Sample Research Proposals in Sociology

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Sample Research Proposals in Sociology Powered By Docstoc
					         NSF Doctoral Dissertation
       Research Improvement Grants
                            June 7, 2006
               VPR Office of Proposal Development
                           Lucy Deckard
                        L-deckard@tamu.edu




June 7, 2006           Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   1
               Office of Proposal
                 Development
        A unit of the Office of Vice President for
         Research at Texas A&M University
        Phone, 979-845-1811
        Fax, 979-458-0036
        305K Jack K. Williams Administration Building
        Mail Stop 2404
        libbyc@tamu.edu
        http://opd.tamu.edu/

June 7, 2006          Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   2
               See our Website

  For electronic copies of this presentation
   and background materials
  Go to http://opd.tamu.edu/seminar-
      materials/seminar-materials-by-date/seminars-
      by-date and click on the June 7, 2006 seminar




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               Program Synopsis
   NSF’s Directorate of Social, Behavioral
    and Economic Sciences awards grants to
    doctoral students to improve the quality of
    dissertation research
   Proposals are judged on the basis of
    scientific merit – the theoretical importance
    of the research and the appropriateness of
    the proposed data and methodology for
    addressing the question

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               Program Synopsis
    Funds are for doctoral students who have
     finished coursework to undertake significant
     data-gathering projects and/or to conduct field
     research in settings away from campus that
     would not otherwise be possible
    Awards are typically up to $12,000 and usually
     span a 24-month period but vary by discipline
    If your research is international, you may qualify
     for additional funds; check specific program
     guidelines

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               Eligibility Information
    The proposal must be submitted through regular
     university channels by the dissertation advisor(s)
     on behalf of the graduate student who is at the
     point of initiating or already conducting
     dissertation research
    The faculty member is listed as the “PI/PD” and
     the graduate student is listed as the “CO-PI/PD”
    The student must be enrolled at a U.S.
     institution, but need not be a U.S. citizen

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     Discipline-Specific Guidelines
• As with any funding you seek, the first place to
     begin is with the program announcement
       •       http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05574/nsf05574.htm

    Directions for writing proposal:
              Program Announcement
              Program Website for your discipline (start at
               http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=13453&o
               rg=NSF&from=fund )

              NSF Grant Proposal Guide
               (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/nsf04_23/ )



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     Discipline-Specific Guidelines
    Due to variation in research techniques and needs,
     individual programs vary widely in award sizes
    Items such as budget limitations, target dates and/or
     deadlines, page length restrictions, and review
     procedures vary widely across programs
    Always consult the relevant program's webpage for
     specific information and contact the program assistant or
     director
    Program guidelines will also specify page limitations,
     required sections, and formatting specifics
    Always consult program guides for margin specifications
     (typically one-inch on all sides) and font requirements
     (typically Times New Roman 12 point)
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         Active NSF DDRI Programs
 Archaeology                                 Perception, Action &
 Cultural Anthropology;                       Cognition;
 Decision, Risk &                            Physical Anthropology;
  Management Science;                         Political Science;
 Economics;                                  Science and Technology
 Geography and Regional                       Studies;
  Science;                                    Sociology; and
 Law and Social Science;                     Societal Dimensions of
 Linguistics;                                 Engineering, Science,
                                               and Technology
 Methodology,
  Measurement, &
  Statistics;

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               Examples of Research
                  Expenditures
    Funds may be used for valid research expenses,
     specifically for items not normally available through the
     university
    Examples: field research away from campus, including
     travel to archives, to specialized collections and facilities
     or field research locations; partial living expenses for
     conducting necessary research away from the university;
     data collection and sample survey costs; payments to
     subjects or informants; specialized research equipment,
     analysis and services not otherwise available; and
     supplies

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                     Parts of Proposal
                  Cover Page
                  Certification Page
                  Table of Contents
                  Project Summary
                  Project Description
                  References Cited
                  Biographical Sketches
                  Budget
                  Budget narrative
                  Current & Pending Support
                  Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources

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                   Cover Page
     The Cover Page and Certification Statement
      forms are generated in FastLane, a web-based
      electronic submission program
     Faculty advisor is PI/PD
     Student is Co-PI/PD
     Both the Faculty Advisor and the Student must
      register in FastLane; Research Foundation will
      assist you in this process
     Project Title begins “Doctoral Dissertation
      Research: … ”

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               Table of Contents
    The Table of Contents form is generated in
     FastLane
    You may select the numbering method for the
     proposal, either with consecutive page numbers
     throughout the document or each section
     numbered separately, but always check your
     program guide for page-numbering and other
     formatting instructions
    The entire proposal must be paginated
    Complete both columns only if the proposal is
     numbered consecutively

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                 Project Summary
•    The Project Summary can be the single most important
     part of your proposal
•    The Project Summary is limited in length, typically up to
     one page; see program website for specifics
•    The Project Summary is not an abstract of the proposal,
     but rather a self-contained description of the activity that
     would result if the proposal were funded
•    It should be informative to other persons working in the
     same or related fields, and understandable to a
     scientifically or technically literate lay reader


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               Project Summary
•    The summary should be written in the third
     person and include a statement of objectives
     and methods to be employed
•    The Project Summary must clearly address in
     separate statements: 1) the intellectual merit of
     the proposed activity; and 2) the broader
     impacts resulting from the proposed activity
•    Proposals that do not separately address both
     intellectual merit and broader impacts in the
     Project Summary will be returned without review

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               Project Summary
Project Summary example outline:
• Problem Statement
• Methods and Analysis
• Intellectual Merit
• Broader Impacts

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                        Intellectual Merit
    How good and important is the idea?
              Advance knowledge and understanding in own field
               and across fields?
              Creative and original?
              Significant?
    How likely is the project to succeed?
              Qualification of proposers to conduct project?
              How well-conceived and well-organized is the
               proposed activity?
              Access to sufficient resources?

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               Broader Impacts
 How well does it promote teaching,
  training and learning?
 Broaden participation of underrepresented
  groups?
 Enhance infrastructure for research and
  education (e.g., new partnerships,
  facilities, networks)?
 Dissemination of results?
 Benefits to society and beyond?

June 7, 2006     Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   21
                 Project Description
   Describe the scientific significance of the work
        relationship to other current research
        design of the project in sufficient detail to permit evaluation

   Present and interpret progress to date if the research is
    already underway
   Include a Research Schedule that indicates a timeline for
    completion of tasks and the date funds are required
   For questions about page-length and supplemental
    materials such as surveys, consult the relevant program
    website or contact the program assistant or director


June 7, 2006                  Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development     22
 Sample Project Description Outline
I.             Statement of the Problem
II.            Literature Review
               A. Background Data
               B. Preliminary Research
III.           Research Objectives/Theoretical Framework
               A. Hypotheses
               B. Specific Research Goals
IV.            Research Plan
               A. Research Site
               B. Research Schedule


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                   Sample Outline (continued)
               C. Data Collection
                  i. Sampling (Phase I)
                  ii. Measurement (Phase II)
                  iii. Surveys/Interviews (Phase III, etc.)
               D. Data Analysis
                  i. Data entry and coding
                  ii. Statistics
 V.            Significance of Proposed Research
               A. Intellectual Merit
               B. Broader Impacts
               C. Integration of Research & Education
 VI.           References Cited
June 7, 2006                 Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   24
                Important Points

    These are a team effort between the student and
     advisor
    Reviewers need to be convinced that the student
     will receive the necessary guidance and advice




June 7, 2006       Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   25
                 References Cited
    Proposers should follow accepted scholarly practices in
     providing citations for source materials
    Each reference must include the names of all authors in
     the same sequence in which they appear in the
     publication
    References should include the article and journal title,
     book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of
     publication
    If the document is available electronically, the website
     address also should be identified
    While there is no established page limitation for the
     references, this section must include bibliographic
     citations only and must not be used to provide
     parenthetical information outside of the project
     description
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               Biographical Sketch
    Biographical Sketches should be submitted for both the
     student and the dissertation advisor
    Biographical sketches are limited to two pages and
     should conform to Grant Proposal Guide specifications
     (http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf012)
    The student’s biographical sketch should include a
     statement about the student's current academic status
     and degree progress
    Do not submit transcripts or letters of reference
    Biographical sketches include professional preparation,
     appointments, publications, synergistic activities, and
     collaborators

June 7, 2006           Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   27
           Biographical Sketch includes:
    Professional Preparation – Your college degrees in this order:
     Undergraduate first, listed by Institution, Major, Year
    Appointments – In reverse chronological order, all
     academic/professional appointments beginning with current position
    Publications – Up to 5 that are most closely related to current project
     and 5 additional significant publications. Always include a full
     citation or web site address. List only manuscripts that have been
     submitted or accepted for publication, showing anticipated
     publishing date. Patents, copyrights, and software systems
     developed may be substituted for publications. Do not include
     invited lectures or additional publications; only the list of 10 will be
     used during review.



June 7, 2006               Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development        28
           Biographical Sketch includes:
   Synergistic Activities – Up to 5 examples that
    demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s
    professional and scholarly activities. Examples include
    teaching/training innovations, development or refinement
    of research tools or databases to support research and
    education, or service to scientific community.
   Collaborators – An alphabetical list of persons and their
    affiliations who are or have been collaborators or co-
    authors with the individual during the preceding 48
    months. If there are none, indicate so. Collaborators
    include graduate and postdoctoral advisor(s), thesis
    advisor(s), and postgraduate-scholar sponsor(s). This
    information is used to help identify potential conflicts of
    interest or bias in selection of reviewers.

June 7, 2006           Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   29
                   Budgetary Limitations
    These awards provide supplemental funds for items not
     usually available from the student's university
    The awards are not intended to cover the full costs of a
     student's doctoral dissertation research
    Funds are to be used exclusively for necessary expenses
     incurred in the actual conduct of the dissertation research
    These funds may not be used as a stipend for the student,
     for tuition, textbooks, journals, or for the typing,
     reproduction, or publication costs of the student's
     dissertation


    June 7, 2006         Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   30
                   Budgetary Limitations
    DDIG grants are typically awarded for up to 24 months
    Although stipends are not permitted, an allowance for
     expenses during time away from the student's home
     institution may be allowed
    Funds may be requested for research assistants only in
     special circumstances; you should justify this expense in
     your budget narrative
    Many budgetary limitations are program specific; always
     consult the program website and contact the program
     officer if necessary


    June 7, 2006         Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   31
                Budget Justification
        The budget should include costs for items necessary
         to accomplish the specific research goals of your
         project, not items of general need (a “wish list”)
        The budget narrative should be consistent with your
         research schedule as explained in the Project
         Description
        Depending on the nature of your research, budgets will
         vary from person to person. For example, you may be
         requesting funds for travel, housing, a laptop, a tape
         recorder, or other research equipment.
        The Budget Justification allows you to rationalize the
         expense: why do you need this item? how will it help
         you achieve your research objectives?

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      Current and Pending Support
•    All current project support from whatever source (e.g., Federal,
     State, local or foreign government agencies, public or private
     foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations) must be
     listed
    The proposed project as well as any other activities requiring a
     portion of time of the PI and other senior personnel must be
     included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s)
    The total award amount for the entire award period covered
     (including indirect costs) must be shown as well as the number of
     person-months per year to be devoted to the project, regardless of
     source of support
    Similar information must be provided for all proposals already
     submitted or submitted concurrently to other possible sponsors,
     including NSF
    Concurrent submission of a proposal to other organizations will not
     prejudice its review by NSF


June 7, 2006               Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development         35
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               Facilities, Equipment, and
                   Other Resources
 This section of the proposal is used to
  assess the adequacy of the organizational
  resources available to perform the
  research being proposed
 Proposers must describe only those
  resources that are directly applicable to
  their research


June 7, 2006          Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   37
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                 FastLane Requirements
    FastLane is the NSF web-based submission program
    The TAMU Research Foundation will assist with actual FastLane
     submission
              Call 845-8652
              Or go to http://rf-web.tamu.edu/preaward/proposaladm.html
    DDRI FastLane Components:
       Information Form and Certification Page
       Table of Contents
       Abstract, Proposal and Bibliography
       CVs – one for student and one for professor
       Budget and budget narrative
       Current and Pending Support
               Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources

June 7, 2006                      Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   39
               Additional Materials at our
                       Webpage
  Go to http://www.opd.tamu.edu, click on “Seminar Materials” then on
    “Seminars by Date” then on June 7, 2005 seminar
   DDRI Program Announcement
   NSF Directorates and DDRI Guidelines

       NSF Helpful web addresses
       NSF Broader Impacts Criterion
       Successful DDRI Proposals
       Successful DDRI Abstracts, including three from TAMU
       Graduate Student Funding Links
       Links to Graduate Fellowship Programs
       OPD Staff
June 7, 2006               Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development     40
                 Writing Advice
 Start early
 Work closely with your advisor
 Get lots of people to read and critique your
  proposal drafts (from both inside and
  outside your research area)
 Be very clear about:
        Your objectives
        How your research will further the field
        The approach you will use to accomplish your
         objectives
June 7, 2006         Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   41
Dr. Mark Fossett
     TAMU Professor of Sociology and NSF
     Dissertation Grant Reviewer




June 7, 2006     Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   42
        Comments by Dr. Mark Fossett
    A good idea is the core of a successful DDRI proposal
    These grants represent a team effort with a clear, well-
     stated link between the student’s project and the
     advisor/PI’s experience
    Reviewers need to be convinced that the student will
     receive the necessary guidance and advice to support
     the project and see it through to completion
    Indicate how the DDRI award will lead to a product – a
     scholarly outcome such as a book, or journal article, or
     otherwise advance theory or method in the discipline
    “Scholarly outcome” does not include changing public
     policy

June 7, 2006           Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   43
        Comments by Dr. Mark Fossett
    Proposals that are successful are the ones that
     communicate concisely and early the main idea of the
     proposed project
    Have a clearly stated and logical research plan
    Include specific contributions to your discipline and
     follow an established methodological trajectory
    Avoid making grandiose claims about developing a new
     theory, revolutionizing your field, or changing policy
    Including a time schedule is critical – it should address
     each of your project goals and it must be realistic
    Prepare a professional, well-written document; proofread
     carefully and double-check references
June 7, 2006           Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development   44

				
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