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AuthorAID Workshop on Proposal Writing Sri Lanka March 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "AuthorAID Workshop on Proposal Writing Sri Lanka March 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 AuthorAID Workshop on Proposal Writing Sri Lanka March 2010

2 Thanks and a Welcome Thanks to supporters, organizers, hosts, others Introduction of facilitators –Dr. S. Mahakalanda –Mr. Bernard Appiah –Dr. Barbara Gastel Intended characteristics of this workshop –Practical –Interactive –Enjoyable

3 Overview: Plan for Today Lectures now and early this afternoon: –Finding funding sources –Writing an effective proposal –Preparing a curriculum vitae –Perspectives of proposal reviewers Rest of today—small-group work: –Discussion: Plans to apply today’s lectures –Exercise: Drafting a group proposal

4 Overview: Plan for Tomorrow Morning and early afternoon –Brief presentations from small groups –Lectures Revising and resubmitting grant proposals Preparing progress reports Applying for a grant from IFS (IFS Representative) Then –Exercise: starting to draft or revise your own proposal; envisioning a paper based on the work –Brief presentations based on exercise

5 Finding Funding Sources

6 Potential Sites of Funding: Some Sources of Ideas Colleagues, mentors, and administrators Grant offices at some institutions Acknowledgments etc in journal articles Published or posted announcements (calls for proposals) E-mail lists in your field or at your institution Published or posted guides Internet searching

7 Some Online Lists of Opportunities SciDevNet grant list ( GrantsNet: International Funding Index ( eer_magazine/previous_issues/articles/20 08_08_08/noDOI.1787489137173436920 6) eer_magazine/previous_issues/articles/20 08_08_08/noDOI.1787489137173436920 6

8 Looking for a Good Match Seek funding from entities With goals that are consistent with what you want to do That tend to give grants of the size you are seeking If possible, with programs that match your intended work

9 * * * Note * * * Consulting a program officer at the potential funding source can be very helpful.

10 Writing an Effective Proposal

11 Grant Proposals as Persuasive Writing Proposals must persuade potential funders that the goal of the proposed work is worthwhile the goal is relevant to the funder’s mission the proposed approach is sound the staff is capable of doing the work adequate facilities will be available the requested amount of funding is reasonable

12 Some Common Sections of Proposals Background information Statement of goals Research plan or program plan Budget Information on qualifications of staff (for example, resumes or curricula vitae) (Note: Depending on the requirements, proposals can range from one page to many pages.)

13 Some Other Items Sometimes Included Letter of transmittal (cover letter) Title page Abstract Table of contents Lists of tables and figures Description of predicted impact Plan for disseminating results Information on facilities Reference list

14 Appendixes Optional to include Examples –Papers accepted but not yet published –Letters of support from potential collaborators –Additional details about activities planned Remember: Reviewers typically are not obligated to look at appendixes.

15 Preparing to Write the Proposal Carefully review materials from the potential funding source. Consult the program officer, if appropriate. Look at examples of successful proposals to the funding source. –From colleagues –From the program officer –Published or posted

16 Preparing to Write the Proposal (cont) If appropriate, consider sustainability. If appropriate, submit a letter or intent or a letter of inquiry (“pre-proposal”).

17 Writing the Proposal Start early—sometimes at least 6 months in advance. Consider including a writer or editor on the team. Read the instructions carefully, and follow them exactly. Match the technical level of the proposal to the background of the reviewers.

18 Writing the Proposal (cont) Remember to include the 5 Ws and an H: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Include reasons for your choices. Write the proposal readably. For example –Organize the writing carefully. –Present overviews before details. –Use simple, common wording where possible. –Avoid wordy phrases. –Make effective (but not excessive) use of such devices as headings, boldface, and italics.

19 Writing the Proposal (cont) Include a carefully prepared budget. If relevant, include a timeline. If relevant, include tables and figures. If the proposal will include an abstract, devote special care to it. Also write a clear, concise title. If the potential funder has forms to use, complete them carefully.

20 Writing the Proposal (cont) If part or all of the proposal will consist of freestanding text, format it readably –Standard typeface –Large enough type and margins –Unjustified (ragged) right margin unless otherwise requested Have others review drafts of your proposal. Carefully follow instructions for submitting the proposal (often done electronically).

21 Common Problems to Avoid Failure to follow the instructions Seeming unfamiliarity with relevant previous work Lack of a valid rationale Lack of originality Superficial or unfocused plan; lack of detail

22 Common Problems (cont) Unrealistically ambitious plans Incomplete budget Unrealistic budgeting Failure to justify budgetary items enough Problems with the experimental or other approach Lack of experience with key methods Lack of preliminary data, if needed

23 Common Problems (cont) For service projects, lack of sufficient information on evaluation plans Inconsistencies in the content Excessive use of acronyms/abbreviations

24 A Suggestion Imagine that you receive the grant and do the work as described. Will you then have all the needed information to write the appropriate report(s) or paper(s)? If not, revise the plan in your proposal, to make sure that you would gather all the information you would need.

25 Preparing a Curriculum Vitae

26 The Curriculum Vitae: Some Basics Curriculum vitae: the academic equivalent of a resume Commonly called a CV Lists your education, experience, publications, honors, etc Often required when applying for jobs, grants, awards, etc

27 Preparing a CV (cont) A resource containing a link to a sample CV (shown on the next slides): esources/tipsheets/resumes-and-cvs- curriculum-vitae esources/tipsheets/resumes-and-cvs- curriculum-vitae Another resource: enter/cv.html

28 Standardized CVs Required by some granting agencies Have specific instructions to follow—for example, regarding –Types of information to include –Organization of information –Length A brief look at examples

29 Preparing a CV: Some Tips In general, use reverse chronological order. Include some contact information that is unlikely to change. Structure the CV in a way that suits your background and goals. Consider having different versions of your CV for different uses.

30 Preparing a CV: More Tips If an item may be unclear to readers, include a brief explanation. When listing papers you have written for publication: –If a paper has been accepted but not yet published, list it under Publications as “In press” or “Forthcoming”. –If a paper has been submitted but not yet accepted, generally list it under Research rather than Publications.

31 An Idea For appropriate examples, look on the Web for CVs of people in your field.

32 Some Resources Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development: (includes a grant writing workbook, which lists and has links to other resources—see Chapter 16, “Learning More”) Annotated grant proposal: library/Annotated%20Grant%20Application.pdf library/Annotated%20Grant%20Application.pdf

33 Small-Group Exercises

34 Exercise 1: Plans to Apply Today’s Lectures List approximately 5 useful things you learned from today’s lectures. Say how you plan to apply them. Be specific. Find the CV of a prominent researcher in your field. Note ways in which it could serve as a model for your CV.

35 Exercise 2: Starting to Draft a Proposal 1.Identify a research project or other project that would be worthwhile for part or all of your group to do. Say why the project would be worthwhile. 2.Identify a funding source, or type of funding source, that would be appropriate for the project. Say why the funding source is likely to be interested in this project.

36 Drafting a Proposal (cont) 3.Draft a general timeline for the project. Say why each item is included. Say why each amount of time is appropriate. 4.Note some specific facts to include in the CVs. Say why these facts help show that the staff is capable of doing the work. 5.Say what facilities will be used. Say why these facilities are suitable.

37 Drafting a Proposal (cont) 6.List some budget items for the project. Say why these items are necessary. Estimate the costs. Say how each estimate was made. 7.Write a good title for the proposal. 8.Be ready to present tomorrow morning a 3-to-5-minute summary of your proposal. Be sure to include the justifications for what you propose.

38 Thank you!

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