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Writing Effective Research Grant Proposals Office of Proposal Development Presentation to WTAMU Lucy Deckard Writing Effective Research Grant Proposals Office of Proposal Development Presentation to WTAMU Lucy Deckard [email protected] edu October 26, 2005 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 1

Overview of Presentation n n n Office of Proposal Development – who we are Overview of Presentation n n n 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 Texas A&M University 2

Office of proposal development n A unit of the Office of Vice President for Office of proposal development n A unit of the Office of Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University, partnered with: n n n 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 Texas A&M University 3

Office of proposal development n n Supports faculty in the development and writing of Office of proposal development n n 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 A&M, across the A&M System universities, and HSC. Supports proposal development activities and training programs to help new faculty write more competitive proposals. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 4

Office of proposal development n Jean Ann Bowman, Research Scientist n n n Libby Office of proposal development n Jean Ann Bowman, Research Scientist n n n Libby Childress, Administrative Assistant n n Handles scheduling, resources, and project coordination. Mike Cronan, Director n n 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. 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 n n 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 awards. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 5

Office of proposal development n Susan Maier, Research Development Officer n n n Phyllis Office of proposal development n Susan Maier, Research Development Officer n n n Phyllis Mc. Bride, Assistant Director n n n B. A. , M. A. , and Ph. D. , Psychology Focuses on the Health Science Center’s NIH biomedical science initiatives, as well as on the HSC’s University partnership initiatives. Leads training seminars on NIH. 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 n n 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. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 6

Looking For Funding Opportunities Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 7 Looking For Funding Opportunities Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 7

Types of Funding Agencies n Basic research agencies n n Mission-oriented agencies n n Types of Funding Agencies n Basic research agencies n n Mission-oriented agencies n n n (e. g, NSF, NIH) (e. g. , NASA, Do. D, ED) Foundations Other n (industry, professional organizations, etc. ) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 8

Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals n Unsolicited Investigator-initiated; no specific solicitation or RFP n Typically Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals n Unsolicited Investigator-initiated; no specific solicitation or RFP n Typically long-running program; relatively general statement of research topics of interest n For NSF and NIH, recurring due dates or target dates each year n Common for foundations n Rare for Mission Agencies (DOE, USDA) n Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 9

Example Program Description (unsolicited) “The Geography and Regional Science (GRS) Program sponsors research on 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. ” Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 10

Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals n Solicited n Terminology: n Request for Proposal (RFP) n Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals n Solicited n Terminology: n Request for Proposal (RFP) n Program Solicitation n Request for Application (RFA) n For NIH, Program Announcement (PA) n Tied to specific agency initiative n May only last a few funding cycles or may go on for years n Have specific additional evaluation criteria n Often have specific formatting requirements Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 11

Solicitation: Example “This solicitation invites proposals for 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: n n n 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 datasets. Proposals should address cybertools that facilitate automatic collection, integration, annotation, archiving, accessing, and analyzing of n n n 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. “ Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 12

Ways to Find Funding n n n Talk to colleagues doing similar research Look Ways to Find Funding n n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 13

Funding opportunities search criteria n n n Define disciplinary domain of interest (e. g. Funding opportunities search criteria n n n 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. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 14

Refining the funding search n n n Identify research opportunities with regular grant cycles Refining the funding search n n n 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 years; Identify new research opportunities and investment directions at funding agencies; Expand the base of potential research funding sources. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 15

Information on the Internet Funding Agency websites Compilations of funding opportunities Automatic e-mail notifications Information on the Internet Funding Agency websites Compilations of funding opportunities Automatic e-mail notifications services Database services Google is your best friend Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 16

Funding Agencies Hotlinks Table n n n Funding Agencies Hotlink Table. doc Federal Grant Funding Agencies Hotlinks Table n n n Funding Agencies Hotlink Table. doc Federal Grant Making Agencies. doc Notes about agency web sites: n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 17

Compendia of Funding Opportunties n All Federal Funding Opportunities n n Foundations n n Compendia of Funding Opportunties n All Federal Funding Opportunities n n Foundations n n http: //www. fedgrants. gov/Applicants/index. html http: //fdncenter. org/pnd/rfp/index. jhtml University grants office websites n Iowa State n n http: //www. vpresearch. iastate. edu/OSP/Funding. Opportunitie s. html http: //www. vpresearch. iastate. edu/OSP/Maillogs. html Duke University http: //www. ors. duke. edu/find University of Iowa http: //research. uiowa. edu/dsp/main/? get=fundingopps &q=&action= Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 18

Fedgrants. gov n n n One of the best portals to funding opportunities Tabular Fedgrants. gov n n n One of the best portals to funding opportunities Tabular listing current funding opportunities and URLs for 45 research funding agencies (see following slide) Fed. Grants n n Fed. Grants Synopsis Search n n http: //www. fedgrants. gov/Applicants/index. html http: //www. fedgrants. gov/grants/servlet/Search. Servlet/ Fed. Grants Notification Service n http: //www. fedgrants. gov/Applicant. Registration. html Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 19

Fed. Grants Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 20 Fed. Grants Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 20

University Grants Websites (cont’d) n n Cornell http: //www. osp. cornell. edu/Funding/ University of University Grants Websites (cont’d) n n Cornell http: //www. osp. cornell. edu/Funding/ University of Massachusetts, Amherst http: //www. umass. edu/research/ogca/funding/ University of Oregon http: //rfd. uoregon. edu/funding/government. htm University of Vermont Research Funding n http: //www. uvm. edu/~ospuvm/? Page=Funding_Oppor tunities/Funding_Highlights/fh. htm Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 21

Email Alert Services n Email Alert Services for Funding Opportunities. doc n NSF n Email Alert Services n Email Alert Services for Funding Opportunities. doc n NSF n n NIH Guide LISTSERV_ n n n http: //fedgrants. gov/Applicant. Registration. html Foundations n n http: //listserv. ed. gov/cgi-bin/wa? A 1=ind 05&L=edinfo http: //www. ed. gov/newsletters/edinfo/index. html Federal Grants n n http: //grants. nih. gov/grants/guide/listserv. htm Dept. of Education n n http: //www. nsf. gov/mynsf/ http: //fdncenter. org/newsletters/ NASA n http: //research. hq. nasa. gov/subs. cfm Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 22

Federal Grants Notification Service Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 23 Federal Grants Notification Service Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 23

Grants. gov n n Home page: http: //www. grants. gov To receive automated funding Grants. gov n n Home page: http: //www. grants. gov To receive automated funding alerts tailored to your research interests, visit http: //www. grants. gov/Find#receive. 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 Notices. ” 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. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 24

Grants. gov Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 25 Grants. gov Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 25

My. NSF Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 26 My. NSF Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 26

NIH Guide LISTSERV Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 27 NIH Guide LISTSERV Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 27

NEH Connect! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 28 NEH Connect! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 28

Google is Your Best Friend n n http: //www. google. com/ http: //www. yahoo. Google is Your Best Friend n n http: //www. google. com/ http: //www. yahoo. com/ Search for research opportunities Backdoor/end run to subscription funding services n n n E. g. , IRIS http: //carousel. lis. uiuc. edu/%7 Eiris/deadlines/all/ Find funded programs, abstracts Find workshops, conferences, seminars Find reports, publications, project documents To search within a site, type keywords site: url of site n E. g. , preservation languages site: www. nsf. gov Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 29

Ways to Improve Your Success in Finding Funding n Get to know most likely Ways to Improve Your Success in Finding Funding n Get to know most likely funding agencies n n n n Mission, vision Funding mechanisms Recurring funding opportunities More on this later Check funding opportunities regularly Fine-tune search parameters for subscription databases 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 hotlinks) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 30

Six major funders for TAMUSystem Funding Agency URL Hotlink to Funding Opportunities National Science Six major funders for TAMUSystem Funding Agency URL Hotlink to Funding Opportunities National Science Foundation http: //www. nsf. gov/funding/ Health & Human Services & NIH Grants & Funding http: //www. dhhs. gov/grants/index. shtml http: //grants 2. nih. gov/grants/index. cfm NASA Research Opportunities http: //nspires. nasaprs. com/external/ Environmental Protection Agency http: //www. epa. gov/ogd/competition/open_awards. htm Department of Defense DARPA Army Research Office Naval Research Office Air Force Research Office http: //www. darpa. mil/baa/ http: //www. aro. ncren. net/research/index. htm http: //www. onr. navy. mil/default. asp http: //www. afosr. af. mil/oppts/afrfund. htm#Research USDA/CSREES http: //www. csrees. usda. gov/qlinks/research. html Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 31

“Backgrounding” an agency and evaluating a potential funding opportunity Office of Proposal Development Texas “Backgrounding” an agency and evaluating a potential funding opportunity Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 32

Backgrounding the Funding Agency: Questions to Ask n n n n What are its Backgrounding the Funding Agency: Questions to Ask n n n n What are its mission and goals? What are its investment priorities, strategic plan? 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? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 33

Backgrounding Funding Agency Questions to Ask n n n n What is their culture Backgrounding Funding Agency Questions to Ask n n n n 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 background? What have they funded in the past? What is their budget? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 34

Backgrounding the Funding Agency Sources of Information n n n n Web site Solicitation Backgrounding the Funding Agency Sources of Information n n n n 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 n n n n Leadership Speeches Congressional Testimony Current Funded Projects Databases Project Abstracts Contacts with Funded Researchers Contacts with former Program Officers Contacts with former Reviewers Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 35

Funding Agency Culture & Mission n n Agency reflects vision, mission, objectives, and strategic Funding Agency Culture & Mission n n Agency reflects vision, mission, objectives, and strategic goals of founding intent; Operational components of agency reflect a range of objectives, for example: n n n Strategic research plan Strategic investment plan Research portfolio & investment time horizon Technology transfer, patenting, licensing, commercialization Research priorities & characteristics Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 36

Funding Agency Culture & Mission Basic Research Agencies (NSF, NIH) n n n n Funding Agency Culture & Mission Basic Research Agencies (NSF, NIH) n n n n Independent agency & management Independent research vision, mission, & objectives 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 37

Funding Agency Culture & Mission-oriented federal agency research & development n R&D serves agency Funding Agency Culture & Mission-oriented federal agency research & development n R&D serves agency goals and objectives, but reflect Executive Branch policy directions, or congressional n n n E. g. , Agriculture, Energy, Education, Defense, Health Scope of work tightly defines research tasks/deliverables 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 38

Funding Agency Investment Priorities Examples n National Science Foundation n Strategic Plan 2003 -08 Funding Agency Investment Priorities Examples n National Science Foundation n Strategic Plan 2003 -08 (http: //www. nsf. gov/od/gpra/Strategic_Plan/FY 20032008. pdf) Office of the Director (http: //www. nsf. gov/od/) National Institutes of Health n n n NIH Roadmap (http: //nihroadmap. nih. gov/) NIH Director Elias Zerhouni (http: //www. sciencemag. org/feature/plus/nihroadmap. pdf) NIH Director’s Page (http: //www. nih. gov/about/director/) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 39

Funding Agency Priorities Examples n Department of Education n Dept of Ed Strategic Plan Funding Agency Priorities Examples n Department of Education n Dept of Ed Strategic Plan n http: //www. ed. gov/about/reports/strat/plan 2002 -07/index. html Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services n n Mission Statement, Strategic Plan and Goals http: //www. ed. gov/about/offices/list/osers/aboutus. html Reports and resources http: //www. ed. gov/about/offices/list/osers/reports. html Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 40

Funded Projects Databases n n n NSF Award Search Site (abstracts of awards available) Funded Projects Databases n n n NSF Award Search Site (abstracts of awards available) http: //www. nsf. gov/awardsearch/index. jsp NIH Award Search Site (abstracts of awards available) http: //crisp. cit. nih. gov/crisp_query. generate_screenhttp: // crisp. cit. nih. gov/ Do. D SBIR/STTR Search http: //www. dodsbir. net/Awards/Default. asp NEH Awards Search http: //www. neh. gov/news/recentawards. html USDA Awards information and Forms http: //cris. csrees. usda. gov/ US Dept. of Education – Awards Search (limited) http: //wdcrobcolp 01. ed. gov/CFAPPS/grantaward/start. cfm Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 41

Sifting through RFPs n n n What do they want to accomplish through this Sifting through RFPs n n n What do they want to accomplish through this program? 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? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 42

Request for Proposals, RFP n n n n Program Description Mission Context Eligibility Information Request for Proposals, RFP n n n n Program Description Mission Context Eligibility Information Award Information Review Criteria Program Officers Reference Documents Award Administration n Proposal Guidelines n n n n Format Document Order Project Description Scope of Work Performance Goals Management Attachments Budget Guidelines Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 43

Performance Expectations n n n n Publications Curriculum Commercialization Patents Degrees awarded Technologies Map Performance Expectations n n n n Publications Curriculum Commercialization Patents Degrees awarded Technologies Map to RFP & Evaluation Criteria May require internal and/or external evaluation; annual performance review Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 44

Researching a Specific Funding Opportunity Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 45 Researching a Specific Funding Opportunity Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 45

Reading the Solicitation n Read and re-read the solicitation! The solicitation is not a Reading the Solicitation n 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 agency Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 46

Things to Look for in the Solicitation n n n n Purpose of the Things to Look for in the Solicitation n n n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 47

Purpose of the Program n n n Commonly discussed in “background” section Make sure Purpose of the Program n n n Commonly discussed in “background” section Make sure the goals of your proposed project mirror the program goals Look for words that are repeated often n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 48

Research Topics of Interest n Understand which topics are fundable under this solicitation n Research Topics of Interest n Understand which topics are fundable under this solicitation n n Read solicitation Look at funding history (use databases, if available) Talk to Program Officer Note terminology and language used; you will want to use similar terminology in your proposal Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 49

Inspiration for Program and References n n n Program may be result of committee Inspiration for Program and References n n n Program may be result of committee report (e. g. , National Academies, National Science Board, special study committees) May be documented in Workshop presentations and reports May be documented in final reports and publications of previously funded projects May be outgrowth of agency roadmap, strategic planning Read and cite these reports in your proposal Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 50

Program Requirements n n n Read carefully and make a checklist Plan to explain Program Requirements n n n Read carefully and make a checklist Plan to explain how you will meet each program requirement Start work on setting up collaborations, partnerships if needed n n Supporting letters may be needed for your proposal To be competitive, you must meet all program requirements Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 51

Explicit Proposal Requirements n n Note carefully formatting rules (page limits, fonts, margins, etc. Explicit Proposal Requirements n n Note carefully formatting rules (page limits, fonts, margins, etc. ) – these may be in a separate document Look for suggested or required sections n n n 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 n Bios, Lists of Current Funding, Letters of support, Facilities and Equipment, etc. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 52

Unspoken Expectations n n n Qualifications and experience of PI(s) Infrastructure provided by PI’s Unspoken Expectations n n n Qualifications and experience of PI(s) Infrastructure provided by PI’s institution Preliminary data n n n Very important! Varies greatly depending on agency, discipline, etc. Info sources: n n n Previous awardees Previous reviewers Program officers and previous program officers Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 53

Talking to the Program Officer n Do your homework first n n Prepare a Talking to the Program Officer n Do your homework first n n Prepare a concise description of your project n n n Read solicitation carefully Read background documents Investigate previously funded projects Goals, objectives, outcomes One short paragraph Try e-mail and phone n n If possible, use e-mail to set up phone conversation Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 54

Talking to Previous Awardees n n n Most previous awardees very generous (unless they Talking to Previous Awardees n n n Most previous awardees very generous (unless they will be competing with you for renewal) Ask about program reviews, feedback from program officer Be aware that programs may evolve and criteria change Previous awardees often also reviewers May make sense to cite results of previous awardee or forge a connection with previously funded programs Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 55

Review Criteria n n Most important part of solicitation! Plan how you will meet Review Criteria n n Most important part of solicitation! Plan how you will meet each review criterion Structure your proposal outline to reflect review criteria If you are weak in an area, plan how you will address this Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 56

Review Process n Could be: n n n Standing review committee Ad hoc panel Review Process n Could be: n n n Standing review committee Ad hoc panel Ad hoc mail reviews Internal review Combination Who will be your reviewers and what is their background? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 57

Preparing to Write n n n n n Research agency Research program Develop detailed Preparing to Write n n n n n Research agency Research program Develop detailed outline Research literature and previous work Generate preliminary data, if needed Develop collaborations, partnerships, support, if needed Line up institutional support, if needed Line up colleagues to edit your outline and proposal Generate schedule for producing your proposal Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 58

Set up a Schedule to Produce Your Proposal n n Work back from deadline Set up a Schedule to Produce Your Proposal n n 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 n n PI Department Head Dean Office of Sponsored Projects Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 59

Collaborations/Partnerships n n n Work on these before you start writing Be clear about Collaborations/Partnerships n n n Work on these before you start writing Be clear about roles of collaborators and partners Establish split of resources n n n 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 n n Include specifics on what they will do and support they will provide Explain who the collaborator is and their motivation Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 60

Preliminary Data n Understand the expectations of the agency and program n n How Preliminary Data n Understand the expectations of the agency and program n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 61

Line up Editors n n Look for colleagues who have been funded by agency Line up Editors n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 62

Institutional Support n Is cost sharing (matching) required? n n Are other resources required? Institutional Support n Is cost sharing (matching) required? n n Are other resources required? Work to set these up early n n What type? (Cash, in-kind? ) What rules apply? 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 63

Contact Your Proposal Administrator n n n May need to “log in” proposal Provide Contact Your Proposal Administrator n n n May need to “log in” proposal Provide help with budgets Oversee approval process (“routing”) Officially submit proposal Contact your proposal administrator early! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 64

Writing the Proposal Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 65 Writing the Proposal Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 65

Introductory writing tips n Summary and introduction are key n n May be all Introductory writing tips n Summary and introduction are key n n 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 Don’t be overly ambitious in what you propose, but convey credibility and capacity to perform Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 66

Introductory writing tips n n Sell your proposal to a good scientist but not Introductory writing tips n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 67

Following agency guidelines n Read solicitation and/or proposal guide carefully formatting requirements and follow Following agency guidelines n Read solicitation and/or proposal guide carefully formatting requirements and follow scrupulously n n n Font and font size Page limits Biosketch formats Citation format Avoids disqualification of your proposal Avoids irritating reviewers Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 68

Make your proposal easy to read n n n Reviewers often have 8 or Make your proposal easy to read n n n Reviewers often have 8 or 10 proposals to read Use white space, underlining, bold, bullets, figures, flowcharts to make main points easy to find Put main idea of sections and paragraphs up front Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 69

Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 70 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 70

Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 71 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 71

Must Convince Reviewers… n Your proposed research should be funded n n It’s important Must Convince Reviewers… n Your proposed research should be funded n n It’s important and supports the agency mission and program goals It’s exciting It has a good chance of succeeding You are the person who should conduct the proposed research n n You are knowledgeable and well-qualified You have the support and resources required Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 72

Structure of Proposal n Often dictated by solicitation or other agency document n n Structure of Proposal n Often dictated by solicitation or other agency document n n NSF – Grant Proposal Guide NIH – PHS 398 Do. D – Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) Also guided by evaluation criteria n ED often assigns points for each criterion Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 73

Proposal Sections: Examples n n Project Summary Project Description/Research Narrative n n n n Proposal Sections: Examples n n Project Summary Project Description/Research Narrative n n n n Goals/Objectives/Specific Aims Introduction/Overview Background and Significance Approach/Methodology Research Plan Preliminary Data Broader Impacts (NSF) Literature Cited Budget Justification Biosketches Funded Projects Equipment and Facilities Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 74

Summary n n n May be the only thing the reviewer reads Must “grab” Summary n n n May be the only thing the reviewer reads Must “grab” the reviewer Should communicate concisely: n n n 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 n n E. g. , intellectual merit and broader impacts in NSF proposals Project name, category, etc. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 75

Goals/Specific Aims n n State specific, measurable goals of your project Tie to program/agency Goals/Specific Aims n n State specific, measurable goals of your project Tie to program/agency mission and goals If hypothesis-based research, state your hypothesis Discuss expected outcomes Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 76

Introduction/Overview n n Provides a framework for the reviewer Remainder of proposal will flesh Introduction/Overview n n Provides a framework for the reviewer Remainder of proposal will flesh out this framework Opportunity to make important points up front Communicate your excitement! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 77

Background/Literature Review n n Spend some time researching this This section should tie closely Background/Literature Review n n Spend some time researching this This section should tie closely to your proposed research n n What are the holes in current knowledge that your work will fill? How does your research extend advance knowledge in the field? Do not be dismissive of previous research Be thorough in citing important work but be concise Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 78

Significance n Explain explicitly why proposed research is important n n n Tie to Significance n Explain explicitly why proposed research is important n n n Tie to agency and program goals Relate to review criteria Make this easy to find Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 79

Preliminary Data/Previous Work n Be aware of expectations regarding amount of preliminary data n Preliminary Data/Previous Work n Be aware of expectations regarding amount of preliminary data n n n Varies by agency Varies by program Varies by discipline Higher risk projects may require more preliminary data Discussion of preliminary data must connect clearly to proposed project Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 80

Approach/Research Plan/Methodology n n Be very clear about how you will accomplish your stated Approach/Research Plan/Methodology n n Be very clear about how you will accomplish your stated goals and objectives Include details n n n What, specifically, will you do when you get the money? 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! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 81

Connect narrative text to budget n n Budget categories are defined by the funding Connect narrative text to budget n n Budget categories are defined by the funding agency 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 detail Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 82

Beware of Boiler Plate n n Thinking of proposal narrative as “boiler plate” will Beware of Boiler Plate n n Thinking of proposal narrative as “boiler plate” will result in a mediocre, disjoint proposal Begin each proposal as a new effort, not a copy & paste Be very cautious integrating text inserts Strong proposals clearly reflect a coherent, sustained, and integrated argument grounded on good ideas Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 83

Outcomes or deliverables n n Develop short, hard-hitting lists off-set by bullets or other Outcomes or deliverables n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 84

Project assessment and evaluation n n How will you know if you were successful? Project assessment and evaluation n n 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 n n 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 project Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 85

Craft of grant writing web sites n http: //cpmcnet. columbia. edu/research/writing. htm http: //nextwave. Craft of grant writing web sites n http: //cpmcnet. columbia. edu/research/writing. htm http: //nextwave. sciencemag. org/cgi/content/full/1999/08/27/1 http: //grants. library. wisc. edu/index. html http: //www. research. umich. edu/proposals/PWG/pwgcomplete. html n http: //www. asru. ilstu. edu/grantwritingseries. htm n http: //grants. nih. gov/grants/grant_tips. htm http: //www. epa. gov/seahome/grants/src/title. htm http: //www. nsf. gov/pubs/2004/nsf 04016/start. htm http: //www. aecom. yu. edu/ogs/Guide. htm http: //www. awag. org/Grant%20 Seekers%20 Tool%20 Kit/index. htm http: //www. americanscientist. org/template/Asset. Detail/assetid/23947? fulltext=tr ue&print=yes http: //www. pitt. edu/~offres/proposal/propwriting/websites. html n n n n n Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 86

Interpreting Reviews n If you are funded…. . n If not…. n n Put Interpreting Reviews n If you are funded…. . n If not…. n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 87

Interpreting Reviews – Planning to Resubmit n Were certain issues mentioned consistently? n n Interpreting Reviews – Planning to Resubmit n Were certain issues mentioned consistently? n n Did the reviewers misunderstand your proposal? n n Plan how to make your text more clear Was no clear issue mentioned? n n Plan how to address those issues 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! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 88

Early Career Programs for Faculty n n NSF CAREER Do. D n n Young Early Career Programs for Faculty n n NSF CAREER Do. D n n Young Investigator (ONR, ARL) Congressionally Mandated Directed Medical Research Programs Young Investigator NASA New Investigator Program in Earth-Sun Systems NIH n n Scientist Development Award for New Minority Faculty Career Development Awards (K-awards) n n Esp. Career Transition (K 22) Award NIAMS Small Grants Program for New Investigators Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 89

Early Career Programs for Faculty n Foundations n n n Professional organization “early career” Early Career Programs for Faculty n Foundations n n n Professional organization “early career” or “young investigator” programs n n Burroughs Wellcome Fund Ph. RMA Foundation Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Early Career Fellowship in Economic Studies Kellogg Forum Rising Stars, etc. American Philosophical Society – Franklin Research Grants Listing of Programs n http: //www. spo. berkeley. edu/Fund/newfaculty. html Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 90

NSF CAREER Program n n n Duration: 5 years Funding level: “minimum” $400 K NSF CAREER Program n n n Duration: 5 years Funding level: “minimum” $400 K total (except min. $500 K total for BIO directorate) Eligibility: n n n n Have a Ph. D Untenured, holding tenure-track Asst. Prof. position or equivalent Have not competed in CAREER more than two times previously 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_summ. jsp? ods_key=nsf 05579 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 91

ONR Young Investigator Program (Office of Naval Research) n n n $100, 000 per ONR Young Investigator Program (Office of Naval Research) n n n $100, 000 per year for three years FY 05 proposal was due 13 January 2005. FY 06 announcement will be posted in September 2005 http: //www. onr. navy. mil/02/baa/docs/fy 2005 yip. doc U. S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents earned Ph. D within last 5 years Approx. 24 awards Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 92

ONR Young Investigator n n “The objectives of this program are to attract outstanding ONR Young Investigator n n “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 careers. ” “Proposals falling within the broad scope of naval research interests will be considered. ” Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 93

ONR Areas of Research Interest http: //www. onr. navy. mil/ n Information, Electronics & ONR Areas of Research Interest http: //www. onr. navy. mil/ n Information, Electronics & Surveillance (Code 31) n n Ocean, Atmosphere & Space (Code 32) n n Physical Sciences; Materials; Mechanics and Energy Conversion; Ship Hull, Mechanical & Electrical Systems; Navy S&T Ship Office Human Systems (Code 34) n n Sensing and Systems; Processes and Prediction Engineering, Materials & Physical Science (Code 33) n n Electronics; Math, Computer and Information Sciences; Surveillance, Communications, and Electronic Combat Medical and Biological Division; Cognitive, Neural and Social Division Naval Expeditionary Warfare (Code 35) n Strike Technology; Expeditionary Warfare Operations Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 94

Army Research Lab Young Investigator n n Up to $50 K per year for Army Research Lab Young Investigator n n Up to $50 K per year for 3 years Eligibility n n 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. n Broad Agency Announcement at http: //www. aro. army. mil/research/arl/fy 06 arlbaa. pdf n Research Areas n “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. “ Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 95

NIH K programs for New Faculty n Series of very targeted programs n n NIH K programs for New Faculty n Series of very targeted programs n n See K Kiosk at http: //grants. nih. gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards. htm Directed at retraining, professional development Check CRISP data base on NIH web site for info on funded programs Recent TAMU winners: n n Christopher Quick (Vet) K-25 Victor Ugaz (Chem E) K-22 Helene Andrews (HSC) K-08 Alberto Gallegos (Vet) K-25 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 96

Other Programs n NASA New Investigator Program in Earth and Sun System Science n Other Programs n NASA New Investigator Program in Earth and Sun System Science n http: //nspires. nasaprs. com/external/solicitations/summary. do? method=init&sol. Id= {8 EF 416 B 1 -14 FF-1 C 41 -42 CD-514 C 32 F 6 A 495}&stack=push n Notice of intent due June 30, 2005 Full due August 31, 2005 n n Carl Sagan Fellowship for Early Career Research n Varying submission times depending on topic n http: //nspires. nasaprs. com/external/solicitations/summary. do? method=i nit&sol. Id={8 C 5 AB 22 A-061 D-3 D 19 -00 B 8 -B 37 C 7 FBB 7529}&stack=push Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 97

Other Programs n Foundations n Check their annual reports for goals, culture n Burroughs Other Programs n Foundations n Check their annual reports for goals, culture n Burroughs Wellcome Fund Ph. RMA Foundation Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Early Career Fellowship in Economic Studies Kellogg Forum Rising Stars, etc. n n n Professional Organizations Search on Google: n n “early career”, “young investigator”, junior faculty” Check n http: //www. unh. edu/osr/ n http: //www. spo. berkeley. edu/Fund/newfaculty. html Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 98

Young Investigator Programs n Do your homework! n n n n Mission and culture Young Investigator Programs n Do your homework! n n n n 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 carefully Clearly describe your goals, your work plan and the benefits of your work Don’t give up! n n n Learn from reviews Talk to program officer about how you might address short comings Apply again as long as you are eligible! Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 99

Questions and Discussion Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 100 Questions and Discussion Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 100

National Science Foundation n Funds research in: n n n n n Biological Sciences National Science Foundation n Funds research in: n n n n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 101

NSF n In addition to research grants, NSF funds: n n n Instrumentation Conferences NSF n In addition to research grants, NSF funds: n n n Instrumentation Conferences and Workshops Doctoral Research in Selected Areas (Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants) International Travel Graduate Fellowships Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 102

NSF mission To support: n n Basic scientific research and research fundamental to the NSF mission To support: n n 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 engineering An information base on science and engineering appropriate for development of national and international policy Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 103

NSF: Goals and mission n Agency goals are defined in terms of people, ideas NSF: Goals and mission n Agency goals are defined in terms of people, ideas and tools n n n 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 Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 104

NSF Organization Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 105 NSF Organization Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 105

Directorates divided into divisions n Example: Math and Physical Sciences (MPS) n n n Directorates divided into divisions n Example: Math and Physical Sciences (MPS) n n n Astronomical Sciences (ASI) Chemistry (CHE) Materials Research (DMR) Physics (PHY) Division Mathematical Sciences (DMS) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 106

Programs/clusters within organization n Materials Research n n n n Ceramics Metals Electronic Materials Programs/clusters within organization n Materials Research n n n n Ceramics Metals Electronic Materials Condensed Matter Physics Materials Theory Solid State Chemistry Etc……. Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 107

Funding opportunities n see “Guide to Programs” at http: //www. nsf. gov/funding/browse_all_funding. jsp n Funding opportunities n see “Guide to Programs” at http: //www. nsf. gov/funding/browse_all_funding. jsp n n n Program Description or Program Announcement (“unsolicited”) Solicitations Supplements Dear Colleague Letter SGER (Special Grants for Exploratory Research) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 108

Example funding opportunities n Grants Funding Equipment (web sites in handout) n n n Example funding opportunities n Grants Funding Equipment (web sites in handout) n n n n Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Earth Sciences Instrumentation and Facilities (EAR/IF) Research Equipment for Chemical Transport System Division Chemical Research Instrumentation and Facilities Multi-user Equipment and Instrumentation Resources for Biological Sciences Archaeometry Awards Astronomical Sciences Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (ATI) Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 109

Example funding opportunities CAREER http: //www. nsf. gov/funding/pgm_summ. jsp? pims_id=5262&from=fund n n n Duration: Example funding opportunities CAREER http: //www. nsf. gov/funding/pgm_summ. jsp? pims_id=5262&from=fund n n n Duration: 5 years Funding level: “minimum” $400 K total (except min. $500 K total for BIO directorate) Eligibility: n n n Have a Ph. D Untenured, holding tenure-track assistant prof. Position or equivalent Have not competed in CAREER more than two times previously Have not won a CAREER award Due: July 20 – 22 depending on directorate Typical 10 – 20% success rate Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 110

NSF Review Criteria n Intellectual Merit n n n How important is activity to NSF Review Criteria n Intellectual Merit n n n How important is activity to advancing knowledge and understanding in own field and across fields? How well-qualified is proposer to conduct project? How creative and original are ideas? How well-conceived and organized is proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources? Broader Impacts n n 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, partnerships? Will results be disseminated broadly to enhance understanding of science? What are potential benefits to society of proposed research? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 111

NSF Review Criteria (cont’d) n Integration of Research and Education n n How well NSF Review Criteria (cont’d) n Integration of Research and Education n n 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 n How well does project broaden opportunities and enable the participation of all citizens, women and men, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities? Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 112

Review Process n n May be ad hoc or panel review (at least three Review Process n n May be ad hoc or panel review (at least three reviewers) Proposal rated: n n n Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair, Poor Comments included as feedback NSF tries to return reviews within 6 months of due date Office of Proposal Development Texas A&M University 113