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UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Pitching your Project: Strategies for Effective Grant.

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Presentation on theme: "UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Pitching your Project: Strategies for Effective Grant."— Presentation transcript:

1 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Pitching your Project: Strategies for Effective Grant Writing

2 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Some general advice…

3 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Tip number 1: Read the instructions o Review the program’s focus, and be sure your project is a good fit o Review the adjudication criteria carefully o Be sure each criterion is addressed in your proposal o Don’t be too subtle about it (use subtitles, boldface, etc. if need be) so adjudicators are sure not to miss it o Follow all section requirements, page length restrictions, formatting instructions, etc. precisely

4 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Tip number 2: Get someone else to read your proposal o Others in the field may be able to point you to any missing references in your literature review, or indicate (and suggest ways of correcting) any flaws in your methodology o Others outside of your field may be able to point out where you’ve slipped into jargon, discipline-specific terminology, etc. o A second reader can also be valuable as a proof-reader, spotting fuzzy explanations, typos, etc.

5 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Tip number 3: Write for your readers o Know what kind of committee you are writing for (i.e. discipline- specific or multi-disciplinary) and present the material accordingly o Keep your tone polite and collegial (avoid arrogance, unnecessary polemics, disparaging remarks about previous research, researchers, etc.) o Know what they are looking for (i.e., criteria) and make it easy for them to find it o Give them no reason to disqualify you o Make their reading experience pleasant (use topic sentences, sentence variety, etc.; don’t irritate with typos, minute font-size, crammed text, etc.)

6 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda What your adjudicators will want to know… Who What When Where Why and … How

7 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda More specifically… o Why is this research important and worth pursuing (and funding)? o How does this project/approach build on or distinguish itself from work that has already been done? o What preliminary work have you already completed? o Why are you in particular well positioned to pursue this project? o How, in detail, will you accomplish the project goals? o How will the research findings be disseminated, to whom, and with what impact? o How will this research program help train the next generation of researchers? o What future work might develop from this particular project?

8 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Some more advice… Start early—be sure you give ample time to this If available, look at examples of successful grant applications Review lists of previously-funded projects to gauge the fit of yours Connect with any co-applicants and collaborators early on Do several drafts of your research proposal Get peer and generalist feedback on draft Proofread carefully, and double-check all budget calculations

9 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Elements of a typical grant application

10 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Summary /abstract Objectives /goals Context /literature review Significance /impact Methodology /research design Communication of results /dissemination References / Student training plans / Description of team Budget and budget justification CV

11 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda The summary/abstract o The most important piece of writing in the application o The most widely read section of your application o Too often, the most neglected or hastily-written section… The abstract/summary should present all the exciting bits of your project. Tell a good story! Emphasize the urgency of the problem, the originality of your response, and the significance and potential impact of your findings. It must be informative, providing a free-standing, “in a nutshell” view of your project, but it’s also an opportunity to create a “hook” for the adjudicators, evoking some curiosity and a desire to read on…

12 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Objectives/goals What are you going to do/achieve? o usually short and succinct o a point-form list is often a good idea o this is where you clearly state your objectives (both broad objectives and goals, but also more specific ones) o avoid anything that sounds like a “fishing expedition” (i.e. “I’ve got a good hunch about this, and I’m going to read a lot of articles and see what’s there…”)

13 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Take 5-7 minutes to discuss with your partner this question: What are your project objectives /goals? Following this, take 3-5 minutes to sit down and pen two sentences (maximum) that summarize these goals.

14 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Context /literature review What’s been done already? o this is where you present your literature review and o establish your credibility as a researcher – demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about, and that you’ve done your homework o get someone who knows the field to read it -- you don’t want to embarrass yourself (and sink your application) by missing a key work or proposing a study that’s already been done

15 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Take 5-7 minutes to discuss with your partner this question: What’s been done, and what’s yet to be done (by you)? Following this, take 3-5 minutes to sit down and pen two sentences (maximum) that summarize your answer to these questions.

16 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Significance /impact “Why is this project worth doing—and funding” o What new knowledge will this study add to the existing literature? o Why is this new knowledge valuable? o What broader benefits might this project have for future work, for society (policy implications, learning outcomes, etc.)?

17 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Take 5-7 minutes to discuss with your partner this question: Why is your project important and worth pursuing (and funding)? Following this, take 3-5 minutes to sit down and pen two sentences (maximum) that summarize your answer to this question.

18 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Methodology /study design How are you going to do it? What steps will you take? How will you evaluate results? o this is where you establish the scope, sequencing, and, ultimately, the feasibility of your project o this is where you establish that your study will be conducted rigorously and according to accepted methods o if you don’t have much to say about methods (e.g., in the humanities), then focus on timelines and stages of the research – show you have a plan in place

19 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Take 5-7 minutes to discuss with your partner this question: How are you going to conduct this study? What is your research design? Following this, take 3-5 minutes to sit down and pen two sentences (maximum) that summarize your answer to these questions.

20 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Communication /dissemination Where will you communicate your findings--and to whom? o this, of course, is where you discuss your scholarly dissemination plans—conference papers, journal articles, books, etc. (be as specific and detailed as possible about your intended venues and reasons for targeting them) o plans for mobilizing/translating knowledge generated through this project among other stakeholder groups is also important to include here (e.g., policy papers, media pieces, seminars/talks for professional groups, etc.)

21 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda WORKSHOP ACTIVITY: Take 5-7 minutes to discuss with your partner this question: Where will you disseminate your findings, and to whom? Following this, take 3-5 minutes to sit down and pen two sentences (maximum) that summarize your answer to these questions.

22 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Student training o Training the next generation of researchers is a high priority of most funders—be sure to include a clear plan for students in your proposal Description of team o If applicable, clearly indicate the role/contributions of each team member CV o a strong CV, of course, helps make for a strong application

23 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Budget o Be sure that all items you request are eligible and are well justified o Consult grant guidelines and UW information sheets to determine student salaries, benefit/vacation amounts, per diem amounts, etc. o Be sure to double check your calculations!

24 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Application Resources in CTE o The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) website features examples of projects previously funded by the PIF and LIF programs o Lots of other resources on the site for research on teaching and learning o Nicola Simmons, CTE Research Project Analyst, is a valuable resource person!

25 UW CTE Workshop, February 8, 2010 Strategies for Effective Grant Writing prepared by Angela Roorda Application Resources in UW Arts: weblinks “Grants and Funding Resources” webpage Grants Calendar Academic Prizes Calendar SSHRC FAQ and Grant Writing Resources Forms, Guidelines and Rate Sheets Grant Opportunities and Agencies esources.html


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