TAMIU Grant Writing Workshop Generic Strategies for Competitive Proposals - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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TAMIU Grant Writing Workshop Generic Strategies for Competitive Proposals

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  1. TAMIU Grant Writing Workshop Generic Strategies for Competitive Proposals • Mike Cronan, PE (inactive) • Director, Office of Proposal Development, Office of the Vice President for Research, Texas A&M University; • http://opd.tamu.edu/ Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  2. A&M System Coordination • Dr. K. Lee Peddicord, System Vice Chancellor for Research & Federal Relations; • Tami Davis Sayko, System Associate Vice Chancellor for Research & Federal Relations. • “Dr. Peddicord and Ms. Sayko are to research promotion what Jerry Lee Lewis is to the piano.” (Texas A&M research administrator comment) • http://tamusystem.tamu.edu/offices/research-federal/index.html Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  3. Office of Proposal Development • Supports faculty in the development and writing of proposals • Supports center-level initiatives, interdisciplinary research teams, junior faculty, and diversity initiatives; • Helps develop research partnerships at Texas A&M and among System institutions and the Health Science Center; • Offers a full suite of training programs to help faculty develop and write more competitive proposals; • OPDWeb: http://opd.tamu.edu/ Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  4. OPD Member List • Jean Ann Bowman, PhD (Physical Geography/Hydrology), earth, ecological, and environmental sciences, jbowman@tamu.edu; • Libby Childress, Scheduling, workshop management, project coordination, libbyc@tamu.edu; • Mike Cronan, PE, BSCE, BA, MFA, Center-level proposals, A&M System partnerships, new proposal and training initiatives, mikecronan@tamu.edu; • Lucy Deckard, BSMS, MSMS&E, New faculty initiative, fellowships, engineering and physical science proposals, equipment and instrumentation, l-deckard@tamu.edu; • John Ivy, PhD (Molecular Biology), NIH biomedical and biological science initiatives, johnivy@tamu.edu; • Phyllis McBride, PhD (English), proposal writing training, biomedical, editing, p-mcbride@tamu.edu; • Robyn Pearson, BA, MA, social sciences and humanities proposals, editing and rewriting, rlpearson@tamu.edu Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  5. Presenter Background • Mike Cronan: 20 years at Texas A&M University planning, developing, and writing successful research and educational proposals to federal agencies. • Developed and built the TEES Office of Research Development & Grant Writing (Director, 1994-2004); restructured the Texas A&M University Office of Proposal Development (Director, 2004-current). • Authored over $60 million in System-wide proposals funded by NSF: Texas AMP, Texas RSI, South Texas RSI, Texas CETP , CREST Environmental Research Center, Information Technology in Science, among others. • Named Regents Fellow (2000-04) by the Board of Regents for leading, developing & writing System partnership proposals funded by NSF and other federal agencies. • B.S., Civil/Structural Engineering, University of Michigan, 1983 • M.F.A., English, University of California, Irvine, 1972 • B.A., Political Science, Michigan State University, 1968 • Registered Professional Engineer (Texas 063512, inactive) Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  6. Open Forum, Q&A Format • Curious? Please ask questions; • Questions will help direct, guide, and focus the discussion on proposal topics. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  7. Presentation topics • Introductory comments • Identifying funding solicitations • Analyzing the solicitation • Analyzing the funding agency • Understanding the review process • Writing the proposal narrative • Checklist for writing the proposal Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  8. Types of University Proposals • Research (basic, applied, applications, mission, etc.) • Educational • Institutional (e.g., McNair, GAANN, STEP) • Direct to applicant (e.g., NSF Fellowships, dissertation grants) • Hybrid research and educational (REU) • Small $, few PIs • Large $, multiple PIs, center-level • Supplements to grants (NSF, NIH) Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  9. Applications based research Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  10. Funding unlikely to pan out… • Grand visions • Ambitious plans to improve the world, or your corner of it • Administrative infrastructures • Bricks & mortar • Unfocused ideas & enthusiasm Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  11. If you don’t write grants, you won’t get any • Target the proposal at the intersection where: • research dollars are available; • your research interests are met; • a competitive proposal can be written within the time available. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  12. Narrative Detail Agencies will not fund an idea not embedded in a convincing pattern of narrative detail and performance specificity tightly mapped to funding agency objectives. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  13. Searching for funding • Develop search protocols to fit research interests; • Know relevant agencies; • Learn grant cycles. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  14. Focus on your research interests Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  15. Search in the right places Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  16. Searching for research funding • Define a general disciplinary domain of interest (e.g., science, social science, humanities, education, health and biomedical sciences, engineering); • Characterize the nature of the research interests within the disciplinary domain (basic, applied, applications, contract, mission agency); • Identify funding agencies whose mission, strategic plan, and investment priorities are aligned with the specific research interests; • Focus on this subset of agencies in the search for funding opportunities, a process that may go through several search iterations until the researcher converges on a reasonable alignment of research interests with possible funding sources; • Further align research interests with funding agency funding opportunities by reviewing past funding solicitations, agency mission statements, strategic investment plans, and related documentation. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  17. OPD-Web Funding Opportunities Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  18. Grants. gov The Grants.gov web portal serves as a single point of access for all federal agency grant announcements. New funding announcements from federal agency are posted to this site daily, and a range of other features allow subscribing to email funding alerts, linking to agency web sites, and searching for funding among agencies. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  19. http://www.grants.gov/ Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  20. Receive Grants.gov Funding Email Alerts Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  21. Search & Browse Grant Opportunities • http://www.grants.gov/applicants/search_opportunities.jsp • http://www.grants.gov/search/agency.do Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  22. Search Grants.gov Opportunities Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

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  29. http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/ Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

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  32. http://www.neh.gov/news/nehconnect.html Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  33. http://listserv.ed.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A0=edinfo&D=1&H=0&O=D&T=0 Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  34. http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_list/elists/ Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  35. The Request for Proposals (RFP) – also called the Program Announcement (PA), Request for Applications (RFA), or Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) – is one common starting point of the proposal writing process. Reading the proposal solicitation Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  36. Other starting points to the proposal process include investigator-initiated (unsolicited) proposals, or, common to the defense agencies, white papers and quad charts. Reading the proposal solicitation Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  37. The solicitation represents an invitation by a funding agency for applicants to submit requests for funding in research areas of interest to the agency or foundation. Reading the proposal solicitation Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  38. It is used continuously throughout proposal development and writing as a reference point to ensure that an evolving proposal narrative fully addresses and accurately reflects the goals and objectives of the funding agency, including the review criteria. Program Solicitation Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  39. Program Solicitation The RFP contains most of the essential information the researcher needs to develop and write a competitive proposal that is fully responsive to the agency’s funding objectives and review criteria. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  40. Program Solicitation • The RFP is not a menu or smorgasbord offering the applicant a choice of addressing some topics but not others, depending on interest, or some review criteria but not others. • The RFP is a non-negotiable listing of performance expectations reflecting the stated goals, objectives, and desired outcomes of the agency. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  41. RFP: Read & Follow Directions Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  42. Map your expertise to the RFP • Is it a fit? • Is it really a fit? • No partial fits allowed • No wishful thinking • Close doesn’t count • If you are not a fit—don’t submit Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  43. You and the RFP need to be like… Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  44. The RFP as Treasure Map • Follow directions • Review step by step • Understand it • Understood by all PIs • Keep focused • Don’t wander off path Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  45. No irrational exuberance!! • Understand the RFP for what it is…not what you want it to be… • It is not a speculative investment… • Invest your time, resources, and energy wisely Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  46. Contents of the RFP • Agency research goals, objectives, and performance expectations • Statement and scope of work • Proposal topics to be addressed by the applicant • Deliverables or other outcomes • Review criteria and process Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  47. Contents of the RFP • Research plan • Key personnel, evaluation, & management • Eligibility, due dates, available funding, funding limits, anticipated number of awards, performance period, proposal formatting requirements, budget and other process requirements, and reference documents. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  48. Reviewing the RFP • It is not a document to skim quickly, read lightly, or read only once. • It defines a very detailed set of research expectations the applicant must meet in order to be competitive for funding. • It needs to be read and re-read and fully understood, both in very discrete detail and as an integrated whole. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  49. Reviewing the RFP • The RFP sets the direction and defines the performance parameters of every aspect of proposal development and writing. • Read it word by word; sentence by sentence; paragraph by paragraph; and page by page. • Know it well, both at the macro and micro level Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M

  50. Reviewing the RFP • Focus • Carefully • On • Directions. • Don’t • Get • Distracted. Mike Cronan, Office of Proposal Development, Texas A&M