Introduction to Writing Proposals Courtesy of http://www.uhcl.edu/research
2 Key Points The “Why” and “How” of Proposal Writing Parts of a Grant Proposal Proposal Submission
3 Why Write a Grant Proposal? To accomplish your goal(s) To address a need or solve a problem To respond to a Request For Proposals (RFP) To obtain resources otherwise not available Develop a proposal to meet sponsor’s priorities and philosophy.
4 What are the First Steps? Formulate an idea, but stay flexible Gather information Document the need Identify or focus on a sponsor Determine the sponsor’s funding priorities and applicant eligibility
5 Focus the Idea What is the anticipated project outcome? What is the project significance? Who will be affected by the project?
6 Move from “Idea” to “Plan” Assess your resources and assets Determine what infrastructure is already in place Identify the activities or services the grant will provide Consider partnerships or collaborations Consider the project’s uniqueness and how society will benefit from it.
7 Identify an Appropriate Funding Source Searchable Databases on the WWW (and shortcut found on OSP website) – The Grant Advisor Plus – Community of Science (COS) – GRC GrantSearch Funding Agency Websites Foundation Center Websites
8 Verify the Instructions Obtain the necessary forms and guidelines – Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF files Read the guidelines closely for program priorities and proposal format requirements Make initial contact with the funding agency’s program officer
9 Basic Parts of a Proposal Need Statement Goals/Objectives Project Plan Management Plan & Key Personnel Evaluation Plan Dissemination Plan Continuation Plan
10 Basic Parts of a Proposal Facilities and Equipment Budget and Budget Explanation And let’s not forget… – Abstract – Table of Contents – Appendices
11 Importance of Need Statement First part of the Project Description Set the tone for rest of proposal Contains essential elements of the proposal -- goals, objectives, costs Proves your point at outset of proposal
12 Need Statement Define the problem to be addressed Support argument with data (demographics, expert testimony, etc.) Identify the target population State the significance of the project in terms of time, people, etc. Acknowledge similar efforts
13 Methods of Proof of Need Research, research, research Sources on the Internet via OSP Home Page Books, articles, newspapers Oral interviews Surveys Notes Statistics -- numbers of people, places, things
14 Methods of Proof of Need Similar projects elsewhere Important people in the field who have identified and worked on the problem Sponsors who have funded the problem Consultants who have come in and said this problem must be solved (in addition to what has been done) to improve the situation
15 Project Significance Solution will streamline operations to improve situation for numerous people (students, community, partnerships) Solution will enhance productivity by... Solution will save money for (nation, state, locality, department, partnership)
16 Impact Impact of problem on: – people – places – things Impact of solving the problem on: – nation – state, region, locality
18 Goals Goals: General statements of what will be achieved Have no more than 3 or 4 obtainable goals State goals in terms of outcomes Look at the long-term view State goals in qualitative terms
19 Objectives Objectives: Specific expectations stated in quantitative terms Write objectives based on outcomes of goals statements Explain how you get to the long-term
20 Project Plan (a.k.a. Activities) Based on Need Statement and Objectives Steps to be executed to accomplish objectives and solve the need (problem) Plan of work – Methods / Procedures to be used – Who is responsible for each step – Schedule or timeline – Cost / Value
21 Management Plan & Key Personnel In Narrative –Qualifications and responsibilities of key personnel –Indication of amount of effort and availability Supporting letter from consultant or collaborator In Appendix –Vitae –Job descriptions
22 Evaluation Plan Formative (Process) Evaluation – Plan for a constant, continuous assessment of the project’s procedures to determine what is working and what is not working Summative (Product) Evaluation – Evaluate the project’s effectiveness – Have the objectives been satisfied? Integrate both Process & Product Evaluation
23 Dissemination Plan Share results of the project with others Publications Presentations Web pages Distribution of a product Technical report Site visits Email
24 Continuation Plan Assure sponsor that your institution can maintain the project after funding ceases. Break down by costs of the commitment and where they will come from Adopt a “can-do” attitude Explain how your project can replace other, less efficient ones
25 Facilities and Equipment Description of unique resources or capabilities based on what is on hand already Institutional context and contribution
26 Budget and Budget Explanation Salaries/Personnel (typically 70% to 80% of budget) Fringe Benefits Materials and Supplies Travel Equipment Participant Support (if required) Direct Costs Facilities & Administrative Costs (Indirect Costs) Total Costs
27 Abstract, Table of Contents and Appendices Limit each to one page -- do last Abstract – –Short and concise (to the point) –Emphasize significance and outcome; self-contained description of what will occur if $$ are provided –Write for the one-look reviewers, use this opportunity to sell your idea Table of Contents -- make sure it matches your page numbers Appendices -- only supplementary materials
28 Submitting the External Proposal Double-check the Deadline – Target date vs. deadline – Postmark date – Receipt date Obtain internal approvals – Make copies – Send the proposal!
29 Follow up -- Awarded Negotiate with the funding agency Keep good records Make a final report Plan for the future
30 Follow up -- Declined Obtain feedback and ask for reviewers’ comments Make modifications Identify a new sponsor? Resubmit!
31 Be Relentless “ Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” - Zora Neale Hurston
Thank you for your attention. 32 End of Presentation