PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT WRITING A COMPELLING GRANT APPLICATION Trish Lowney, PhD 443-2882; plowney@syr.eduplowney@syr.edu April 12, 2012.

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Get Funded!

Proposal Development

Writing a Compelling Grant ApplicationTrish Lowney, PhD

443-2882; plowney@syr.eduApril 12, 2012ObjectivesWhats a grant application and why would you want to write one? Create a scaffold for your applicationCommon application componentsHow to really get startedResources available for assistanceApplications (aka proposals) Sell.Your idea,Yourself, andYour affiliation

To the right sponsor at the right time!Proposals CommunicateWHAT you want to doWHY it is importantHow youre going to do it and WHY your strategy is the best tack to takeWHY you are qualified and capableThe BANG for the buck (value)1. WHAT do you want to doThe Big IdeaHypothesis to be tested Gap in knowledge to be filledNeed to be filledProblem to be solvedOpportunity to be pursued Clearly stated Easily understood by someone *not* in your field

1. WHAT do you want to doPerhaps (!) the most important part of applicationParts of WHAT can include: Context (where your idea fits) Goals (big picture 35,000 feet) Objectives (10,000 feet) Outcomes (on the ground)

2. WHY is it important So what? Who cares?Significance of idea and/or outcomesSponsorsDiscipline/fieldCommunities/advocacy groupsAssociations Govt agencies SocietyState of knowledge, blue ribbon panels etc..Rationale

3. How/Why approach is bestHOW are you going to do it?Approach e.g., methods/experimental designRationale for methodsFeasibility Can you do in time/with resources available?Preliminary data necessary expertise?Experience with the system?Barriers/challenges?Alternatives

Why your approach is best contdHow do you know your approach has worked or when you are successful? (for each experiment, activity, intervention AND for the entire project)ControlsAnalysis (statistics)Expected ResultsInterpretation (!!)Evaluation formative, summativeSupported/refuted the hypothesisAddressed the needFilled the gap etc..Why your approach is best contdHOW can you demonstrate your work plan is feasible?Detailed timeline with activities, milestones Work from preliminary results

Dont bite off more than you can chew..

4a. Why are you qualified Are you uniquely suited for this activity?Education and TrainingDegrees, licenses, certificationsProfessional experiencePublications/Grants History of productivity (Track record)Invited presentations, chapters etc..Preliminary data / results

Necessary expertise is available (You maybe be many people from SU and elsewhere)Increase likelihood of success4b. Why you are capable Can you do what you propose? Resources/facilitiesEquipment and support servicesMentors; letters of support / collaborationAccess to special resourcesSpecific populationsResearch tools/reagents, archivesPartnershipsInstitutional support

5. Good Bang for the BuckValue to the sponsor and/or societyWhat will you do with the results? Dont keep your light under a barrel!Dissemination planProgress reportsLocal, regional, national meetings/presentationsPublications/reports/books/monographsWeb pagesPress releasesSeminars, community presentationsGood Bang for the BuckIs the cost reasonable & appropriate?BudgetTranslate work plan dollars & cents Good judgmentRequest support for total project costsvs Sharing of project costs required?Sponsor requirements/constraints

Proposals ConveyWHAT you want to doWHY it is importantHow youre going to do it and WHY your strategy is the best tack to takeWHY you are qualified and capableThe BANG for the buck ObjectivesWhats a grant application and why would you want to write one? Create a scaffold for your applicationCommon application componentsHow to really get startedResources available for assistanceExerciseIn two / three sentences Describe the context for your ideaDescribe WHAT your idea is

Whats the New World Look like?What data will reflect New World?How to obtaindata?Any Challenges Expected?Expertise & Resources NeededWhen will this happen? SO WHAT?Who Cares? Big DealBig #!@?Whos He?So.Proposals ConveyWHAT you want to doWHY it is importantHow youre going to do it and WHY your strategy is the best tack to takeWHY you are qualified and capableThe BANG for the buck .through common elementsObjectivesWhats a grant application and why would you want to write one? Create a scaffold for your applicationCommon application componentsHow to really get startedResources available for assistanceCommon ElementsCover sheet/Face PageTitleBrief (~80 letters/spaces), informativePrincipal investigator/project directorContact informationResearch IntegrityAuthorizations (University signature)CostCompliance needsHuman, animal participants, certs & assurancesCommon Elements contdAbstract/Executive SummaryFirst thing reviewers readFirst impressions count!!!Get em hooked!Prepare lastExciting! Clear!Complete! (What, when, how, why?)Common Elements contdProject Narrative/DescriptionStatement of Work/Goal (IDEA)Specific Aims/Objectives (So What? drilling down)Significance to Sponsor, discipline, society (Who cares? Rationale / Motivation)Literature review (State of knowledge)Taskforce reportsMission/vision statementsPreliminary results (or in approach) (your capability)Common Elements contdProject Narrative/Description contdWork Plan/Experimental Design/MethodsWhy approach is best strategy to takeActivities for objective/aimControls, data, analysis, interpretationEvaluationDisseminationManagement Plan (managing people)TimelineWhy approach is best strategy to take

Proposal NarrativesSpecifics vary; core components similar.

Go from big picture to details/specifics

If not specified in guidelines, organize by review criteria.

Respond to review criteria.

Common Elements contdLiterature Cited/BibliographyComprehensive (You dont know who your reviewers will be..)

Current, appropriately historical

Quality

ObjectiveCommon Elements contdBiographical Sketch (2-pg)Your qualifications FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONSEducation & TrainingInstitution, degreeLicenses, credentials, certificationsProfessional ActivitiesPublicationsHonorsPersonal statement or other requested infoCommon Elements contdFacilities & ResourcesYour capabilities (What is needed for your project to succeed; put most important first unless format specified)Laboratory (space & equipment)Centers / institutes / nearby colleaguesLibrary, other unique resourcesMachine shop, media, glassware, centers, animal facilities (AAALAC)Access to other species resources/facilitiesPartnerships, agreementsOffice (space & equipment)Unique secretarial support

Common Elements contdBudget (line item) Use OSP budget template

Personnel Services

Other than Personnel ServicesCommon Elements contdBudget Narrative/JustificationMost important/expensive firstPersonnelRoles, responsibilitiesAdequate and appropriate effortOther major categoriesWhy essential for project?Demonstrate costs reasonable (bid, prior experience)Demonstrate your experience & judgmentCommon Elements contdAppendices/Supplemental Docs. (if allowed)Letters of SupportCollaborationProvide access to resource/toolDocumentationSubmitted manuscripts/publicationsNon-profit statusIDC rateSurveys etc.Certifications & assurancesCommon Elements contdCover sheet/Face PageTitleBrief (~80 letters/spaces), informativePrincipal investigator/project directorContact informationResearch IntegrityAuthorizations (University signature)CostCompliance needsHuman, animal participants, certs & assurancesCommon Elements contdAbstract/Executive SummaryFirst thing reviewers readFirst impressions count!!!Get em hooked!Prepare lastExciting! Clear!Complete! (What, when, how, why?)ObjectivesWhats a grant application and why would you want to write one? Creating the scaffold for your applicationCommon application componentsHow to really get startedResources available for assistanceGetting Started..Refine/clarify the idea DiscussionsDepartment meetings, lab groupJournal Club, etc. Ongoing, iterative process

Answer the Big QuestionsWhat, Why & How (who, where, when..)? ?

Find a Potential SponsorAcknowledgementsJournal articles, meetings, etc..Who has been funding work like yours?

DatabasesFunding opps: Pivot.COS, IRIS, Grant Advisor, Fnd Center Historical awards: Sponsor websites / databases

Colleagues/Mentors

Have a Potential Sponsor & Program Check out recent awardsReview similar, successful proposalsContact PI for a copy (dont FOIA).. Future colleague OR reviewerContact program manager ASAP Explore interest & fitEarlier the betterIf a goInform folks who need to know Chair (cost sharing)AdministratorsOSPRead AND FOLLOW the instructionsSponsor & OSP can help interpret/clarifyReview and reflect on review criteriaWriting the proposal..Whats the sponsors agenda?Prepare an outlineAnnouncement/agency guidelinesInsert (and address) review criteriaInsert answersWhat, Why & How? Expand your OutlineWriting the proposal..contdWrite Text Manageable units2 or more months in advance ()Have many others read and reviewWrite for Reviewers (known?)Develop the budget & narrative 1 month in advanceDoes the budget make sense?Support requested for all project costs?Secure approval for cost-sharingTip - Write for generalist reviewers

But balance technical detailMake reviewers your ally and advocate Eliminate reasons not to fund youAvoid jargonMake no assumptions. (you are evaluated on what you present not what you meant)Summer beach reading.Legible font, effective use of headers

Finalizing the proposal..Proof read after 2-3 day rest ()

Spell check

Check figure numbers

Check/confirm all referencesStrong proposalsGreat idea, clear & compellingSignificant to sponsorGreat approach, well thought outQualified applicantResources availableImportant impact Cost effectiveInternal Review OSP Checklist (under revision)Accompanies proposal Department/Admin/College ApprovalCost sharingAllows OSP to transmit to sponsorOSP review budget (RA) & proposalOSP (RA) - authorized to submitOSP assures compliance in event of award

Choosing to not follow instructions..Return unreviewed

Alienate reviewers

Alienate program managers/staff

Decrease likelihood of awardObjectivesWhats a grant application and why would you want to write one? Creating the scaffold for your applicationCommon application componentsHow to really get startedResources available for assistanceHelp is all aroundOSP http://osp.syr.edu

Colleagues

Mentors

Department Chair

Program Managers

Help is all aroundThe sponsorCheck out prior awardees (get copies?)Sample applicationsGuidance to applicants

If at first you dont succeedTry, try againReview written feedback Talk to the program managerGet objective inputRe-writeProcess takes time. From idea to $$ >>1 yr

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