Finding Funding Opportunities and Understanding Funding

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					Finding Funding
Opportunities and
Understanding Funding
Prepared for the Texas A&M University
Race and Ethnic Studies Institute
5 September 2007
Office of Proposal Development
Robyn Pearson
rlpearson@tamu.edu
OPD RESI Seminar Series
      Finding Funding Opportunities and Understanding
       Funding (Sept. 5)
      The Logistics of Producing and Submitting a
       Proposal (Sept. 26)
      Preparing to Write a Proposal (Oct. 3)
      Writing Proposals for Qualitative Research, Mixed
       Methods, and Quantitative Research (Oct. 31)
      Panel of Social Science Faculty with Research
       Funding (Nov. 7)
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Office of Proposal Development
      Unit of the Division of Research and Graduate
       Studies
      We provide research development support including:
            Workshops, seminars, presentations
            Identify funding opportunities
            New faculty initiatives
            Develop collaborative, multidisciplinary research
             activities
            Center-level initiatives

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Check out the OPD Website!
      http://opd.tamu.edu
      Funding opportunities
      Schedule of upcoming seminars and
       workshops
      Resources for junior faculty
      Proposal resources
      Seminar materials
      Craft of Grant Writing Workbook
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OPD Staff
      Jean Ann Bowman: jbowman@tamu.edu
        Earth, ecological and environmental sciences/agriculture-
          related proposals and centers
      Libby Childress: libbyc@tamu.edu
        Scheduling, resources, training workshop management,
          project coordination
      Mike Cronan: mikecronan@tamu.edu
        Center-level proposals, new proposal and training
          initiatives
      Lucy Deckard: l-deckard@tamu.edu
        New faculty, graduate and post-doc fellowships, physical
          science-related proposals, equipment and instrumentation,
          interdisciplinary materials group, OPD web management
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OPD Staff
      John Ivy: johnivy@tamu.edu
        Biomedical and health sciences-related proposals and
          interdisciplinary research collaborations across the Health
          Science Center and Texas A&M University
      Phyllis McBride: p-mcbride@tamu.edu
        15-week grant writing workshops and craft of proposal
          writing training; NIH and related agency initiatives in the
          biomedical, social, and behavioral sciences; editing and
          rewriting
      Robyn Pearson: rlpearson@tamu.edu
        Education, liberal arts, social & behavioral sciences, and
          humanities-related proposals; support for interdisciplinary
          research group development; editing and rewriting
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Types of Funding Agencies
      Basic research agencies
            NSF, NIH
      Mission-oriented agencies
            ED, NEH, NEA
      Private Foundations
            RWJF, Ford, Kellogg
      Other
            Industry, professional organizations, etc.
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Unsolicited vs. Solicited Proposals
      Unsolicited
            Investigator initiated; no specific solicitation or
             RFP
            Typically long-running program; relatively
             general statement of research topics of interest
            For NSF and NIH, recurring annual due dates or
             target dates
            Not so common among mission agencies (ED,
             USDA)

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Unsolicited vs. Solicited
      Solicited
            Terminology:
                 Request for Proposal (RFP)
                 Program Solicitation
                 Request for Application (RFA)
                 For NIH, Program Announcement (PA)
            Tied to specific agency initiative
                 May only last a few funding cycles or may go on for
                  years
                 Have specific additional evaluation criteria
            Often have specific formatting requirements
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Ways to Find Funding
      Talk to colleagues doing similar
       research, particularly your mentor(s)
      Look for funding sources credited in
       books and journal articles describing
       similar research
      Use the web and other information
       resources
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Information on the Internet
 Funding Agency websites
 Compilations of funding opportunities
 Automatic e-mail notification services
 Database services
 Google!

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Funding Agencies
      http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-opportunities
            “Compilations and Directories of Funding Agencies”
            “Federal Program Daily Grant Opportunities”
                 Grants.gov, Federal Register, etc.
            “Foundation Funding Links”
      Notes about agency web sites:
            First place funding opportunities will show up
            Pages with funding opportunities can be buried; when you
             find a good one, make a note of the url
            Look for unsolicited proposal opportunities
            Look for additional info on opportunities

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Compendia of Funding Opportunities
      All Federal Funding Opportunities
            http://www.grants.gov/
      Foundations
            http://fdncenter.org/pnd/rfp/index.jhtml
      University grants office websites
            Texas A&M
                 http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-opportunities
            Iowa State, Duke, University of North Carolina, etc.
                 List with links at http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-
                  opportunities/funding-opportunities-posted-at-other-research-
                  universities
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Email Alert Services
      NSF
            http://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/
      NIH Guide LISTSERV_
            http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/listserv.htm
      Dept. of Education
            http://listserv.ed.gov/cgi-bin/wa?A1=ind05&L=edinfo
            http://www.ed.gov/news/newsletters/edinfo/index.html
      Federal Grants
            http://fedgrants.gov/ApplicantRegistration.html
      Foundations
            http://fdncenter.org/newsletters/
      More listed at: http://opd.tamu.edu/funding-
       opportunities/electronic-funding-alert-services-email-alerts
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Database Services
      Community of Science (COS)
            Available through the TAMU Office of
             Sponsored Projects
            Input profile with key words; get e-mail
             notifications
            Be sure to fine-tune search parameters



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Google is Your Best Friend
      http://www.google.com/
      http://www.yahoo.com/
      Search for research opportunities
      Find funded programs, abstracts
      Find workshops, conferences, seminars
      Find reports, publications, project documents
      To search within a site, type keywords site:url of site
            e.g., preservation languages site:www.nsf.gov

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Ways to Improve Your Success in
Finding Funding
      Get to know your most likely funding agencies
            Mission, vision
            Funding mechanisms
            Recurring funding opportunities
            More on this later
      Check funding opportunities regularly
      Fine-tune search parameters for subscription databases
      Learn how to quickly evaluate a potential funding opportunity
       (eligibility, deadlines, funding restrictions, etc.)
      Keep a list of funding agencies, funding opportunities with
       urls (e.g., MS Word table with hotlinks)

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Deciding Whether a Funding
Opportunity is Right for You
      What do they want to accomplish through this
       program?
      How much money is allocated and how many
       awards are anticipated?
      Who is eligible to apply?
      What are the budget guidelines?
      What, if any, partnerships are required?
      What products does the funder expect?
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Reading the Solicitation
      Read, read, and re-read the solicitation!
      The solicitation is not a list of
       suggestions; it is a list of requirements
      It is a window into the thinking of the
       funding agency


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Things to Look for in the Solicitation
      Purpose of the program
      Research topics of interest
      Changes from previous programs
      Inspiration for program and references
      Program requirements
      Proposal requirements
      Budget guidelines
      Review criteria
* If you are pursuing an unsolicited opportunity, you will have to find these
       things out using other available information sources (talk to program
       officer, review funded awards, discuss with colleagues, etc.)
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Request for Proposals, RFP
      Program Description                        Proposal Guidelines
      Mission Context                                    Format
      Eligibility Information                            Document Order
                                                          Project Description
      Award Information
                                                          Scope of Work
      Review Criteria                                    Performance Goals
      Program Officers                                   Management
      Reference Documents                                Attachments
      Award Administration                       Budget Guidelines
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Purpose of the Program
      Commonly discussed in “background” section
      Make sure the goals of your proposed project mirror
       the program goals
      Look for words that are repeated often
            e.g., “innovative”
            You will want to use these words to describe your project
             (and back up those claims)
      The outcomes of your proposed project should
       support program objectives
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Research Topics of Interest
      Understand which topics are fundable under
       this solicitation
            Read solicitation
            Look at funding history (use databases, if
             available)
            Talk to Program Officer
      Note terminology and language used; you will
       want to use similar terminology in your
       proposal
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Databases of Funded Projects
      NSF
            http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/index.jsp
      NIH
            http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/
      NEH
            http://www.neh.gov/news/recentawards.html
      ED
            http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/grantaward/star
             t.cfm
      USDA
            http://cris.csrees.usda.gov/

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Inspiration for Program and
References
      Program may be result of committee report (e.g.,
       National Academies, National Science Board,
       special study committees)
      May be documented in Workshop presentations and
       reports
      May be documented in final reports and publications
       of previously funded projects
      May be outgrowth of agency roadmap, strategic
       planning
      Read and cite these reports in your proposal
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Program Requirements
      Read carefully and make a checklist
      Plan to explain how you will meet each program
       requirement
      Start work on setting up collaborations, partnerships
       if needed
            Supporting letters may be needed for your proposal
      To be competitive, you must meet all program
       requirements

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Explicit Proposal Requirements
      Note carefully formatting rules (page limits, fonts,
       margins, etc.) – these may be in a separate document
      Look for suggested or required sections
            Make an outline that mirrors solicitation
            Include checklist of everything that must be addressed,
             divided by sections; stick to this checklist through early
             drafts
      Note supplementary documents needed
            Bios, Current and Pending Research Funding, Letters of
             Support, Facilities and Equipment, etc.

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Unsolicited Programs
      Program description
      Agency mission
      Funded programs
      Proposal guides



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Unspoken Expectations
      Qualifications and experience of PI(s)
      Infrastructure provided by PI’s institution
      Preliminary data
            Very important!
            Varies greatly depending on agency, discipline, etc.
      Info sources:
            Previous awardees
            Previous reviewers
            Program officers and previous program officers
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Talking to the Program Officer
      Do your homework: “Ask early, ask often!”
            Read solicitation carefully
            Read background documents
            Investigate previously funded projects
      Prepare a concise description of your project
            Goals, objectives, outcomes
            One short paragraph
      Try e-mail and phone
            If possible, use e-mail to set up phone conversation
            Ask open-ended questions and listen carefully
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Talking to Previous Awardees
      Most previous awardees very generous (unless they
       will be competing with you for renewal)
      Ask about program reviews, feedback from program
       officer
      Be aware that programs may evolve and criteria may
       change
      Previous awardees are often reviewers
      Strategy may be to cite results of previous awardee
       or forge a connection with previously funded
       programs
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Review Criteria
      Most important part of solicitation!
      Plan early how to address each review
       criterion
      Structure your proposal outline to reflect
       review criteria
      If you are weak in an area, include a plan
       about how to address this area

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Review Process
      Could be:
            Standing review committee
            Ad hoc panel
            Ad hoc mail reviews
            Internal review
            Combination
      Who will be your reviewers and what is their
       background?
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Summary
      Start early: It takes time to find a funding
       opportunity and to craft a competitive proposal.
      Use all resources at your disposal: Talk with
       colleagues, mentors, program officers.
      Know what’s being funded in your field: Do your
       homework.
      Follow guidelines and directions: Stick to the
       program and write clearly and concisely.
      Persevere: If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
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