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Counting Down the Top Ten List for Proposal Writing Royal Roads University Office of Research February 26, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Counting Down the Top Ten List for Proposal Writing Royal Roads University Office of Research February 26, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Counting Down the Top Ten List for Proposal Writing Royal Roads University Office of Research February 26, 2010

2 Top Ten List for Proposal Writing 10. Opportunity and Fit 9. Prep Work 8. Presentation 7. Goals & Objectives 6. Context, Rationale & Literature Review 5. Methodology 4. Research Team / Training 3. Budget / Budget Justification 2. Knowledge Mobilization & Dissemination 1. The “So What” Question

3 10. Opportunity & Fit Funder orientation and mission Program overview/objectives Program evaluation criteria Your record/experience/expertise (publications, presentations, etc.)

4 9. Preparation Do the groundwork Discuss with potential research team members and partners Complete previous research/projects that have a bearing on the proposed project Talk to the funder Find out who will be reviewing and making the decision Give yourself lots of time – to think, write, re- write

5 8. Presentation Follow formatting guidelines and follow the rules Readability – headings, paragraphing, sentence length, white space. Carefully edit for fact, grammar, spelling, redundancy Ensure clarity Avoid “academese” and disciplinary jargon Define terms and concepts Use active sentence construction Convey your ideas with confidence Be concise AND explain

6 7. Goals A goal statement indicates what the proposal seeks to achieve in a broader sense Consider impact at level of: individual, organization, community, national, international level environment, social, cultural, economic, political scholarly/intellectual

7 7. Objectives are specific and concrete – what you are going to do in the timeframe of the research can be articulated in the form of questions lead directly to outcomes that support the overall goal need to be consistent throughout the proposal need to be doable/realistic in the parameters of: funding level, research team, timeframes

8 6. Context 4 elements: rationale – significance context (a) literature review context (b) situate how this fits within your own expertise; theoretical approach(es)/framework that you are using and why they are relevant

9 6a. Context – Rationale Make the case for the need for this project Will it create new knowledge, advance knowledge in some manner? What identified problem will be addressed? What is the scholarly, intellectual, social, economic, cultural significance of the project - to Canada and beyond? What impact will it have? Who will benefit? Who will be interested in the results?

10 6b. Context – Literature Review Identify what’s been done in this field Identify the gap the research is addressing Not all gaps need to be addressed - state why this one should be Make sure your lit review is thorough, includes recent citations, peer-reviewed journals

11 6c. Context – Theoretical Framework Be explicit about the theoretical approaches and/or framework you are using Present differences in approaches in a positive and constructive manner

12 6d. Context – Your Research Situate the proposed project within your overall record Is the project a logical progression from previous work and research? If not, why not? If appropriate, indicate where this project may lead in terms of future projects

13 5. Methodology Thoroughly explain and justify your choice(s) of methodology – for data collection and analysis Demonstrate rationale for choice of methodology in terms of achieving objectives Positioning applied research Timeline

14 5. Methodology – The Details W5: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How if using case studies, criteria/rationale for selection of cases? if using surveys, interviews – nature of the questions? who will be interviewed? how many interviews? need to consider sample size? setting of interviews? ethical/confidentiality issues noted? language/cultural barriers? if using workshops – where? when in relation to research? duration? goal of workshop(s)? who will attend? format of workshop? workplan: phases/timeframe(s)? for research teams, who will do what? evaluation component? risks? potential pitfalls?

15 4. Research Team / Training Key component for many funders is training the next generation of researchers Be specific about the actual roles and responsibilities employees/ contractors will have - try to use creatively Detail benefits in terms of experience/learning provided Are the right people/organizations on board to do the work and to facilitate the work? individual v. team co-applicant v. collaborator partners

16 3. Knowledge Mobilization – Dissemination Identify the stakeholders of the results – academic and non-academic (community, policymakers) Identify how you are going to get the results out to those stakeholders – presentations, reports, journal articles, interviews on radio/TV Ensure dissemination activities flow logically from the progression of the project

17 2. Budget Follow funder guidelines minimum/maximum funding amount overhead direct costs of research teaching release time matching and in-kind Fully justify each budget item in terms of: 1. need for expense to realize overall objectives 2. budget amount

18 Tips Need to grab the reviewers’ attention early and get them excited, interested Address why this is important/ original/ significant/ relevant? Locate the project in your field/ expertiese – what gap does it fill? Indicate the overall proposal goal(s), objectives, key outcomes, innovations, benefits Methodology should be clear and logically laid out Is the language appropriate for a lay audience?

19 1. The “So What” Question Look at the Big Picture impact Be clear about: why you are proposing this research why it is important what problem/gap it addresses what impact it will have why should others care about it how it is unique/different

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