Presentation on theme: "FH Health Research Intelligence Unit"— Presentation transcript:
1 FH Health Research Intelligence Unit How to Write Successful Proposals and GrantsFH Health Research Intelligence Unit
2 How to Write Successful Research Grant Applications
3 Who we are: Susan Chunick ( ), Director, Research Administration and Development (RAD). Camille Viray ( ), RAD Administrative Assistant. Rosa Haywood ( ), Research Ethics Coordinator, Research Ethics Board.Michael Wasdell ( ), Grant Facilitator-Writer.Rae Spiwak ( ), Epidemiologist.
5 RESEARCH ETHICS BOARD STATUS REPORT 01 September 2008 Total Studies 492(From 2005 September 01 to Date)ACTIVE STUDIES = PENDING APPROVAL = 29Active Studies by Department AreaAccess & Utilization1Family Medicine2Nursing4PlanningAcute ProgramsFinanceObstetrics7Professional Practice6AdministrationFood & NutritionOccupational TherapyPsychiatry14Biomedical EngineeringHealth Services3OncologyPublic Health PreventionCardiology31Infection ControlOperating RoomResidency FacilityChronic CareInternal MedicineOrthopaedics17RespiratoryCritical Care (ICU)8Material ManagementPalliative CareSocial WorkDecision Support ServicesMedicinePathologySurgeryElder ResearchMental HealthPediatricsWorkplace HealthEmergencyMultiple Sclerosis12People ServicesNon FH ResearchEnvironmental HealthNephrologyPharmacy9EthicsNeurologyPhysiotherapy
6 FH Health Research Intelligence Unit How can we help? EpidemiologistSpecifying the research goal, objectives and hypothesisIdentifying measurable outcomesSpecifying the variables for analysisIdentifying sources of dataDeveloping data collection tools for quantitative or qualitative studiesDeveloping the statistical analysis planAnalyzing the dataUnderstanding how to use statistical software, such as SPSSGrant Facilitator-WriterConducting a search for funding opportunitiesAutomatic notification of new funding sources and deadlinesIdentifying a research teamPreparing letters of intentIdentifying resources required for conducting researchFormulating the research budgetWriting the grant application in collaboration with researchersUnderstanding FH and funding agency requirements regarding preparation of specific documents
7 The Great IdeaPutting your ideas for research down on paper will allow you to articulate clearly your ideas to othersCreate a program proposal to help present your idea to others.Create a program outline that will enable people who are not involved in the study to understand exactly what you plan to doReview the literature to ensure that your proposal is uniqueObtain feedback from experts, colleagues and stakeholders
8 Develop a Project Management Plan Prepare an up to date resume/curriculum vitaeIdentify appropriate sources of fundingSelect funding sourceDevelop a timeline for development of research proposal and submission of letter of intent and application for fundingIdentify the research collaboratorsPrepare the budgetPrepare the grant application packageSubmit grant application to RAD office to obtain signature of authorizing Executive Submit for and obtain approval by FH Research Ethics Board prior to or in tandem with application for funding.
9 How we can help - HRIUFor assistance with any of the above steps, contact the FH grant facilitator-writer, Michael Wasdell, who can:Provide overall project management to ensure that FH internal and agency requirements for funding applications are metCo-ordinate the development of the research proposal with the FH epidemiologist, Rae Spiwak,Collaborate in the writing of the grant application
10 Planning for the Grant Application Funding CyclesUnique, Annual, Semi-Annual, etc.Application ProcessAnnouncement – Request for Applications (RFA)Letter of intent - LOISignals to the agency that you will be submitting an applicationSome agencies may request a brief synopsis of the proposal to screen out inappropriate applicantsTime between RFA and LOI may only be 1 or 2 monthsFull applicationTime between letter of intent and full application is usually 2-3 monthsAward AnnouncementMay be up to 6 months
11 Planning for the Grant Application Having adequate time to prepare your application is essentialIt is best to have your research ideas developed, team identified and proposal written in advance of the RFAUnfortunately, this does not happen frequentlyKeep in mind that the time from RFA to funding decision can be up to one yearTip – begin at least 6 months in advance of deadline
12 Where to find fundingNational and regional agencies for health research (eg., CIHR, MSFHR, BCMSF)Provincial branches and associations of health agencies (eg., Canadian Lung Association, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation)Professional AssociationsHealth/Disease based Associations
13 FH Funding ResourcesCommunity of Science Funding Opportunities Database. web based400,000 listingsContact Rosa HaywoodNews Now has monthly updates of new funding opportunitiesFH HRIU consultation request form contains a listing of funding agencies.
14 Grant Matchmaking Your research matches the objectives of the funder They have made previous awards in your area of researchThey make awards to your institutionYou meet basic investigator eligibilityThey have sufficient fundsThe application deadline is achievable
15 Request for Applications Understanding the funding formatsOperating grantsTeam grantsSeed/development grantsRandomized controlled trialsResearch synthesisEnvironmental scansWorkshopsSpecial initiatives and priority announcements
16 StrategyConsider all the funding formats with respect to your proposalSelect several funding programs to increase your chancesThink of ways to build a program of researchScenarioApply for funding for an environmental scan. This helps you to identify a poorly researched area.With this knowledge, you apply for a team planning grant to bring together key stakeholders and researchers with similar interest to identify a program of researchThe team submits for a seed grant to obtain pilot data and demonstrate the feasibility of the research and the likelihood of successWith a solid team, rationale and foundational data, you apply for an operating grant
17 Eligibility Requirements Principal Investigator and/or Co-InvestigatorsRole - academic, clinical or decision making positionDegree and professionExperiencePrevious awardsPublicationsEvidence of completed researchYears of research experienceTipsFor national funding agencies, partner with an experienced researcherConsider participating as a co-investigator to establish track recordContact funding agency to review qualifications – exceptions may be made
18 Eligibility Requirements InstitutionAcademicHealth servicesGovernment or government agencyCommunity agencyInstitutional role - SponsorAdminister and account for grant fundsResearch ethics reviewAcademic oversightFacility and staff supportAppropriate research environment
19 Eligibility Requirements Type of researchSome agencies may request specific research formats and exclude othersBiomedical, Clinical, Health Services, PopulationConclusion Oriented, Decision OrientedOtherGeographic locationCountry of citizenshipResidencyCo-Sponsorship
20 General Tips Review funding agency guidelines Make sure your proposal fits within the guidelinesLook at funding allotment of past competitions to ensure that your financial request is reasonableCheck with agency to obtain updates on changes to guidelines and deadlinesFollow all the rules and requests specified in the application guidelinesIs the proposal ethical?
22 Typical parts of a research proposal include Abstract Introduction (including statement of problem, goals, objectives and significance of research) Background or literature review Method Knowledge Dissemination List of References Personnel Budget
23 AbstractShort paragraph that is a clear, logical summary of your proposalUsually does not exceed 250 words
24 IntroductionShould begin with a capsule statement of what is being proposed and then should proceed to introduce the subject to a stranger.Should not assume that your reader is familiar with your subject.Should be comprehensible to an informed lay reader. It should give enough background to enable the reader to place your particular research problem in a context of common knowledge and should show how its solution will advance the field or be important for some other work.In introducing the research problem, it is sometimes helpful to say what it is not, especially, if it could easily be confused with related work.You may also need to explain the underlying assumption of your research or the hypotheses you will be using.
25 Background Literature reviews should be selective and critical. Reviewers do not want to read through a voluminous working bibliography; they want to know the especially pertinent works and your evaluation of them.Discussions of work done by others should therefore lead the reader to a clear impression of how you will be building upon what has already been done and how your work differs from theirs.It is important to establish what is original in your approach, what circumstances have changed since related work was done, or what is unique about the time and place of the proposed research.
26 MethodThe heart of the proposal and is the primary concern of the technical reviewersBe as detailed as possible about the schedule of the proposed work.Objectives/Research Questions/HypothesisMethods, study designSample Selection/Sample SizeData MeasurementData CollectionData AnalysisBe specific about the means of evaluating the data or the conclusions.Be certain that the connection between the research objectives and the research method is evident.
28 Knowledge Dissemination Very important stepWhat will you do with your new found knowledge?How will you share this knowledge?Who will benefit from this knowledge sharing?“Applications must include a clear, explicit, and manageable knowledge translation plan, which specifies the intended audience(s), the means of involvement and communication, and the intended post-grant follow-up”. CIHR (2006)
29 References Placed at the end of the text Lists text and information included in proposal from other authors/sourcesThe grant guidelines will specify the format of in-text citations and reference list
30 BiographiesThis section usually consists of two parts: an explanation of the proposed personnel arrangements and the biographical information for co-investigators.The explanation should specify how many persons at what percentage of time and in what professional/academic categories will be participating in the project. If the program is complex and involves people from other departments or institutions, the organization of the staff and the lines of responsibility should be made clear.
32 Communication Know your audience Put your readers first Review panels are often composed of content experts as well as generalistsConsider bias, myths and other unfounded opinionsPut your readers firstReviewers are usually volunteers so try to make reading your application pleasantReviewers may have limited time to review your proposal – an easy read is very appreciatedYour proposal may be one of 20 that the reviewer must evaluate – make it stand outCompare your proposal to the RFA to ensure that it contains all the required elementsBolding of relevant information can help the reviewer make connections to key evaluation categoriesUse tables and figures if they are informative and help to reduce text
33 Writing Tips Organize the content for logical flow of ideas Use ‘lead’ statements as an opening to any sectionstate briefly the most important concept and then provide background/contextCheck grammar and tenseCut wordinessEliminate jargonAvoid or limit acronymsObtain feedback from peersThis will prevent your proposal from looking like………
35 The Budget Prepare budget in consultation with: FH Human Resources if it is intended to hire grant staff and contractors before finalizing budgets. Note that benefits and future salary increases may have to be accounted for in the budget.FH Departments/Areas, such as Decision Support, Health Records, Laboratory/Pathology, Medical Imaging, Operating Room, Patient Care and Pharmacy if any of these will be asked to provide research-related services. For information on the process for obtaining Departmental Agreement for Providing Research-related Services (DAR), see the DAR webpage.
36 Budget Planning Personnel Salaries and wages Estimated merit increases Primary research staffPrincipal Investigator and Co-Investigators not usually coveredEstimated merit increasesAnticipated increases in minimum wageBenefitsExcluded staffBargaining units
37 Budget Planning Facility Expenses Telecommunications Furnishings Phone, fax, internetInstallation expensesFurnishingsMaintenance and CleaningOverhead*Utilities: gas, electricity, water*overhead not usually covered by Canadian agencies
38 Budget Planning Computers and other specialty equipment* Cost of equipmentInstallation expensesLease, warranty and maintenance contractsRepair* In most cases, equipment purchased through a grant becomes the property of the sponsor institution
39 Budget Planning Office Supplies Medical Supplies Paper Photocopying BindersStorage – file cabinetsMedical SuppliesSpecimen vialsClinical assessment supplies
40 Budget Planning Consultants Dues, memberships, subscriptions Staff mileage and parkingPatient expensesPostageCourierTraining sessionsMediaTravel, meeting and conference expenses
42 Budget JustificationExplains how the money will be spent and justifies the need for the requested amountWithout a good budget justification, a funder may reduce the amount of the award, potentially limiting the feasibility of the project
43 Budget Tips More detail is better than less Prepare both a line-item budget as well as a budget narrative describing each line-item cost in detailDon’t round out.Provide bids and estimates for consultants, equipment, supplies etc.Don’t pad or economize the budget – good reviewers know the cost of goods and servicesInclude sources of in-kind contributionsVolunteer timeDonated spaceBorrowed equipmentDonated supplies
44 Budget GuidelinesBudget guidelines are usually found in the application guideList allowable costsList excluded costsSpecify matching-funding if necessary (eg., co-sponsored funding)Provide instructions on how to justify the costs.
46 Curriculum Vitae Components Canadian Common CV Academic preparationPositions/AppointmentsAwards/ScholarshipsGrantsCollaborationPublicationsPresentationsCanadian Common CV
47 Letters of Support Department and/or sponsor institution Collaborating institutionsCommunity partnersStatement of supportRelevance of proposal to writer/department/institutionSummary of involvementHow the research results will be used
48 Quotes to Support Budget Include quotes for:Consultants*ServicesEquipmentSupplies*Fee for service consultation for grant funded projects is provided by the Fraser Health Epidemiologist
49 Research Ethics Board Approval Some funding agencies require notice of REB approvalSome will request approval before funding is awardedSome will request approval before funds are released
50 All done? Proof read all documents Have someone else proof read Grant facilitatorColleagueLay personCheck that all components have been assembledObtain signaturesDepartment HeadFraser Health Signatory – Geoff Crampton (3 days)Make necessary number of copiesCourier or application (retain routing slips/tracking history)
51 Now you can take a break…… ….before the next grant deadline
54 The Review Review of the Proposal Significance and relevance to health Knowledge of the field (cited literature)Clear, testable hypothesis or central research problem, appropriate methodsOriginality and innovation in concept or approachFeasibility of work plan
55 The Review Review of the Applicants Qualifications and experience Track recordPast grantsPublicationsSupportive environment
56 Example – Reviewer Checklist RATIONALE, RELEVANCE, ORIGINALITYDoes the proposal explain why this project should be undertaken? (5 points)Does the preamble reflect an adequate review of the literature? (10 points)Is the project relevant to the funding program? (5 points)Is the proposed project original or unique in any respect (is it a new problem or question? Does the research apply a new or unique study method or evaluation technique?) (5 points)
57 Example – Reviewer Checklist SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCHa) A project scope of major tangible benefit to patient care (e.g. potential impact on patient morbidity, mortality, an innovative program that advances direct patient care) (10points)b) A project scope of perceptible tangible benefit to patient care (e.g. retrospective reviews, compatibility studies, surveys) (5 points)c) A project scope of limited impact on patient care. (1 point)(Select the one statement that you believe best describes the significance of the proposed research) Please assign a score between 1 and 10. (Examples below)
58 Example – Reviewer Checklist RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS AND OBJECTIVESAre the objectives for the project clearly stated in terms of the end points or outcomes? (5 points)RESEARCH METHODOLOGYDoes the proposal describe in sufficient clarity/detail the study method to be used (8 points)Is the described method valid for the stated objectives? (8 points)Are the sample population, sampling technique and sample size valid and clearly described? (8 points)Is the proposed data analysis appropriate for the nature of the data collected (including statistical tests if appropriate) (8 points)Is the study ethical, in so far as the potential risks and benefits to the patients and/or society?(8 points)
59 Example – Reviewer Checklist PERSONNEL AND FACILITIESAre the professional competencies and experiences of the principal investigator(s) appropriate to carry out the work required? (5 points)ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY, PROJECT SCOPE AND TIMETABLEAre all the necessary budget inputs defined and costed (e.g. personnel, supplies,equipment)? (4 points)Do the amounts allocated to the various components of the budget appear to be appropriate? (4 points)Has a proposed work plan been established identifying activities, centres of responsibility and target completion dates? (4 points)Given the proposed work plan, does it appear reasonable that the project can be completed within the stated timeframe? (3 points)
60 CIHR Rating Scale Range Descriptors 4.5 - 4.9 outstanding excellentvery goodsolid/significantneeds revisionneeds major revisionseriously flawed0 not acceptableusually fundedmay be fundedseldom fundednot fundable: funding possible through partnerships and strategic initiatives, particularly where building capacity is a high priority
61 CIHR StandardsALL GRANTS ARE RATED on a scale from 0 to 4.9, within descriptive categories ranging from "seriously flawed" to "outstanding." Only applications rated 3.5 or higher are normally eligible for CIHR funding.Applications rated below 3.0 are flawed in some way, so that they do not represent a good investment of public funds.The range 3.0 to 3.5 is used for applications which, while technically and conceptually acceptable, are not considered to be a high priority for CIHR funding, perhaps because the topic is not considered relevant to an important health issue, or because the work proposed seems unlikely to yield major advances in knowledge, or because the approach is not particularly innovative.Nevertheless, a proposal rated less than 3.0 may ultimately be fundable, may even be approved for funding in a resubmission, if the applicant(s) adequately addresses the reviewers' concerns. Scientific Officers are asked to encourage applicants to resubmit these proposals if this is the case. Conversely, some proposals, though initially rated highly, may be limited in their originality, potential impact, and so on, that their rating is unlikely to be increased above the competition cut-off upon resubmission, even if the applicant(s) address the reviewers' comments.
62 Common reviewer complaints Forms are not complete or completed incorrectlyText is small dense and difficult to read– does not conform with formatting guidelinesImproper citations, pagination, table references and other forms of poor organizationToo much narrative with unnecessary or irrelevant information.Too much jargon
63 Why Proposals are Rejected University of Michigan Proposal Writer's Guide by Don Thackrey
64 Why Proposals are Rejected Approach (73 percent)The proposed tests, or methods, or scientific procedures are unsuited to the stated objective. (34.7)The description of the approach is too nebulous, diffuse, and lacking in clarity to permit adequate evaluation. (28.8)The overall design of the study has not been carefully thought out. (14.7)The statistical aspects of the approach have not been given sufficient consideration. (8.1)The approach lacks scientific imagination. (7.4)Controls are either inadequately conceived or inadequately described. (6.8)The material the investigator proposes to use is unsuited to the objective of the study or is difficult to obtain. (3.8)The number of observations is unsuitable. (2.5)The equipment contemplated is outmoded or otherwise unsuitable. (1.0)
65 Why Proposals are Rejected Problem (58 percent)The problem is not of sufficient importance or is unlikely to produce any new or useful information. (33.1)The proposed research is based on a hypothesis that rests on insufficient evidence, is doubtful, or is unsound. (8.9)The problem is more complex than the investigator appears to realize. (8.1)The problem has only local significance, or is one of production or control, or otherwise fails to fall sufficiently clearly within the general field of health-related research. (4.8)The problem is scientifically premature and warrants, at most, only a pilot study. (3.1)The research as proposed is overly involved, with too many elements under simultaneous investigation. (3.0)The description of the nature of the research and of its significance leaves the proposal nebulous and diffuse and without a clear research aim. (2.6)
66 Why Proposals are Rejected Investigator (55 percent)The investigator does not have adequate experience or training for this research. (32.6)The investigator appears to be unfamiliar with recent pertinent literature or methods. (13.7)The investigator's previously published work in this field does not inspire confidence. (12.6)The investigator proposes to rely too heavily on insufficiently experienced associates. (5.0)The investigator is spreading himself too thin; he will be more productive if he concentrates on fewer projects. (3.8)The investigator needs more liaison with colleagues in this field or in collateral fields. (1.7)
67 Why Proposals are Rejected Other (16 percent)The requirements for equipment or personnel are unrealistic. (10.1)It appears that other responsibilities would prevent devotion of sufficient time and attention to this research. (3.0)The institutional setting is unfavorable. (2.3)Research grants to the investigator, now in force, are adequate in scope and amount to cover the proposed research. (1.5)
68 The Rejected Proposal Review comments Identify areas for improvement Make changesResubmit to the same or another funding agencyYou might have a better chance of obtaining an award with subsequent submissions, but…..