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SOURCING FOR RESEARCH GRANTS Prof. Austin I. Obiekezie Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) University of Calabar Maiden Scientific Writing Seminar College.

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Presentation on theme: "SOURCING FOR RESEARCH GRANTS Prof. Austin I. Obiekezie Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) University of Calabar Maiden Scientific Writing Seminar College."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOURCING FOR RESEARCH GRANTS Prof. Austin I. Obiekezie Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) University of Calabar Maiden Scientific Writing Seminar College of Medical Sciences – University of Calabar

2 Presentation Outline Definition of Terms Definition of Terms Why do we need research grants? Why do we need research grants? Types/Forms of Research Grants Types/Forms of Research Grants Research Funding Bodies Research Funding Bodies The Grantmanship Flowchart The Grantmanship Flowchart Define the Project Define the Project Identify Funding Sources Identify Funding Sources Contact Funders/Program Officers Contact Funders/Program Officers Acquire Proposal Guidelines Acquire Proposal Guidelines Determine submission deadlines/personnel needs etc Determine submission deadlines/personnel needs etc Write and submit Grant Proposal Write and submit Grant Proposal Essential Tips in Sourcing Grants Essential Tips in Sourcing Grants Overcoming Funders’ antipathy – The Nigerian Problem Overcoming Funders’ antipathy – The Nigerian Problem Where do we stand in UNICAL? Where do we stand in UNICAL? Conclusions Conclusions

3 Definition of Terms Research Grant Funding Research Grant Funding Monetary award given by a government agency, foundation, corporation or other entity to fund a particular project Monetary award given by a government agency, foundation, corporation or other entity to fund a particular project Research Funding Body Research Funding Body Grantmanship Grantmanship the art of acquiring peer-reviewed research funding the art of acquiring peer-reviewed research funding

4 Types / Forms of Research Grants Small Grants Programs Small Grants Programs Tailored to individual research Tailored to individual research Small to medium size volume Small to medium size volume Best for the beginner/graduate/fellowships Best for the beginner/graduate/fellowships May not require substantial track record of research May not require substantial track record of research NGOs / Charity organizations, governments NGOs / Charity organizations, governments Examples: TDR, IFS, IoT (ETF) etc Examples: TDR, IFS, IoT (ETF) etc Large Institutional Grants Large Institutional Grants Large in volume and complexity Large in volume and complexity Governments and large corporations Governments and large corporations Examples: Carnegie Foundation, WHO, etc Examples: Carnegie Foundation, WHO, etc

5 Types / Forms of Research Grants Scholarships Scholarships Fellowships /Residencies Fellowships /Residencies Endowments Endowments Travel /Conference Grants Travel /Conference Grants There is something for everyone!!!

6 Categories of Support Operating – running program to meet community needs Operating – running program to meet community needs Special Project – new project or project with limited timeframe Special Project – new project or project with limited timeframe Capital/Equipment – specified amount for construction, renovation, expansion, purchase land or equipment Capital/Equipment – specified amount for construction, renovation, expansion, purchase land or equipment Endowments - planned gifts, will or trust Endowments - planned gifts, will or trust

7 Why do we need Research Grants? Fund individual research programs Fund individual research programs Fund Graduate Research Fund Graduate Research Enhanced institutional capacity Enhanced institutional capacity The aim of applying for funding is to obtain the resources required to perform the desired research. The aim of applying for funding is to obtain the resources required to perform the desired research.

8 What Research Grants Can do Vast increase in the research revenue base of the University/ Department/ College Vast increase in the research revenue base of the University/ Department/ College Mentorship possibilities at the international level Mentorship possibilities at the international level Join the elite club group of international grant networks Join the elite club group of international grant networks One good grant deserves another – sets you up for many future grants in a way that could make the entire difference to your careers One good grant deserves another – sets you up for many future grants in a way that could make the entire difference to your careers

9 Why people/organizations fund research Humanitarian purposes Humanitarian purposes Advancing business interests Advancing business interests National exigencies/policies National exigencies/policies Religious obligations Religious obligations Tax rebates/holidays Tax rebates/holidays Just to feel good Just to feel good Show off… Show off… Regardless, the funds are made available for good use Regardless, the funds are made available for good use Good to identify the driving force behind the granting body

10 Research Funding Bodies

11 Grant Sources Governments (Federal, State, LGA) Governments (Federal, State, LGA) Non-governmental organizations Non-governmental organizations Foundations Foundations Bilateral Health organizations Bilateral Health organizations Corporations Corporations Philanthropists Philanthropists

12 Nature / Types of Funding Bodies Funding organizations differ in the degree of rigour they expect and in the amount of competition for their funds Funding organizations differ in the degree of rigour they expect and in the amount of competition for their funds Prestigious government-funded organizations have very high standards and are extremely competitive. Prestigious government-funded organizations have very high standards and are extremely competitive.

13 What you need to know about the funding body Is it interested in the knowledge the research project will provide? Does it provide funds of sufficient magnitude? Each type of organization will require a different type of grant application, targeted to their interests and requirements

14 Assessing Funding Eligibility Eligibility Eligibility Type of organization Type of organization Geographic restrictions Geographic restrictions Population, other characteristics – gender etc Population, other characteristics – gender etc Size of Award Size of Award Sufficient amount to complete program activities Sufficient amount to complete program activities Number of grants Number of grants Award size and duration Award size and duration Project Focus Project Focus Project complements funder’s goals and priorities Project complements funder’s goals and priorities

15 Assessing Funding Eligibility Cont. Type of Activity Type of Activity Specified use of funds Specified use of funds Restrictions Restrictions Matching funds Matching funds Expenditure limitations Expenditure limitations Evaluation requirements Evaluation requirements

16 The Grantmanship Flowchart

17 Grantmanship Process Develop Project Idea Identify Funding Source Prepare/ Submit Application Await Outcome

18 Grant Sourcing Flowchart Define your Project Identify Funding Sources Contact Funding Agencies / Bodies Acquire / Familiarize with Proposal Guidelines Know the submission deadline Determine personnel needs and other issues Write and submit the Proposal

19 1. Define Your Project Clarify project purpose / write a concise mission statement. Clarify project purpose / write a concise mission statement. Define the scope of work to focus your funding search. Define the scope of work to focus your funding search. Determine the broad project goals and identify the specific objectives and requirements Determine the broad project goals and identify the specific objectives and requirements Decide who will benefit. Draft expected project outcomes in specific measurable terms. Decide who will benefit. Draft expected project outcomes in specific measurable terms. Draft a timeline that includes the planning phase, the period of searching for funds, proposal writing, and the intended project start date. Draft a timeline that includes the planning phase, the period of searching for funds, proposal writing, and the intended project start date.

20 2. Identify Funding Sources Advertisements in mass media Advertisements in mass media Professional/Institutional Newsletters Professional/Institutional Newsletters Acknowledgements in articles/presentations Acknowledgements in articles/presentations Colleagues –Word of mouth Colleagues –Word of mouth Networks Networks Research Offices (Academic Planning/Directorate Research Offices (Academic Planning/Directorate Internet Sources. (search engines, computerized databases (Africa Research.Net etc. Internet Sources. (search engines, computerized databases (Africa Research.Net etc. Do not limit search to one source Do not limit search to one source

21 2. Identify Funding Sources contd’ SHOTGUN APPROACH vs. RIFLE APPROACH 1. SHOTGUN: Shoot a scatter shot and see what falls. Look for funding agencies, investigate what they fund, and apply for something from the agency. Your goals are broad enough to be modified to fit their goals. 2. RIFLE: Take careful aim at one specific target. Look for funding agencies that fund only what you want. Search for an exact match to fund your project using your specifically stated goals.

22 2. Identifying Funding Sources Look for a match between your project and the grants you seek by looking for consistency between the purpose and goals of your project and the funder. In addition, pinpoint specific funding priorities and preferences. Look for a match between your project and the grants you seek by looking for consistency between the purpose and goals of your project and the funder. In addition, pinpoint specific funding priorities and preferences. Request proposal guidelines. Also request a list of projects previously funded through this specific grant program; an annual report may be available Request proposal guidelines. Also request a list of projects previously funded through this specific grant program; an annual report may be available

23 Identify funding source Match objectives Match objectives – research interests – research interests – your personal characteristics – your personal characteristics career phase career phase gender, ethnicity gender, ethnicity location location

24 Internet Websites The Grantsmanship Center - The Grantsmanship Center - The Foundation Center - The Foundation Center - GuideStar.org – GuideStar.org – GrantsNet - GrantsNet - Grants.gov – Grants.gov – Research Arica.Net Research Arica.Net Others – WHO, TDR, MRC, Others – WHO, TDR, MRC,

25 3. Contact Funders Think of the funder as a resource. Think of the funder as a resource. Identify a project officer who will address your questions. Identify a project officer who will address your questions. Some funders offer technical assistance, others do not. If it’s available, ask for technical assistance, including a review of proposal drafts. Some funders offer technical assistance, others do not. If it’s available, ask for technical assistance, including a review of proposal drafts. Inquire about how proposals are reviewed and how decisions are made. Inquire about how proposals are reviewed and how decisions are made.

26 Inquire about budgetary requirements and preferences. Inquire about budgetary requirements and preferences. Are matching funds required? Are matching funds required? Is in-kind support acceptable as a portion of applicants' share? Is in-kind support acceptable as a portion of applicants' share? What may be counted as in-kind support, and how might it be applied? What may be counted as in-kind support, and how might it be applied? What are the payment processes, including cash flow etc. What are the payment processes, including cash flow etc. Remember, the contacts you make may prove invaluable in the future. Remember, the contacts you make may prove invaluable in the future. 3. Contact Funders contd’

27 Letters of Inquiry Alternative to a call or visit Alternative to a call or visit (Investigate organization to find preference) Do homework before the letter for previous funding history, types of projects, amounts Do homework before the letter for previous funding history, types of projects, amounts Provide information about your Dept./Unit/ Medical School Provide information about your Dept./Unit/ Medical School Provide information about your proposed project Provide information about your proposed project 3. Contact Funders contd’

28 Letters of Inquiry 1-2 pages! 1-2 pages! Par 1 -- Who are you? Mission, organization, you are seeking funds Par 1 -- Who are you? Mission, organization, you are seeking funds Par 2 -- Why this agency? You understand their priorities Par 2 -- Why this agency? You understand their priorities Par 3 -- What is the need? Clear and brief Par 3 -- What is the need? Clear and brief Par 4 -- What's the plan? Bullet goals/objectives Par 4 -- What's the plan? Bullet goals/objectives Par 5 -- Why fund you? Uniqueness, qualifications Par 5 -- Why fund you? Uniqueness, qualifications Par 6 -- How much? Broad categories Par 6 -- How much? Broad categories Par 7 – Closing – thank you, contact information, whether you will follow up with a phone call etc Par 7 – Closing – thank you, contact information, whether you will follow up with a phone call etc 3. Contact Funders contd’

29 Letters of Intent Introduction Introduction Why you are writing Why you are writing Mission and population served Mission and population served Needs Needs Demographic and statistical evidence Demographic and statistical evidence Project Description Project Description Link funder’s priorities and project goals Link funder’s priorities and project goals Solution Solution How it addresses need How it addresses need Best practices Best practices

30 Letters of Intent Project Plan Project Plan Activities, timetables, methodology Activities, timetables, methodology Organizational Capacity Organizational Capacity Ability and commitment Ability and commitment Previous work and staff qualifications Previous work and staff qualifications Budget Budget Funding request, organizational support and other resources Funding request, organizational support and other resources Sustainability Sustainability Project continuation Project continuation

31 4. Acquire/Familiarize Proposal Guideline Read the guidelines carefully, then read them again. Guidelines usually tell you about: submission deadlines submission deadlines eligibility eligibility proposal format: award levels forms, margins, spacing, evaluation process and restrictions on the number criteria of pages, etc. proposal format: award levels forms, margins, spacing, evaluation process and restrictions on the number criteria of pages, etc. review timetable review timetable budgets budgets funding goals and priorities funding goals and priorities award levels award levels evaluation process and criteria evaluation process and criteria who to contact who to contact other submission requirements other submission requirements

32 5. Know Submission Deadline Plan to submit your proposal on or preferably before the deadline. Plan to submit your proposal on or preferably before the deadline. Determine what format the funder requires for submission. Determine what format the funder requires for submission. Be realistic about whether you have time to prepare a competitive proposal that meets the deadline. Be realistic about whether you have time to prepare a competitive proposal that meets the deadline. Know the funder's policies on late submissions, exceptions, and mail delays. Know the funder's policies on late submissions, exceptions, and mail delays. Find out how the funder will notify you about the receipt and status of your proposal. Factor this information into your timeline. Find out how the funder will notify you about the receipt and status of your proposal. Factor this information into your timeline.

33 6. Determine Personnel Needs etc Identify required personnel both by function and, if possible, by name. Identify required personnel both by function and, if possible, by name. Contact project consultants, trainers, and other auxiliary personnel to seek availability; acquire permission to include them in the project; and negotiate compensation. Contact project consultants, trainers, and other auxiliary personnel to seek availability; acquire permission to include them in the project; and negotiate compensation. Personnel compensation is important budget information. Personnel compensation is important budget information.

34 Write the Proposal Topic of Full Presentation Topic of Full Presentation

35 Essential Tips in Sourcing Research Grants

36 Overcoming Funders’ Antipathy Your funding track record Your funding track record Internet presence in terms of publications etc Internet presence in terms of publications etc Get a well known external expert on your side – anyhow Get a well known external expert on your side – anyhow Check your address (yahoo.com and other similar sites are 419 media) Check your address (yahoo.com and other similar sites are 419 media)

37 Where do we stand in UNICAL? What is our Grantmanship Quotient - in the University, in the College?? What is our Grantmanship Quotient - in the University, in the College?? How do we compare with other Institutions – Abysmal!!! How do we compare with other Institutions – Abysmal!!! How do we improve the culture of Grant Hunting? How do we improve the culture of Grant Hunting? What requirements should be put in place – What requirements should be put in place – What are the responsibilities on the part of administration and on the part of staff?? What are the responsibilities on the part of administration and on the part of staff??

38 Conclusions /Way Forward for Medical School Initiative should not stop at the maiden workshop Initiative should not stop at the maiden workshop Constitute a Grant Hunting Party of committed research staff with specific targets Constitute a Grant Hunting Party of committed research staff with specific targets We must overcome self-centeredness We must overcome self-centeredness Continuous and rigorous training for staff Continuous and rigorous training for staff Subscribe to Searchable Research Databases (Africa Research. Net) Subscribe to Searchable Research Databases (Africa Research. Net)

39 Research Africa.Net Subscription Rates

40 Grant Money is not the problem, it is the absence of ideas and drive


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