Grant Proposal Writing Research Social Science by muc19610


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   Successful Proposals

Office of Information & Communications

        Susan Gramling, MSLS
        GrantSource Librarian and
   Information Development Coordinator
    GrantSource Library

         307 Bynum Hall
           Cameron Avenue
          (919) 962-3463
    Monday-Friday 8:00 - 5:00
Source: Dr. Glenn H. Crumb, Presentation “Grants: Puzzled
About Finding Them?”, Western Kentucky University
      Grant Source Library

 Susan Gramling
 919-962-7766
    Proposal writing is not the same as
     scholarly or scientific writing
    Proposal basics
    Write, revise, revise, revise
    Get feedback from colleagues

Resource for course – “Funding and Proposal Writing for
Social Science Faculty and Graduate Student Research”:
        Topics for today
 Planning
 Researching potential funders
 Proposal elements
 Budgeting
 Review process
 Preparing for the next time
      Plan Before You Write
   Identify a project
   Assess project fit with overall personal
    goals or organizational purpose
   Think the plan through to the end
   Assess your expertise, resources &
    strengths to approach the project
   Involve collaborators in planning
   Know the competition
    Research Potential Funders

   Contact agency program staff to assess
    fit with their priorities
    Find out their review criteria and
    What have they funded in the past?
    Read previous successful proposals
        Grant Source Library
       Services and Resources
   Print and electronic sources on fellowships
    and grants
   Grants awarded databases
   Assistance and instruction in funding
   Guidelines for proposal writing
   Assistance in locating application forms
   Files on Federal agencies and private
    organizations that offer funding
           Proposal Elements
    Summary or abstract
    Problem statement/needs assessment
    Goals and objectives/specific aims
    Literature review
    Preliminary studies
    Methodology/procedure/research plan
    Qualifications/resources
    Evaluation
    Budget and budget justification

Online Guide:
    Summary or Abstract
 Summarize all important information
  from proposal
 Crucial first impression
 Write it last
 Write in layman’s terms
 Anticipate concerns and address
 Convey enthusiasm
Problem or Need Statement
 Identify problem or need
 Indicate importance or significance
 Cite examples, statistics, etc.
 Relate to sponsor’s mission or goal
 Don’t take for granted that the
  reader will know what’s on your mind
       Project Goals and
 Desired outcomes
 Address need or problem statement
 Brief, focused, to-the-point
 No more than two to five objectives
 Each should flow logically to the next
 No one objective should make or
  break the others or the overall
    Literature Review/Related
 Acknowledge work of others
 Be thorough, relevant & current
 Use complete citation & consistent
 Demonstrate how up to date you are
      Preliminary Studies
 Discuss preliminary studies by
  Principal Investigator (PI) that are
  pertinent to application
 Establish experience & competence
  of PI
 Cite complete references to
  manuscripts submitted or accepted
  for publication
 Describe activities to be undertaken &
 Flows naturally from problems &
 Describe staffing & sequence of activities
 Provide evidence of planning (time & task
  chart examples)
 Reasonable scope

    HANDOUT: Sample time and task charts
   Demonstrate to the reader that you are
    capable of doing what you propose
   Describe project director’s qualifications &
   Other available resources, including key
    personnel & technical resources
   Describe organization, its purpose, goals &
    programs & project administration
   Offer statistics & endorsements
 How will you know if the project is
 Define evaluation criteria
 Identify a plan
 Types of evaluation
  - Process
  - Product
 Show how evaluation will be used
  Itemize & account for costs
  Budget should flow from your project
  Justify budget items
  Don’t overestimate resource needs
  Don’t underestimate resource needs
Handouts: Sample Budget Format and Sample Social
Science Project Budgets

Senior Personnel                     $5,000
Graduate Students                    $10,000
Undergraduate Students                 $900
Fringe Benefits @ 19% for faculty     $1,199
   & 7.7% for undergrads
Subtotal Personnel                   $17,099

40 Participants    .                  $8,000

EQUIPMENT (Exceeding $5,000)
Itemized List 1. Flat Panel Display $30,000    *Fringe benefit rates change.
                                               For current rates, always
OTHER DIRECT COSTS                             consult the OSR web site at:
Supplies                              $750
Publication Costs                     $500
Course Development Stipends         $10,000

TOTAL DIRECT COSTS         $66,349
INDIRECT COSTS @ 45.5% MTDC 19,629


Personnel plus fringes        $11,130
Course Development Stipends   $10,000
Interactive Classroom         $30,000
Total Direct Costs            $51,130
Indirect Costs                $11,410

Total Costs of Phase One                $62,540


Personnel plus fringes         $5,969
Conference Materials           $1,250             *Fringe benefit rates
Participant Stipends           $8,000             change. For current
Total Direct Costs            $15,219
                                                  rates, always consult
Indirect Costs                 $8,219
                                                  the OSR web site at:
Total Costs of Phase Two                $23,438   http://research.unc.ed
AMOUNT OF THIS REQUEST                  $85,978   ates.html
Budget Justification for Project Grant
1. The PI will devote one month of effort to the coordination of the course
development module. She will be assisted by one graduate student who will oversee
day to day administration and who will coordinate the training workshop. Three
undergraduate students will prepare the conference materials, and receive $7.50 an
hour for a total of 120 hours of work. The University's negotiated fringe benefit rates
for non-federal agencies is 19% for faculty and 7.7% for undergraduate students
during the summer. There are no fringe benefits for the graduate students.

2. We anticipate inviting 40 teachers to attend the conference. Using federal per diem
rates, their travel, room and board for three days will be $200.00 each.

3.The flat panel wall display will be the key feature of the new interactive classroom.
This cost includes all the software and installation fees.

4.The conference materials will include notebooks and handouts on the courses that
were developed in the first module, as well the publication costs of course syllabi.
The project will hold a campus-wide competition for approximately five $2,000
course development grants.

5. The University's negotiated indirect cost rate for on campus projects is 45.5%.
      Different Proposal Styles
     Range of social science studies --
      exploratory; qualitative methods;
      philosophical and historical; predictive;
      equipment, instrument, and curriculum
      development; methodological; evaluation;
      longitudinal; survey; experimental;
      demonstration and action projects
     Goals and methods of study may shape the
     Adapt standard format to fit your needs
Handout: Comments on Proposals for Particular Kinds of Studies
       University Clearance
   Proposal development & forms
   Frequently asked questions
   Online internal processing form
   Office of Sponsored Research
Office of Sponsored Research

   Financial review and administrative
    guidance during proposal preparation and
    prior to submission
   Processes and signs proposals and awards
    for extramural funding
   Institutional oversight & administration
   Contract and grant negotiation
   Training and development
   Administrative and financial management
    for regulatory compliance
     Human Subjects Research
    Requires IRB approval
    Certification required
    Address all points in NIH instructions
    Computer based training course available
    Brochure “Responsible Conduct of
     Research” at:
               Writing Style
   Be clear, concise and direct
   Write in a positive manner
   Use the active voice, rather than passive
   Avoid jargon - someone outside your field
    should be able to read
   Use headings, bullets, formatting and
    white space to increase readability
   Proofread for grammar, spelling and
    typographical errors

Handout: Tips for Writing Grant Proposals
           This means you:
   Read carefully and follow scrupulously the
    guidelines provided by the sponsor
   This includes points to be addressed
   Also includes: spacing, margins, font size,
    number of copies, page limitations
   If no guidelines, double-space, use
    generous margins and 12-point type
    Key Points to Remember
 Place your project in context of the
  other work in the field
 Discuss your expected results
 Anticipate problems in the project
  and propose alternative strategies
     The Review Process
 Process varies by sponsor
 Remember - reviewers may not have
  expertise in your field, may not share
  your interest and enthusiasm for the
  project, may be overworked and
 Key point: Make your proposal easy
  for the reviewer to read
      Reviewers look for:
 A “doable” project (resources,
 A project worth doing
 Systematic, logical development of
 An easily-read, accessible proposal
Common Reasons for Rejection
            Mechanical Reasons
- Submission deadline not met
- Guidelines not followed exactly
- Incomplete or unclear descriptions of one
or    more elements
- Highly partisan positions on issues
- Poor writing quality
- Carelessness and inattention to detail
          Reasons for Rejection
              Methodological Reasons
-   Lack of originality
-   Methodology unsuited to purpose
                 Personnel Reasons
-   Unfamiliarity with field
-   Unqualified to perform work
               Cost-Benefit Reasons
-   Not agency priority for this year
-   Unrealistic budget
-   Costs out of proportion to potential benefits
 Preparing for the next time
 If not funded, don’t give up!
 Ask sponsor for reviewer’s written
  comments, if available
 Ask if it would be worth submitting
  another proposal in the future
 When revising, be responsive to
  reviewer comments
 Project planning is key
 Project should fit overall goals or
 Choose potential funders with a good
 Write with reviewers in mind
 Budget should fit your project plan
 Don’t despair if proposal is unfunded

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