Research Proposals Adapted partly from Proposal and Grantwriting Seminar given by Barbara Breier Exec. Director of Development, UT Austin 2001 Texas Women Faculty Forum http://www.utexas.edu/faculty/fwo/breier/index.htm Identify potential funding sources. Project Decision Tree Project Defined Government Sources Private Sources Federal Sources CFDA & FAPRS Foundations Federal Register Commerce Business Daily Corporations State Sources Texas: Comptrollers Office Donors Local Sources City Manager or Mayor's Office Funding Sources All Possible Funding Sources Government Sources National Foundations Regional Foundations Corporations Donors Process of researching potential grants: 1. Cast a wide net and identify all the possible funding sources for your project. Then narrow down to the ones that are your best prospects. 2. Use the Development Office and Office of Special Projects to assist you. 3. Review professional publications and Chronicle of Higher Education for notice of similar grants. 4. Use internet resources. Check out Community of Science. Cultivate relationship with prospective funding sources. • Call funding source and request any updated information. • Let them know you are interested in submitting a proposal. • Try to schedule a visit. • Regularly visit the prospects. • Use the Development office to identify board contacts. Preparing The Proposal • Understand the larger implications of the project. • Use the proposal format. • Be as specific about the project as you can. • Describe the specific outcomes you hope to accomplish. • Describe how you will evaluate results/outcomes. Writing the proposal: Just do it ! • Do as much homework as possible. – gather the pieces (info. from others, past results, budget items, milestones) before starting to write. • Outline your solution. • Discuss with colleagues. • Do the budget first (you’ll probably adjust it). • Be positive and patient with colleagues. Follow the format in the Request for Proposals (RFP) • Follow requested format EXACTLY. • Observe page limitations and headings requests. • Observe font and spacing requirements. • Put vitas in requested format (request others’ vitas in this format). Proposal Outline (usual sections and lengths) • Cover letter or Executive Summary (1 page) • Introduction/Statement of Need (2 pages) • Project Description (4 pages) (Objectives, methods, evaluation, future funding) • Budget (1 page) • Appendices: – Vitas – other supplemental material specifically allowed Cover Letter or Executive Summary • Never more than 2 pages (usually 1 page) • Makes a compelling case for the merit of the project based on need and opportunities. • Provides a brief statement of the institution and how this project relates to strategic plans. • Explains why the funding is required at this time. Statement of Need • Provide accurate, relevant data that support why this project is important. (Ex: 20% of the incoming freshmen lack the necessary computer skills to perform analytical tasks in Chemistry.) • Provide positive reasons why support would make a difference. • If appropriate, describe how project would benefit other departments, universities, special populations or society in general. • Often part of both Intro. and Summary. Project Description • Identify specific objectives to be accomplished within a specified time frame. • Describe the implementation process or the methodology for the project. • Identify the key personnel for the project and their relative expertise in the discipline (put C. V.s in appendix). • Outline how the project will be evaluated at various points in the implementation schedule. • Describe how the project will be continued once the grant funds are expended. Budget and Budget Justification • Outline all of the cost categories associated with the project. • Define the exact cost as available at the time. • Detail how costs are calculated. • Don’t overestimate or inflate budget. • Do not include an administrative overhead unless guidelines specify. In-kind costs: your organization’s contribution to the project • Calculations: – Facility usage by square foot – Personnel costs by hourly or annual salary prorated – Utilities, telephone, maintenance, at an administrative overhead – Communications costs prorated (copying, fax machines, computers) Proposal Outline (Valiela) • Title page • Abstract • Introduction • Proposed Research • Literature Cited • Personnel Data • Schedule of Work • Budget and Budget Justification • Institutional Certificates/Current & Pending Research My last (successful) proposal to NSF: • Cover page • Summary (1 page) • Project Description (15 pages) – including literature cited , description of expertise of participating personnel, and schedule of work • List of References • Personnel CVs • Budget and Budget Justification • Institutional Certificates, Current & Pending Research, Letters of Support Follow-up to Proposal • Call after a week or so to make sure the proposal arrived. • If you have not heard anything in 30 days, you may call and ask the status of the proposal. • Ask if they need additional information for their review. • Update them on any changes in the project or on funds committed to the project. • If no response after 2 months, send a follow-up letter. Keep this follow-up going every 30 days until you hear from them or for 6 months. If You Are Funded • Wait for official notification in writing from the president of the board or project director. • Review letter carefully-- it represents a contract between your organization and the granting foundation/ agency/corporation. • If there is a major problem with the project or program that is going to cause a significant delay, you must notify the granting agency. • You want to have a long term relationship with this funding source. • Periodically call them and let them know the progress. Meet all interim report deadlines. If You Are Not Funded • Write a polite letter saying you regret that they could not support your project and hope to be able to submit another project in the future. • Call and ask them to give you feedback. • Express appreciation for their hard work and interest. • Encourage them to visit your organization when they are in town. • Tell them you will stay in touch -- and do stay in touch.
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