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Proposal writing

Proposal writing

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Proposal writing

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  1. Proposal writing

  2. Key Points of Your Proposal Whatis your question Why is your study important How are you going to do it Who’s the boss

  3. General guideline • You can write in either English or Chinese for this proposal. However,both Chinese and English titles and abstracts are required. • 2. For terms not universally known, spell out the term the first time it is used followed by the appropriate abbreviation in parentheses; the abbreviation may be used thereafter. • 3. Type the proposal in single spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman. • 4. You must include at least one figure following the rules instructed in the class

  4. 5. The Research Plan of your project should consist of in the order of all the following components: Chinese and English title and abstracts Hypothesis and Specific aims Background and significance Preliminary data Research design and methods Anticipated results References. The maximum number of pages is 10 pagesincluding reference.

  5. Title and Abstracts (1 page maximum) name &lab 中文標題 摘要 English title Abstract Put both Chinese and English titles and abstracts in the first page of your proposal. Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving these goals (250 words maximum). 10-1

  6. Title • Title must reflect the central theme: selling point • Attractive and easy to understand • Concise and Informative: avoid non-informative words like “ A study of---” • Avoid acronyms • English and Chinese titles should be consistent but not word-to-word translation

  7. Abstract • First impression to the reviewers • Concisely describe every part of your paper • Write it last, following the logic of the proposal

  8. Early onset breast cancer has been the unique and major health problem in Taiwan with annual increase----- Importance Outstanding problems The etiology and mechanisms of breast cancer in young women is unknown. It has been suggested that carcinogenesis in utero may account for the early-onset of this cancer------------- Hypothesis To test this hypothesis, we have used fed pregnant mice with fatty diet and found increase in incidence of mammary tumors in the new born mice.---------------------- Background and preliminary data In this proposal, we will examine the alteration of mammary gland differentiation pathway in the mammary tumors derived from the new born mice using microarray, SAGE (serial analysis of gene expression) as well real-time PCR techniques ------------- Experimental approaches . This study of alterations in mammary gland differentiation in the mammary tumor of new born mice will allow us to identify the genetic and molecular mechanisms involved in the early-onset breast cancer. Summary Answers This information could be useful for diagnosis/treatment of early-onset breast cancer in Taiwan--------------------------- Significance

  9. Hypothesis and Specific Aims List the rationales and objectives of your proposal, and hypotheses to be tested. (Optional: use a overview figure to explain your hypothesis and aims) Describe concisely and realistically what the specific research is intended to answer the hypothesis. Hypothesis and Specific Aims Objective, rationale, and hypothesis Specific aim 1 Specific aim 2 Specific aim 3

  10. Hypothesis and Specific Aims • Begin with a statement of long term overall goal: overview, significance, central hypothesis • List the specific aims one by one concisely • Not too many aims; 2-4 best • Be specific, no general and ambiguous statements • Be realistic, no unachievable aims; best if supported by preliminary results • Aims should be logically linked and arranged accordingly; testing your hypothesis • Link aims to Experimental Design

  11. Hypothesis • State your hypothesis clearly in the abstract and specific aims. • Hypothesis should be based on experimental data; Hypothesis non fingo! • Use relevant literatures and preliminary data to help build the case to support the hypothesis --- no reinventing the wheel • Seeing is believing: Use schematic figures or diagrams to help reviewers understand your thinking.

  12. Examples for overview figure for hypothesis

  13. Pictures say more than a thousand words! • A good figure can improve proposal clarity.  • Drawing process clarifies your thinking.  If you don’t understand the process, you can’t draw it. • Make cartoons of: • A scientific equipment that you are using and an explanation of how it works to solve your problem • a novel physical, chemical or mathematical equations • a flow chart showing the steps in a process and the possible steps, feedback loops, causes and consequences.

  14. Specific aims Subaim 1a Paragraph Subaim 1b Specific aim 1 Sections Specific aim 2 Subaim 1n logic tests Proposal logic Specific aim n

  15. When you divide a section into subsections, all the pieces should be of the same pie

  16. Specific Aims Specific Aim #1.Identification of downstream genes involved in ----. This purpose of this aim will test the hypothesis that-------. This study will be able to allow us to identify ----- Subaim 1a: Yeast two-hybrid technique will be used to ----- Subaim 1b: Deletion analysis will be used to ----- Approaches Title Hypothesis Importance

  17. Title Rationale and hypothesis Specific Aim 1. To determine the role of nucleosomes in the regulation of Igk locus rearrangement.Our preliminary results showed that the V(D)J recombinase could not recognize RSS targets if they were arranged into a nucleosome structure. We propose experiments to extend these observations by 1) determining what fraction of the Jk gene segments are in the nucleosomal structure in cells undergoing rearrangement as compared with non-lymphoid cells, 2) determining if nucleosomes are phased across the Jk locus, 3) determining whether nucleosome remodeling complex can alter the accessibility of the Jk cluster in native or reconstituted chromatin. This analysis will give us insight of the mechanism of Igk gene rearrangement. Approaches Significance

  18. Background and Significance Briefly sketch the background of the present proposal, critically evaluate existing knowledge, and specifically identify the gaps which the project is intended to fill. State concisely the importance of the research, such as health relevance, scientific contribution, uniqueness and originality.

  19. Background • Information needed for people to understand your proposal. • Important and interesting problems still standing. • Hypothesis ( if need detailed explanation)

  20. How to organize background information Funnel approach Checklist approach

  21. Significance • State concisely and clearly the importance of your study. • Emphasize the novelty or innovation. • So what? • I’m the best person to do it • Convey the significance of your research to • 1) scientific contribution • 2) improving public health • 3) make big money

  22. Preliminary Results • Show only the relevant experiments supporting your hypothesis • The results should not be ambiguous • Figure and table legends should be clearly written; figure numbers should correspond to the text; be sure to label the figures • Do not show published results in this section

  23. Research Design and Methods • List as specific aims • Aim1 experiment1 • Aim2  experiment2 • Use if you separate aims by different approaches. • List as general methods • Experiment1 • Experiment2 • Use when you apply similar approach to multiple aims.

  24. Research Design(1) • Do NOT write as protocol or operation manual • Design the experiments to solve the problems posed in the specific aims in logical order • Be realistic, do not plan too many experiments or out of your expertise; manageable; focus! • Be logical; step-by-step leading to your goal • Provide information on statistical analysis whenever applicable

  25. Research Design(2) • Updated technologies. • Competence in using techniques proposed • Evaluate the design critically; alternative approaches, pros and cons • Control! Control! Control! • A schematic diagram will help the reviewers to understand complicate experimental design

  26. Anticipated Results • Why good results will be expected • Reasonable time table for achieving results • Alternative Interpretations critically evaluated • How the results will support your hypothesis • Potential difficulties and limitations of the experiment, and alternative approaches to achieve the aims. • How your results would be important for a group project

  27. Reference (2 page maximum) Please choose “Author-date” style in your Endnote: In text: (Almeida et al. 2006) Almeida, C. G., R. H. Takahashi and G. K. Gouras (2006). "b-amyloid accumulation impairs multivesicular body sorting by inhibiting the ubiquitin-proteasome system." J. Neurosci.26(16): 4277–4288. • Should correspond to the text • Updated; don’t miss the most relevant ones • Consistent format

  28. Key Points of Your Proposal Whatis your question Hypothesis Why is your study important  Significance How are you going to do it  Research design

  29. Benefits of Writing Proposal • Allow you to review and critically evaluate your current research program • Convince yourself and others that your research is worth doing • Keep you focused on your research program • Develop novel ideas during writing proposal

  30. 2. Writing the First Draft 1. Getting in the Mood 4. Finishing 3. Revising, Revising, Revising Writing Stages Save multiple copies of your draft

  31. RO1 grant writing timeline

  32. Proposal deadline 5 月 7 日

  33. How to start: how to get ideas How to start? Goal/Specific problems Rationale Rationale Literature search Hypothesis Preliminary data How to start? How to solve problems Get ideas Get more ideas

  34. Writing a Proposal Initial Planning: start early! • Ideas, Ideas, Ideas! Make a folder and enter thoughts anytime. Also put in papers or any related info. • Based on facts ; no speculations • Checking in literatures for similar ideas • Evolution of ideas  Hypothesis • Obtain preliminary results to support your hypothesis

  35. Order of Writing a Proposal • Title(8) • Abstract(7) • Background and Rationale(2) • Overall Goal and Specific Aims(1) • Significance(3) • Preliminary Results (relevant ones)(4) • Experimental Design(5) • Expected Results(6) • Budget(9) • Check list

  36. When you write Keep the big picture in mind!!! Remember who’s the boss !!!

  37. Keep in mind when you write Overall Goal and Hypothesis: do I know what I’m doing? why your proposal is important/interesting that deserves to be supported: Extensive literature search. Convince yourself the significance and contribution of your proposal Specific Aims and experiment design: How to solve problems I posed . Do my experiments meet the accept standard? How will I record the work as it proceeds?

  38. After first draft…. Have others read and critiqueCan they understand the rationale described, its significance, and the procedure proposed? Do they share your view of the study, if not, why?Revise proposal Double check before turning in: SpellingFormatCitation requirement

  39. Key Points of Your Proposal Whatis your question Why is your study important How are you going to do it

  40. Reasons Why Proposal is Rejected • Importance and rationale not clearly stated • The problem is outmoded or trivial • No specific aims! Aims too diffuse or general • Similar experiments have already been done • No evidence for competence to carry out the proposal • Not realistic; overly ambitious plan

  41. Reasons Why Proposal is Rejected • No experimental design! Or no correlation with the specific aims; poor design • Too many factors or variables that will give ambiguous interpretations • No hypothesis; fishing expedition; technique looking for problem • No Controls • Proposed study will not give useful information or new contributions • Proposal depends on a key experiment with uncertain outcome