SSHRC “May Days” Preparing a SSHRC Standard Research Grant proposal (for Social Sciences & Humanities) Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 9:30am – 12:00pm MBA Room (530 Drake Centre), I.H. Asper School of Business Presenters: Dr. Rick Linden, Dr. Sandy Hershcovis, Dr. Liz Millward, Dr. Eve Nimmo, Ms. Krista Wiebe SSHRC Application Timeline Spring – faculty may provide funds to prepare application Late summer – Internal review process Early fall – Dean‟s Office pre-review October 15 – SSHRC deadline Winter – External assessments March– Adjudication Committee Success rate about 30% from 2007-2010 Varies by committee SSHRC Programs Many different funding programs Largest is the Standard Research Grants Program. $250,000 over 3 years Average in 2009 was about $90,000 New Scholar Ph.D. within past 5 years or less than 5 years in a tenure-track position (so can actually be quite senior in experience) Advantage – less weight on track record and more on research program proposal Normally 60/40 for track record, but for New Scholars whichever is higher score will be weighted 60% SSHRC Application Process How committees work baseline scoring 2 assessors, committee decision, 10-15 mins. Track record Project score Committees have cultures i.e. books vs. articles, funding amounts Committee Members Diverse – subfield, region, size of U. Huge workload with no compensation or reward. can be irritable so don‟t annoy them (think of marking term papers at midnight and how much you enjoy those that are unint2f54igible or have speling errors). They are looking for reasons to reject your proposal (not because they are mean – remember they are us) Strategies for New Faculty Determine the norms in your faculty Some brand new scholars are successful Some areas require an established track record E.g., In English and History you need a published book URGP program – Deadline us Oct. 15 – „new‟ is 36 mths. Publish, publish, publish... Seek assistance from experienced colleagues Research Program Explicit objectives in context of current literature Relationship to ongoing research Importance, originality, contribution Theoretical approach Research Program (2) Research strategy/methodology Dissemination beyond academic community Academic training of students – Solid role, but not doing all the work Doing developmental work (not menial) Faculty should also have a role (i.e., should be able to find a library and conduct an interview) Budget Evaluation Criteria Originality and expected contribution to knowledge Scholarly, social, cultural significance Appropriateness of theoretical framework/methodology Feasibility of successful completion Communications plan Research training Track Record Criteria vary by discipline. Some value books Others emphasize journal articles Importance of “other” contributions (e.g., book reviews, conference papers) varies. On some committees they can be almost irrelevant. Clearly link research program with your previous work Example from Scoring Matrix Excellent (reg. scholar) Recognized nationally or internationally for the excellent quality and substantial impact of his or her publications within the discipline or beyond. Has a distinguished publication record, and has published both consistently and recently. Has had significant publications from previous funding; Has made significant contribution to training of future researchers and where appropriate dissemination of results beyond academia. Committee Work 30 Files Per Day Reader A, Reader B Don‟t discuss top 15% unless flagged. If agreement, often little discussion. If not, committee will get involved (and members may not be specialists in your field) Full committee often involved at the end when deciding final rankings. How to Write Proposal Make sure you answer these questions: What are we going to learn that we don‟t know now? Why is it worth knowing? How will we know conclusions are valid? Open forcefully –grab reader‟s attention Tell a story – not just disconnected sections Avoid jargon Make sure your bibliography is thorough (example of Holocaust scholar reviewing proposal by criminologist) Don‟t finish it the night before the deadline Practical Tips Start very early (now is not too soon) Get your hands on as many successful proposals as possible Any themes? What made them successful? Find a model that works for you Write on an idea that excites you Practical Tips Method should be very detailed You want the committee to believe you know: What you are doing How to do it Your budget must map onto: your method Your student training strategy E.g., if you say you‟re going to teach a student to analyze data, don‟t forget to include software for the student in your budget Make sure your budget is realistic Don‟t pad Practical Tips Plan to use the internal review process Finish a complete draft one month before the ORS deadline Ask everyone you know to read your proposal Including your mother And academics from unrelated disciplines Pay attention to feedback and make changes SSHRC Issues Completeness Clarity „Trust me‟ Methodology Budgets 2 conferences summer after getting grant – nobody works that fast Readers from other specialties Write for specialists and generalists - jargon Decisions not always fair Appeal process Take the feedback and make it better! Final Points Many applicants are not successful the first time Of those in the bottom 35% who reapply, about 25% are successful the next year, and 30% eventually This is likely higher for those above the bottom 35% Don‟t ask to fund a lit review Make it readable Use white space, margins (midnight readers) Don‟t include things you don‟t understand E.g., interviews with no budget for transcription Homage to Foucault, etc Research Grants Facilitator Role at the University How can I help? Research Grants Facilitator Position started in 2010 – new position at the University Support for Social Sciences and Humanities researchers Help improve success of grant applications Resource at all stages of proposal development How can I help? Discuss your project in its initial stages What is the project? Is it the right time to apply? Is the Standard Research grant right for you? How can I help? Develop a strategy What committee is best for your project? What will be the focus of the research? How does the project fit in with SSHRC strategic initiatives? How can I help? Peer-review throughout proposal development Review of initial drafts of the proposal Help to facilitate the formal peer-review process Ensure all aspects of the proposal are complete and consistent How can I help? What do I look for? Clear, consistent language for the non-expert Appropriate focus/language for the committee Are you „selling‟ the project and its importance? Are you engaging the reader? Style and readability Errors, typos, inconsistencies When to get started? Start NOW! Make an appointment to talk with me about your project The sooner I am in on the process the more help I can be! Post Award – What‟s Next? Next point of contact for financial details – Research and Special Funds Accounting (formerly known as B&G). Receive notification from your Grant Accountant with a “FOP” and summary of grant details. Now you can spend your money! Researcher Responsibilities Familiar with policies/procedures Financial Administration And Control Of Research And Special Funds Policy/Procedure outlines areas of responsibility Travel and Business Expense Claim Policy/Procedure Agency Guidelines Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide – very comprehensive website Researcher Resp. (cont‟d) Basic rules: Spending needs to be Authorized Fall within guidelines (Agency and U of M) Remain within budget and project start and end dates Don‟t wait until March 30 to spend or request an extension Don‟t start spending until your approvals have gone through Researcher Resp. (cont‟d) Other financial responsibilities assigned to researcher or designate: Reconcile “FOP” monthly Think of your grant as a “cheque book” Forward any payments received to Grant Accountant Sign off on report to agency (must be signed by PI) Research Accounting Provide support in financial areas to researcher and/or designate Set up and close “FOP” Central point of contact for policy or financial questions Prepare reports Follow up on any items that shouldn‟t be on grant Over-expenditures; expenses out of the project period or not meeting guidelines New This Year Online report submission – F300‟s will be approved online rather than mailed or emailed for signature Our contribution to “Going Green”. More details to come – deadline is June 30. Finance Contacts and Links Research and Special Funds Accounting contacts for SSHRC funds: Krista Wiebe – firstname.lastname@example.org Maria Tabaquero – email@example.com Financial Administration And Control Of Research And Special Funds Procedure: http://umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/financial/875.htm Travel and Business Expense Claim Procedure: http://www.umanitoba.ca/admin/governance/governing_documents/financial/874.htm Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FinancialAdminGuide- GuideAdminFinancier/index_eng.asp SSHRC “May Days” Questions?
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