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Secrets of Successful Grant-writing

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Title: Secrets of Successful Grant-writing


1
Secrets of Successful Grant-writing
  • Petr ZemcĂ­k
  • CERGE-EI
  • (based on a presentation by R. Filer)

2
Goals of Proposal Design
  • Your Objective Function Contains
  • Probability of Acceptance
  • Interest (to you) of the Project
  • Probability of Successful Completion
  • Effect on Your Reputation of Outcome
  • There Are TRADEOFFS - Today and Over Time
  • Probability or interest is often so low that
    writing application fails cost/benefit test

3
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  • Interests of Funding Source
  • Review Process
  • Budget Consideration
  • Administrative Procedures

4
Interests of Funding Source
  • Science / Policy
  • Viewpoint / Political Agenda

5
Review Process
  • Internal / External
  • Specialists / Generalists
  • With / Without Referee Reviews

6
All Combinations Are Possible
  • Examples
  • GDN or NSF - External, Specialists Refereed
  • Fulbright - External, Generalists, Refereed

7
Budget
  • Always Cost / Benefit Calculation
  • At Initial Stage
  • Negotiate After Review
  • What Are Your Incentives in Each Case?

8
Administrative Procedures
  • How Easy Is It To Modify While In Process?
  • Availability of Extensions (Cost or No-Cost)?
  • How Closely Will Deliverables Be Scrutinized?

9
How to Influence Probability of Acceptance
  • Pr(A) f(CR, CP) where
  • CR Characteristics of Researcher
  • CP Characteristics of Proposal

10
Characteristics of Researcher
  • Cant influence much in short run but remember
    it is a repeated process
  • Send the strongest possible signal without
    exaggerating
  • Can you borrow someone elses reputation?
  • Will evaluation be on team or institution?

11
Characteristics of Proposal
  • Importance of Initial Impression
  • Use of Language Is a Signal
  • Show Mastery of Subject
  • Show Significance of Contribution
  • Show Realism
  • Capabilities
  • Work Plan
  • Budget

12
Main Reasons for Grant Rejections
  • Mechanical
  • Methodological
  • Personnel
  • Cost-Benefit

13
Mechanical
  • Deadline Not Met
  • Format Not Followed
  • Presentation Not Clear
  • Presentation Not Complete
  • Presentation Showed Political Agenda
  • Quality of Writing Was Poor
  • Presentation Was Sloppy

14
Methodological
  • Proposal Lacked Originality
  • Methodology Was Inappropriate
  • Unclear That Required Data/Cooperation Would Be
    Available

15
Personnel
  • Investigator Did Not Show Mastery of Literature
  • Investigator Appeared to Lack Required Background
  • Investigator Failed to Deliver on Previous
    Projects
  • Investigator Appeared to Be Overcommitted

16
Cost-Benefit Test
  • Relevance to Agencys Priorities Not Clear
  • Budget Excessive in Relation to Apparent Benefits
  • Budget Reveals Padding Not Necessary for Project
  • Probability of Failure Seems High

17
Grants Administration
  • Internal webpage For Faculty and Researchers
    Important Info for Researchers
  • The Deputy Director for Finance, DDF, and the
    Deputy Director for Research, DDR, would like to
    ask all researchers who are coordinators of or
    partners in research grants to set up a meeting
    with DDF at least one month before the end date
    of each grant to discuss final financial reports.
  • A minimum of 25 of the total budget of each
    research grant must be used for the internal
    overhead of CERGE or EI. The following expenses
    can be included in this overhead
  • - official overhead approved by the grant
    agency
  • - monthly research assistantships
  • - purchase of PCs, printers, databases,
    books, journals, office supplies for common use
  • - phone and mail expenses, unless they
    must be included in the official overhead
  • - compensation for local staff (finance
    management, workshop coordination, etc.).

18
Czech Grant Agencies
  • Grant Agency of the CH.U. (GA UK) - University
    employee or doctoral student at Charles
    University, January
  • Grant Agency of the Academy of Science of the
    Czech Republic (GA AV CR), April
  • Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA CR) -
    Czech or permanent residence, March/Sept.

19
Other Agencies
  • National Science Foundation
  • Global Development Network
  • European Commission FP7
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