What do you need to win a grant? Passion Ambition Intelligence Purpose and a Proposal
What do you need to write a grant proposal? Passion Ambition Intelligence Purpose and a Computer
WRITE to WIN A Guide to Grants and the Student Undergraduate Research Fund (SURF) 10 October 2014
Grants Who awards grants? Local, State, and Federal governments Private, Philanthropic, or Corporate Foundations Non-profit organizations Community-Based Organizations
Grants Who receives grants? Those who apply and follow the RFP precisely
Grants Where do I find these grant RFPs? Grants.gov Regional foundation Library at UT-Austin
Uses of Grants Specific research Broad research (generally awarded to major organizations to support multiple projects) Arts events Artistic production Historical Conservation Almost anything that you can imagine
Some Basics Grant – Money given to support efforts and projects for the common good
Some Basics Grant – Money given to support efforts and projects for the common good Grant Proposal – A formal proposal requesting funds for a specific project
Some Basics Grant – Money given to support efforts and projects for the common good Grant Proposal – A formal proposal requesting funds for a specific project RFP (Request for Proposal) – Invitation and instructions for submitting a grant proposal
Differences in Writing Style Fiction entertains Essays convey ideas Grant proposals explain a planned process to the reader
Project-Based Proposal Addresses a specific inquiry or concern Limited to a specific time-period Affects a defined location and population Produces specific and measurable outcomes
Grant Writing Rules Every Grant is Unique K.I.S.S. Plan for Everything Write first, ponder later Do it now Revise, Revise, REVISE
General Model for Grant Proposals Most grant proposals require: An Abstract A Narrative Budget Budget Narrative Supporting Documents
Abstract A short description of the project No long descriptions The reviewer reads the abstract first— Write it first and revise it last!
Abstract Concisely and explicitly states: what who when where why for whom how much
Narrative The bulk of the writing Most grant proposals need the following:
Narrative Narrative contents: Introduction Statement of Need Project Description Dissemination Plan Evaluation Plan Continuation Plan Management Plan Project Time-line Key Personnel
Introduction Overview of sponsoring organization History of project to date Mission/purpose of project Goals objectives, and outcomes of project One sentence summary
Goals/Objectives Goals - an end, getting from the beginning to the end point Objectives - actions taken to reach goals Outcomes - results of reaching the goals Be specific and indicate qualitative measurements for each
Statement of Need Why is this project needed now? To define/solve problems? To develop information? To discovery? To take advantage of a unique opportunity? Whom does the project serve? Use statistics and charts What are standards and common metrics? Use “wow” statements
Project Description Simple description of what you plan to do (CLARITY!) Adhere precisely to specified formats Show the beginning, middle, and end Avoid jargon Don't bog things down with too many details Describe research and support that are part of the project, Use “wow” statements
A “wow” statement More veterans of the United States Armed Forces have died of suicide than have died in combat in all wars!
Dissemination Plan Might be called “Outreach” or “Publication” Answers: “How are you going to reach out to your targeted potential users, beneficiaries, and/or audiences?” Update the public on milestones? How will the results be published? Is there a user/public feedback component?
Dissemination Plan Cont. Consider the users or beneficiaries: Age appropriate Language Appropriate Statement of Equal Opportunity Targeted community (geographic, ethnic, cultural, age, professional) Knowledge can’t be used unless it is disseminated
Evaluation Plan The 21 st Century is obsessed with evaluation! – get used to it! Defines metrics and standards Formative evaluations –data collected at regular intervals to achieve immediate feedback on the project Assessment Tool Adjust to insights/discoveries or problems
Evaluation Plan Cont. Summative evaluations – assess the quality and success of the entire project Are goals achieved? Are the planned outcomes reached? Is data collected and preserved? How? Key evaluation points identified Evaluation points are measurable Outcomes and Effects are timed Useful data is measured and preserved
Evaluation Plan Cont. Quantitative Evaluation – based on gathering numerical data from large samples and employing statistical models. Qualitative Evaluation– based on interviews, observations, and interpretation. Mixed Evaluation – employs both Big projects require professional evaluators More Info: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2002/nsf02057/start.htm
Continuation Plan/Sustainability What is the life of the project or research after the grant period? Who will be responsible for continuing improvements? How will funding be maintained?
Management Plan How the project will be guided and operated Management team (charts help!) Explains the responsibilities of key individuals/institutions Outlines basic time frames Complex projects require professional managers
Time-Line Usually a chart Reflects the entire project Start through the end of the project with regular intervals Time Intervals Milestone intervals Funding Intervals
Key Personnel Cites key personnel and provides their resumes Looks at their qualifications Often the person listed as the project manager is a “visible” personality, not the person who actually manages the program.
Budget The financial plan for spending grant funds Personnel Travel Equipment Supplies Contractual Construction Other/Miscellaneous Direct cost Indirect cost
Budget Narrative/Justification Line by line brief explanation of appropriated funds BUDGETS MUST MATCH NARRATIVE – it's a deal breaker if they don't.
Supporting Documents Resumes Strategic Plan Business Plan Financial Audits Letters of Support/Commitment Bibliography Letters from Boards
Start with the Request for Proposal (RFP) Read it Re-read it Re-re-read it Follow it strictly The RFP is your guide for writing a winning proposal
Now, Imagine What will this grant look like? How many total pages? What sections are the largest? What information must you acquire? What permissions must you acquire? What kind of resumes do you need? What types of letters of support do you need?
Time to Get Specific What is the purpose of the grant? Look at page 5 of the SURF RFP Your proposal must explicitly meet these purposes
Grant writing is usually all black and white Your proposal conforms with the RPF requirements -- no more, no less If you do less, you are not meeting the terms of the RFP. If you do more, even if it would revolutionize science, cure cancer, end world hunger, bring peace to the middle east, and get Congress working, you have exceeded the bounds of the RFP. Good ideas can be worked into the proposal without detracting from the funding purpose.
Organization Based on the purpose statement, organize the goals/objectives and narrative outline of your proposal The purpose statement is your guiding principle the RFP is the map for writing a successful proposal Follow the outline format of the RFP
Now look at the SURF RFP and the SURF Evaluation Sheets