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Proposal Writing: “Recipe” A 3 Day workshop in one hour.

Proposal Writing: “Recipe” A 3 Day workshop in one hour. Bill O’Neill Grants Compliance, Office of Sponsored Programs March 19, 2015. OSP Website. Home Page: http:// dixie.edu/academics/sponsored_programs/proposal_preparation.php Proposal Preparation

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Proposal Writing: “Recipe” A 3 Day workshop in one hour.

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  1. Proposal Writing: “Recipe”A 3 Day workshop in one hour. Bill O’Neill Grants Compliance, Office of Sponsored Programs March 19, 2015

  2. OSP Website • Home Page: • http://dixie.edu/academics/sponsored_programs/proposal_preparation.php • Proposal Preparation • http://dixie.edu/academics/sponsored_programs/proposal_preparation.php

  3. OSP Website Continued • Under proposal preparation Tab: • Writing Tips from Federal and Private Sources • Examples of Funded Proposals • Budgets • Goals and Objectives (What’s the difference) • Data Management Plans (Requirement of National Science Foundation)

  4. Important Lessons • You won’t get a grant unless you ask for money. • Golden Rule: “He who has the gold makes the makes rules”. • Read the Request for Proposals. And when you have finished ….Read the guidelines again.

  5. Other Lessons • In a competitive proposal, reviewers look for reasons to NOT fund a project. • Did you follow the rules? Font size? Number of pages? Are there problems in calculations? Is the proposal responsive to the RFP? Is it sustainable? Integrate teaching and service into research proposals? • Don’t write an Edsel making it easy to turn down.

  6. Other Lessons (continued) • Federal reviewers fund the proposal which includes the PI qualifications. It’s competitive! • Private agencies are just as likely to fund the institution and you (If you have a relationship with agency). “All politics are local”. T.P. O’Neill • Corporations fund projects that look good for their bottom line. • Sponsors fund activities – not good ideas.

  7. Other Lessons • Don’t work alone. Don’t be a …. • Talk to Program Officer about your idea. Talk to others on campus who have some background. :

  8. Know who reads the proposal • Scientifically literate individuals or a general audience of people outside your field. • Committee that reviews for several private foundations?

  9. Some Tips • Follow application guidelines explicitly. Your proposal should always fit the sponsor’s priorities, rather than make reviewers work to find your proposal’s relevance. • Address stated review criteria thoroughly. To help reviewers, use headers to clearly identify each criterion. • Use tables, graphs, charts and visuals when appropriate.

  10. Further tips • Use clear, precise language. Avoid jargon or unnecessarily technical terminology. • Make use of bullets and tables to summarize your ideas, rather than long descriptive paragraphs. • Include a table of contents and clearly identify the various proposal sections . • Think like a reviewer. A reviewer must often read 10 to 15 applications in great detail and form an opinion about each of them.

  11. Other tips • Make one point in each paragraph. • Keep sentences to 20 words or less. Write simple, clear sentences. • Be realistic. Don't propose more work than can be reasonably done during the proposed project period • Use the active, rather than passive, voice. For example, write "We will develop an experiment, "not "An experiment will be developed ." • Use basic English, avoiding jargon or excessive language. Be consistent with terms, references and writing style. • Spell out all acronyms on first reference.

  12. Very Basic Recipe • Funders ask the same basic questions: • NEED: What’s the problem? Is it important? • QUALIFICATIONS: Why you? Are you qualified? Is this consistent with the mission of the agency you represent? • OBJECTIVES: What will the situation look like in a year or when my funding runs out? • METHODS: Howwill you change the situation? What will you do to address the problem? • EVALUATION: How do we know we did the right thing? • BUDGET: How much is this going to cost? • SUSTAINABILITY Does the funder have to adopt you?

  13. How does it all look?

  14. More on the components of the “recipe”. • Executive Summary / Abstract • It may be the first page seen by a reviewer, so write it last! • This may be the basis for a decision to continue reading. (NIH). • Work on your Project Overview so that you can avoid giving this person the opportunity to say things like: • Not original, Rationale weak, Too large, not important.

  15. Need Section Problem Project Proposal • Describe the situation today with “clients” to be served. • First, decide which facts or statistics best support the project. Be sure the data you present are accurate and up to date. Paint a picture of the situation. • Second, give the reader hope. The picture you paint should not be so grim that the solution appears hopeless. • Sixth, avoid circular reasoning. In circular reasoning, you present the absence of your solution as the actual problem. Then your solution is offered as the way to solve the problem. The lack of the project is NOT the need.

  16. Need / Research Proposal • What’s in the literature? Where do you propose to go that’s suggested by a gap in the professional literature? • Most often that situation is described as a gap that exists in our knowledge—one that your idea intends to try to fill. • Is there something in the literature to help justify your approach?

  17. Objectives / Goals • After describing the situation today, describe where you propose to be at the end of the funding cycle. • Objectives are the measurable outcomes of the program. Your objectives must be tangible, specific, concrete, measurable, and achievable in a specified time period. • Goal: Our after-school program will help children read better. • Objective: Our after-school remedial education program will assist 50 children in improving their reading scores by one grade level as demonstrated by standardized reading tests administered after participating in the program for six months

  18. Plan of Operation / Research Methods • Address the objectives. • Provide a time plan. • Why you? • Staffing • Institutional Support? Are Matching costs required? • Sustainability

  19. Evaluation • How do you know the objectives were met? • How do you know the methods were appropriate? • What data do you collect and who will do it? • How often (Formative / Summative). • External Evaluator or internal? • Who will see the evaluation • Quantitative / Qualitative?

  20. Sustainability • Does the funder have to adopt you?

  21. Budget • Tells the same story as the project description. Should be no surprises here. • Consider: Personnel – what percent of DSU effort Salary a function of institutional base salary. Not a ‘bonus’ unless summer work Course release? Benefits: Check with HR or payroll. Equipment & Supplies Travel Indirect costs? Allowable? Is Cost share required. How will that be provided and documented.

  22. Administrative Issues • Authorized signatures • Gift v. Grant • Human subjects research? See IRB • Intellectual Property? Export Controls? • Extra Space? • New personnel? • Conflict of Interest? Responsible Conduct of Research? • Total DSU effort and other current support? • Audits?

  23. Questions?

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