Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Tips for Successful Grant Writing - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Tips for Successful Grant Writing

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Tips for Successful Grant Writing Kelli I. Stajduhar, R.N., Ph.D. Associate Professor, Centre on Aging and School of Nursing, UVic – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Tips for Successful Grant Writing


1
Keep Your Eye on the Prize Tips for Successful
Grant Writing
  • Kelli I. Stajduhar, R.N., Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor, Centre on Aging and School
    of Nursing, UVic
  • CIHR New Investigator
  • MSFHR Research Scholar

2
Overview of Workshop
  • Purpose of Research Proposal
  • Significant Elements of Research Proposal
  • Common Problems with Research Proposals
  • General "Tips" to Consider
  • Discussion

3
Purpose of Research Proposal
  • Communicates research plan to others (e.g.,
    funding agencies)
  • Serves as a detailed plan for action
  • Serves as a contract between investigator and
    funding bodies when proposal approved

4
Questions a Proposal Must Address
  • What you want to do
  • Central hypothesis/research question
  • Specific objectives
  • Why this is a reasonable thing to do
  • Review of previous work by you and others
  • Succinct rationale for project
  • Why this is important
  • Significant new knowledge to be obtained
  • Improvements to health which will result

5
Questions a Proposal Must Address
  • How you are going to do it
  • Detailed work plan, logical sequence and
    timelines
  • Analysis and interpretation of results
  • Pitfalls and ways around them
  • Why you should do it
  • Relevant prior experience and skills
  • Collaborators for technical gaps
  • Preliminary data showing feasibility

6
Framework for Writing a "Typical" Research
Proposal
  • Introduction/Background
  • Introduce topic and significance
  • Statement of purpose, research questions/objective
    s/hypotheses
  • Review of Literature
  • Related literature and theoretical traditions

7
Framework for Writing a "Typical" Research
Proposal
  • Design and Methods
  • Overall approach and rationale
  • Sampling, recruitment, data collection methods,
    data analysis
  • Rigor (trustworthiness and/or validity and
    reliability of the research)
  • Ethical considerations

8
Framework for Writing a "Typical" Research
Proposal
  • Timeline
  • Dissemination/Knowledge Translation
  • Limitations
  • Investigator Roles and Expertise
  • Budget
  • Appendices

9
Introducing the Study
  • Goal capture interest in the study
  • Focus on importance of study
  • Clear and concise (details will follow)
  • Synopsis of the primary target of the study
  • Persuasive logic backed up with factual evidence
  • Should "paint a picture" of your proposal in the
    mind of the reader

10
The Problem/Research Question
  • For qualitative studies, the problem statement
    usually broad, but must be specific enough to
    convince others that it is worth focusing on
  • For quantitative studies, problem statement much
    more specific with delineation of hypotheses
  • Research questions clearly delineated (sometimes
    with sub-questions)
  • Scope of research question(s) needs to be
    manageable within the time frame and context of
    the study

11
The Problem/Research Question
  • May also consider writing goals and objectives
    for
  • the research
  • Goals are large statements of what you hope to
    accomplish
  • Objectives are operational and tell specific
    things you will be accomplishing in your project

12
Literature Review
  • Selective and persuasive - building a case for
    what is known or believed, what is missing, and
    how the study fits in
  • Seeking to identify gaps in knowledge and how the
    research will address these gaps
  • Structure of literature review differs for
    qualitative/quantitative proposals
  • Showcase what you have already done
  • Conclude with a brief summary outlining
    significance, originality, practical implications
    (i.e., how your research will increase knowledge
    and lead to better health)

13
Methods Section
  • Orientation to the Method
  • Broad description of the particular method that
    will be used - Overview of the research plan
  • Rationale for qualitative/quantitative research
    generally and for the specific method used
  • Show clear link between methods and the
    objectives you have previously defined

14
Sampling
  • Define sampling strategy to be used
  • Provide rationale
  • Characteristics of the potential types of
    persons, events, or processes to be sampled
  • Inclusion/exclusion criteria
  • Sample size
  • Estimates provided based on previous experience,
    pilot work, power analysis, etc.

15
Recruitment/Access
  • Provide details on
  • Where the study will take place and why this is
    the best location
  • How the sample will be recruited
  • How you will gain access to the setting(s)

16
Data Collection Methods
  • Define data collection strategy to be used
  • Provide explicit details
  • Give rationale for methods and their
    appropriateness
  • Data collection methods vary depending on
    research approach - be consistent
  • Discuss potential pitfalls or obstacles
  • Suggest alternative approaches

17
Data Analysis
  • Define type of data analysis strategy to be used
  • Provide explicit details about data analysis
    procedures qualitative/quantitative
  • Analysis methods vary depending on research
    approach

18
Data Management Analysis
  • How will the data be kept organized and
    retrievable?
  • How will the researchers engage in reflexivity
    (e.g., by self-analytical)?
  • Convinces the reader that the researcher is
    sufficiently knowledgeable about data analysis
    and has the necessary skills

19
Rigor
  • Reflected throughout the proposal
  • Address this specifically, using relevant
    criteria for the research approach used (e.g.,
    qualitative/quantitative)

20
Ethical Considerations
  • Consent forms
  • Dealing with sensitive issues

21
Timeline
  • A clear indication of the time frame for the
    research and the times when each aspect of the
    research will be implemented
  • Create graphical depiction of your time line -
    demonstrates feasibility of your research in a
    visible way
  • Be realistic in your projections goal is to
    demonstrate that the tasks can be accomplished in
    a reasonable fashion during the project period

22
Dissemination/Knowledge Translation
  • Identify potential users of research findings
  • Include strategies for ongoing exchange with
    users tradition/non-traditional approaches
  • Detail plans for communication/dissemination

23
Limitations
  • Highlight that you know what the limitations of
    your approach are and what you plan to do to
    minimize the limitations
  • Defend why you chose the approach you did

24
Investigator Roles and Expertise
  • Are the investigators qualified, competent, and
    have the experience and credentials?
  • Define investigator roles Clarify how each of
    the roles are essential to the success of the
    project (e.g., what specific knowledge/skills
    does each investigator bring to the research)
  • Is the research environment adequate and
    conducive to conducting the study?

25
Investigator Roles and Expertise Track Record
(P.I.)
  • Academic and Research Training
  • Honours and Awards
  • Publications
  • Research Accomplished
  • Grant Funding
  • Leadership

26
Budget
  • Familiarize yourself with what the granting
    agency will fund
  • Think through the research step-by-step and make
    a list of what you will need (e.g., personnel,
    supplies, equipment, database access, etc.)

27
Budget
  • Provide clear description and justification for
    items requested, item by item (show how the costs
    were calculated)
  • If hiring research staff, briefly describe
    responsibilities of research staff in relation to
    the research plan
  • Make the budget realistic

28
Appendices
  • Complement what is written in the full proposal
  • Assume the reviewer will only have a short time
    to read your proposal and it will only be the
    main body of your proposal (not the appendices)
  • Then, assume that you have gotten the attention
    of the reviewer who would now like some
    additional information - this is the purpose of
    the Appendices

29
Examples of Possible Appendices
  • Time Line
  • Letters of Support
  • Qualitative Interview Questions
  • Quantitative Survey Questionnaire
    instruments/measures
  • Dissemination/Knowledge Translation Plan

30
Commonly cited problems for not getting funded
  • Lack of significance of scientific issue
  • Lack of original or new ideas
  • Unrealistic, overly ambitious
  • Scientific rationale not valid
  • Diffuse, superficial, lacks focus

31
Commonly cited problems for not getting funded
  • Fishing expedition no basic scientific question
    being addressed
  • Insufficient methodological detail
  • Innovation but lacking preliminary data
  • Inadequate experience of investigator lack of
    appropriate collaborators

32
General "Tips" to Consider
  • Major undertaking Allocate lot's of time!!
  • General rule of thumb Start 4 months before
    deadline
  • Examine proposals from successful applicants
  • Seek assistance and pre-review from others with
    experience in grant writing (plan time for
    rewriting)

33
General "Tips" to Consider
  • Highlight match between your proposal and purpose
    of competition
  • Get to know your granting agencies and what they
    fund
  • Know that your proposal may be reviewed by people
    who are not in your area
  • Follow the rules of the competition
  • Write for a multi-disciplinary audience

34
General "Tips" to Consider
  • Reviewers are busy people and have many proposals
    to read Make your proposal one that they will
    want to read!
  • Use short paragraphs and summarize often
  • If able, use spaces between headings bold
    important points
  • Avoid using jargon, trendy or "in" words,
    abbreviations, or redundant phrases
  • Try summarizing main points on a table

35
General "Tips" to Consider
  • If a novice, consider writing the proposal with a
    team of people, not just you alone
  • Consider conducting pilot work or taking some
    small steps to begin your research

36
If Your Proposal is Rejected
  • YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
  • Carefully read through the reviewers comments
  • Make the suggested changes to improve your
    proposal
  • Resubmit to the same or another funding agency.

37
General "Tips" to Consider
  • Be patient and don't give up!
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