.spo.berkeley.edu/Fund/newfaculty.html

Young Investigator Programs
  • Do your homework!
  • Mission and culture of funding agency
  • Talk to program director
  • Find out what has been funded in the past
  • Talk to successful prior winners if possible
  • Follow the directions and read the solicitation
  • Clearly describe your goals, your work plan and
    the benefits of your work
  • Dont give up!
  • Learn from reviews
  • Talk to program officer about how you might
    address short comings
  • Apply again as long as you are eligible!

Questions and Discussion
National Science Foundation
  • Funds research in
  • Biological Sciences (BIO)
  • Computer and Info Science and Eng (CISE)
  • Engineering (ENG)
  • Education and Human Resources (EHR)
  • Geosciences (GEO)
  • Math and Physical Sciences (MPS)
  • Polar Research (OPP)
  • Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)
  • Cross-cutting Research

  • In addition to research grants, NSF funds
  • Instrumentation
  • Conferences and Workshops
  • Doctoral Research in Selected Areas (Doctoral
    Dissertation Improvement Grants)
  • International Travel
  • Graduate Fellowships

NSF mission
  • To support
  • Basic scientific research and research
    fundamental to the engineering process
  • Programs to strength scientific and engineering
    research potential
  • Science and engineering education programs at all
    levels and in all fields of science and
  • An information base on science and engineering
    appropriate for development of national and
    international policy

NSF Goals and mission
  • Agency goals are defined in terms of people,
    ideas and tools
  • People A diverse, competitive, and globally
    engaged U.S. workforce of scientists, engineers,
    technologists and well-prepared citizens
  • Ideas Discovery across the frontier of science
    and engineering, connected to learning,
    innovation and service to society
  • Tools Broadly accessible state-of-the-art
    science and engineering facilities, tools, and
    other infrastructure that enable discovery,
    learning and innovation

NSF Organization
Directorates divided into divisions
  • Example Math and Physical Sciences (MPS)
  • Astronomical Sciences (ASI)
  • Chemistry (CHE)
  • Materials Research (DMR)
  • Physics (PHY)
  • Division Mathematical Sciences (DMS)

Programs/clusters within organization
  • Materials Research
  • Ceramics
  • Metals
  • Electronic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Theory
  • Solid State Chemistry
  • Etc.

Funding opportunities
  • see Guide to Programs at http//www.nsf.gov/fund
  • Program Description or Program Announcement
  • Solicitations
  • Supplements
  • Dear Colleague Letter
  • SGER (Special Grants for Exploratory Research)

Example funding opportunities
  • Grants Funding Equipment (web sites in handout)
  • Major Research Instrumentation (MRI)
  • Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities
  • Research Equipment for Chemical Transport System
  • Chemical Research Instrumentation and Facilities
  • Multi-user Equipment and Instrumentation
    Resources for Biological Sciences
  • Archaeometry Awards
  • Astronomical Sciences Advanced Technologies and
    Instrumentation (ATI)

Example funding opportunitiesCAREER
  • http//www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id52
  • Duration 5 years
  • Funding level minimum 400K total (except min.
    500K total for BIO directorate)
  • Eligibility
  • Have a PhD
  • Untenured, holding tenure-track assistant prof.
    Position or equivalent
  • Have not competed in CAREER more than two times
  • Have not won a CAREER award
  • Due July 20 22 depending on directorate
  • Typical 10 20 success rate

NSF Review Criteria
  • Intellectual Merit
  • How important is activity to advancing knowledge
    and understanding in own field and across fields?
  • How well-qualified is proposer to conduct
  • How creative and original are ideas?
  • How well-conceived and organized is proposed
  • Is there sufficient access to resources?
  • Broader Impacts
  • How well does the activity advance discovery and
    understanding while promoting teaching, training
    and learning?
  • Will it enhance infrastructure for research and
    education such as facilities, networks,
  • Will results be disseminated broadly to enhance
    understanding of science?
  • What are potential benefits to society of
    proposed research?

NSF Review Criteria (contd)
  • Integration of Research and Education
  • How well does project foster integration of
    research and education, infusing education with
    the excitement of discovery?
  • Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects
    and Activities
  • How well does project broaden opportunities and
    enable the participation of all citizens, women
    and men, underrepresented minorities and persons
    with disabilities?

Review Process
  • May be ad hoc or panel review (at least three
  • Proposal rated
  • Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Comments included as feedback
  • NSF tries to return reviews within 6 months of
    due date
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