Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

PRINCIPLES OF POOR PROPOSAL WRITING Ignore your reviewers - it is your research after all! Write it quickly and don’t rewrite - you are busy! Assume your.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "PRINCIPLES OF POOR PROPOSAL WRITING Ignore your reviewers - it is your research after all! Write it quickly and don’t rewrite - you are busy! Assume your."— Presentation transcript:

1 PRINCIPLES OF POOR PROPOSAL WRITING Ignore your reviewers - it is your research after all! Write it quickly and don’t rewrite - you are busy! Assume your reviewers know what is important in your field - Darn- it, we are all geoscientists Ignore the literature - those old dudes were wrong anyway! Inflate the budget - steak is better than hamburger! Science and hypotheses are all about salesmanship-stating multiple testable hypotheses takes up too much space Instructions are for losers - this isn’t Geology 101 anymore A research project that is a search for something is good geology Never plan or anticipate your results - then you won’t be objective

2 Don’t ignore your reviewers. Write for your audience Reviewers are not all in your field Be sure to define or avoid jargon (What is jargon?-any term you don’t learn as an undergraduate) Be sure to convey the nature of your field Be sure each point being evaluated is addressed Treat the proposal as an exam-write it as if the reviewers are grading you on the basis of the questions asked

3 Take some time in writing Even a few typos gives a bad impression and could make your reviewers uPsEt or grUmpy :) Have colleagues read it over for you and give their impressions Rewrite it and adjust it Make it short if you can Organize it to put your major points up front

4 Convey importance to the reviewer outside of your field Conveying importance is tricky and challenging Just saying it is important is not enough Don’t make your readers hunt for significance Convince them that this work has to be done - remember, all scientists start off being skeptical Be specific about importance (NOT we need to know about plate tectonics; we need to know about evolution, x will provide information on y, this has not been done and needs to; this has not be quantified and needs to; this needs to be studied more - WHY IS THE QUESTION) Teach the reviewer something about what is happening in your field and why

5 Instructions are for winners! Follow them to the letter to get the highest rating Definition of hypotheses or problem Significance and quality of proposed work Methodology or plans Budget Presentation quality Overall review—potential for producing significant research that will interest others in the subfield or general geological community

6 Read the literature Preparing to do research is essential Another researcher may already have shown that your hypothesis is wrong Another researcher may have shown your methodology to be flawed The work may have been done already Published literature is your most convincing argument to back up any claim you make - because it already has gone through peer review (prove that the material is available, prove that the problem is important, prove that you know what you are talking about and will be successful)

7 Make the budget accurate Reviewers in the know will see if your budget is not accurate It is all about credibility - if a reviewer catches you on one inaccuracy, that reviewer will be skeptical about success of your work Take time to get quotes Grants are typically awarded if cost is low and research payout is high

8 If you can, state multiple testable hypotheses This is a matter of having a scientifically open mind - rather than trying to support your favorite hypothesis, you convince the readers that you are open to alternative explanations This leads to having fallback positions that you can point out to reviewers, where no matter what the outcome, your research will result in an answer - if you start with only a single hypothesis, the reviewer many doubt your ability to come to a conclusion


10 How do we explain higher-than- expected temps?? 1) Elevated geothermal gradient (50 C/km) ? 2) Additional burial not recognized in existing burial histories? 3) Injection of hot fluids from deeper parts of the basin?

11 Fishing is for fisherman - not geologists Never give the impression of a fishing expedition Prove to the reviewers that you know what among several possibilities you expect to see Let’s say you are collecting fossils in an area, you will need to convince reviewers that the rocks are in fact fossiliferous

12 Plan and anticipate Plan step by step what you are going to do Imagine what you might expect to see as results Show how those results allow you to distinguish between (test) your hypotheses Prove to people it is possible by exploring every outcome Convince the reader that there will be an answer, no matter what you find Establish fallback positions that are still useful if what you initially expect is not found

13 How do we explain higher-than-expected temps? Elevated geothermal gradient of 50 C/km ? Additional burial not recognized in existing burial curves? Injection of hot fluid from deeper parts of the basin? TESTS (look for these): Geochemical evidence of enhanced fluid flow near faults (support) Record of recurring fluctuations in temp, salinity (support) Record of higher temps. near faults (support) Record of paleogeothermal gradient (support or disproof) Record of pressure (support or disproof) and

14 Try formulating ”if-then” statements - If you see these data then you interpret that - or if you this was the correct hypothesis among those listed, you would expect to see these results or data

15 Plan and anticipate Consider generating a logic tree so you know you will have an answer

16 Always remember the principles of poor proposal writing and you just might get the funding for your research $$$$$

Download ppt "PRINCIPLES OF POOR PROPOSAL WRITING Ignore your reviewers - it is your research after all! Write it quickly and don’t rewrite - you are busy! Assume your."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google