R.I.F Grant Writing Workshop How Not to Annoy the Reviewer! - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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R.I.F Grant Writing Workshop How Not to Annoy the Reviewer!

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  1. R.I.F Grant Writing Workshop How Not to Annoy the Reviewer! October 2012

  2. What is RIF all about? ZU internal competitive grant awards offered annually to encourage and support faculty research Details athttp://www.zu.ac.ae/main/en/research/for_researchers/funding_opportunities/_funding_links/rif.aspx

  3. How many RIF grants are awarded? In 2009, 42 applications were received and 25 grants awarded – just under 60% success rate. In 2010, 29 applications were received and 14 grants awarded – 48 % success rate (AED 630,000) In 2011, 25 applications were received and 13 grants awarded – 52 % success rate (AED 550,000) How does this compare internationally? A proposal success rate of 20-30% is common (NSF, NIH, USDA, most private foundations)

  4. What are essential things to know when writing a grant submission? • Your research/creative topic • The instructions • What makes a good grant proposal • The reviewers and the evaluation process

  5. 1. Your research/creative topic A good start … • What is the problem, and why is it important? • How is existing knowledge or practice inadequate? • How is your idea going to make a difference? • What will it contribute and who will benefit?

  6. 1. Your research/creative topic • What is research? Research is defined as a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. (45 CFR 46.102(d)) Research should discover new information, or reach a new understanding. • Research is not … A trip to a conference A “fishing expedition” – there must be something out here … A group of “interesting observations”

  7. 1. Your research/creative topic What is a creative project? RIF grants will also support creative projects, including • the creation • production • exhibition • performance, or • publication of works … demonstrating originality in design or execution. Creative projects should include • a clear articulation of the scholarly process, • a definable product, and • a mechanism for outside review and/or dissemination.

  8. 2. The instructions • Where will you find the instructions? • What are the GOALS of the RIF program? • Who will you direct questions to?

  9. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.1 Start with the pitch – sell your idea! • Set the stage – lay out the problem (who cares?) • Get the reviewer interested – identify the importance • Identify what problem you are solving and the potential benefits • Show how your proposal will address the goals of the funder • Describe your project’s fundamental purpose • Create a vision – how will your work advance the field (so what?)

  10. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.2 Passive vs Active voice • “It is hoped that this project … • “Through the work of this project, it is anticipated that … versus … • “This research will accomplish … • “This is currently a problem affecting … , and the results of this research will …

  11. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.3 Brevity • “It has been demonstrated by research that…. OR • “Research shows clearly that … • “Following administration of the third dosage, measurements will be taken… OR • “After dosage 3, we will measure … "I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter.“ 3.4 Avoid insider jargon and acronyms “Information retrieval will involve RSS services from databases and blogsites which can either feed into email or a separate RSS reader, thus becoming selective information receipt, rather than broad retrieval.”

  12. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.5 Avoid generalizations. Stay focused! “… this is a step towards peace in the Gulf region and a step towards a Global peace and collaboration.” 3.6 Check your spelling and Language 3. 7 Ease of Readability • Is it focused and clear? • Is it achievable within the available timeframe/funding?

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  14. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? Don’t be scared of inserting images or diagrams

  15. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.8 Avoiding unsubstantiated claims • “In all my time involved I never saw much movement in health-related applications.” ” • “It will enhance student engagement and is projected to reduce overall failure rates.” • “The quality of customer service in the Middle East … is inferior to that found in many Western countries”

  16. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.9 Methodology! Clearly articulate how you are going to undertake this research: • What data collection are you planning? • How will you achieve your data collection to ensure independent, reproducible results that are meaningful and generalizable? • What will your data analysis involve? • Have you considered ethical clearance for your research? • What is your information dissemination plan? Goals (2-3 maximum) and Objectives with specific, measurable outcomes or milestones

  17. 3. What makes a good grant proposal? 3.10 … and finally, the Abstract Written last, but read first by reviewers Must be an intriguing “first advertisement” – Sell the idea! Should reflect entire scope of project and conveys: • What the researcher intends to do • Why it’s important • Expected outcomes • How work will be accomplished

  18. Seek feedback and review Why are researchers sometimes shy to seek constructive feedback? Howard Aiken – Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921: “Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.”

  19. Seek feedback and review How many people will see your proposal before submission? What College review process exists? Plan for it! How long does it take to write a grant proposal? 1/3 learn the rules/ 1/3 write/ 1/3 edit, revise Successful grant writing is a team sport!

  20. “Grant reviewers are impatient readers. Busy people with limited time, they look for any excuse to stop reading.” Porter, R. (2007) Why academics have a hard time writing good grant proposals.

  21. 4. The reviewers & the Evaluation process “The PI needs to more thoroughly develop the rational for this work.” “The literature review was of very limited scope with no references to peer reviewed literature - if there is none; is the problem really worth studying?” “Sample unlikely to be representative of general population.” “Awareness of any other such social research and discussion with any such relevant researchers may prove useful in this regard.” “Disconnect between the research methodology and budget.” “Confusing and needs focus.” “Methodology – unclear sample size and sampling methodology” “This is all Greek to me. I am sorry but I do not see myself competent to judge this RIF application.”

  22. 4. The reviewers & the Evaluation Process “This research is imperative to ZU and also fosters national and international collaborations” “The proposal show originality and addresses and important problem at Zayed University. Well written and referenced proposal, although it would have benefited from clearer definition earlier …” “Finally, a proposal that is within 5p! Well organized and argued.” “The proposed work is very well organized and clearly presented. The PI proceeds to use standard and well tested technique. The results of the research will speak directly to a potential problem of very high ecological and economic impact.” “The proposal addresses an issue of importance to UAE as well as to any region of the world where multiply languages and dialects are spoken.” “The researchers presenting this proposal seem to be well-established professionals and academicians in the fields of …as well as curriculum development. The investigators‟ CV‟s also show clearly that all three investigators are well-published, and have gathered a wide variety of experiences in more than one part of the world.”

  23. 4. The reviewers & the Evaluation Process Who are the reviewers of the RIF Grant proposals? What College process for review occurs? What are the evaluation criteria?  Check now the Application Form

  24. Some notes on budgeting

  25. Thank you!Good Luck!ASK Now!