Presentation on theme: "Bernard Appiah, B.Pharm (Hons.) AuthorAID Graduate Assistant Texas A&M University Sri Lanka, March 2010 WRITING GRANT PROPOSALS: ADVICE."— Presentation transcript:
Bernard Appiah, B.Pharm (Hons.) AuthorAID Graduate Assistant Texas A&M University Sri Lanka, March 2010 WRITING GRANT PROPOSALS: ADVICE FROM A GRANT REVIEWER
OUTLINE “ Anatomy” of a Grant Reviewer “Physiology” of a Grant Reviewer Some “Bitter Pills” From Grant Reviews Summary and Conclusion
“ANATOMY” OF A REVIEWER Employment? A reviewer is typically not employed to review grants. Grant review is just a voluntary exercise. Time: Reviewers “squeeze” their time. I review grants after a day’s work, sometimes when I am relaxing on my bed! A very poor grant proposal makes me sleep faster (Good for my body?) An excellent grant proposal makes me stay awake (Bad for my body?)
“PHYSIOLOGY” OF A REVIEWER Proposal Summary It’s my door: I enter the application through it. Proposal Goals Vrs Funders’ Goals I make these goals face each other. I judge your goals on a SMART scale: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time- bound. If they don’t match, an application is in trouble. If they slightly match, an application begs me. If they very much match, an application commands me.
“PHYSIOLOGY” OF A REVIEWER CONT’D Sitting in a Grant Application “Chair” I look for background information that has more context (s). An application that makes claims without evidence (references) doesn’t help me. I then evaluate ways applicants intend to achieve their objectives (methods), measure the objectives (evaluation), allocate money to meet the objectives (budget), and disseminate the findings. A good application makes me sit comfortably. A bad application makes me extra alert!
SOME “BITTER PILLS” FROM GRANT REVIEWS CVs: Some CVs don’t fit in well with the application. Don’t give me a CV you wrote without this proposal in mind! Lack of specific roles of applicants: Don’t tell me “X” is a team member. Oh yes! I already know from the application. Not singing a funder’s song well: Good you know the funder’s song. But sing it well by introducing something special and “new”. Goals that are not SMART
SOME “BITTER PILLS” FROM GRANT REVIEWS CONT’D Budget: Some applicants do not match the budget and the activities together. Collaboration: Effective collaboration with other researchers (or even students!) or stakeholders is often lacking. Lack of research design: If you’d collect data—as measurement indicators—know that your proposal is a research. Know your research ethics! Lack of editing: I don’t mark English, but poor English gives me more work!
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION A grant reviewer “squeezes” time and effort to help you and a funder, so help them too. Know the song of the funder, and sing it well, so a reviewer could dance to your version. Pay particular attention to the proposal summary. Know that your proposal is research as long as you intend to collect some data to measure it. Edit the application well before submission. Command reviewers! Don’t beg them!