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Grantspersonship --- International grant application Lin Lu.

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Presentation on theme: "Grantspersonship --- International grant application Lin Lu."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grantspersonship --- International grant application Lin Lu

2 Workshop outline Introduction to grant writing The process of obtaining a grant Key component of grant applications

3 Types of grants Objective Training/career Research Conference Equipment infrastructure Form Investigator-initiated ---individual----groups “set-aside” grants contracts

4 Sources of grants Government -NNSF -NIH -NSF Non-government organization -WHO Private foundation Health Voluntaries - --Chinese Medical Association - Corporations - -- Pfizer Inc.

5 Why people don’t get funded Because it is too hard? Inadequate concept Poor presentation Poor understanding of process Lack of persistence

6 Part 1: The process of getting a grant

7 The process Preparing 1. Establish frame of mind 2. Develop concept (>3 m) 3. Identify funding source 4. Inform your institute 5. Refine concept Writing 6. Think like a reviewer 7. Outline, write, edit 8. Get feedback & revise Submitting 9. Get approvals (2-60 d) 10. Request assignment 11. Submit application (0 d) 12. Provide add’l materials 13. Ensure receipt Responding 14. Await review 15. Study report 16. Respond to report Think ahead and plan backwards

8 Phase1: Preparing 1. Establish frame of mind 2. Develop concept 3. Identify funding source 4. Inform your institute 5. Refine concept

9 1. Establish frame of mind Often: little enthusiasm Better: a wonderful opportunity

10 2. Develop a concept that FITS Fills a gap in knowledge Important to -the field -funding agency -you Tests a hypothesis -(if possible) -provides measurable results Short-term investment in long-term goals

11 Getting information on agencies that fund research Internet Colleagues Acknowledgements on paper Administration at your institution

12 3. Identify funding source Improve odds: match objectives -research interests -your personal characteristics. Career phase. Gender, ethnicity Communicative with program staff !!!

13 Information to collect Is concept relevant Current instructions Who reviews What are criteria Funding -percentage -level (amount, year) -experience

14 4. Inform those involved Funding agency: letter of intent - required. Screening mechanism - optional. Administrative planning Individuals at your institution - administration - assistants People to give feedback

15 5. Refine your concept Review current literature Talk with colleagues Think hard

16 6. Outline, Write, and Edit Begin with a full outline 1-2 d Write initial draft without editing 2-3 wk Edit thoroughly 2-3 wk 4-6 wk

17 7. Think Like a Reviewer

18 Time spent reading proposal Primary reviewer 7-8 hr Secondary reviewer 1 hrs Discussion at study section 20 min Survey by Janet Rasey of NIH R01 proposals reviews

19 Implications Anticipate question, provide answers Know and use the review criteria 1. Significance 2. Innovation 3. Approach 4. Investigate 5. Environment also: ethical conduct of research

20 Sample review criteria NIH Significance Approach Innovation Investigator Environment NSF Intellectual merit “Broader impacts” American Cancer Society Scientific merit Investigator Environment Control cancer, benefit pts. Pew Charitable Trusts Fits their mission Quality Accountability Sound design

21 General organization Use headings frequently Write in paragraphs -1 major idea per paragraph - topic sentences - initial paragraphs of section most important Have a table of contents Make it easy to find key points - bold face headings terms - cross reference - some redundancy

22 Appearance Select good type face good Times Roman Century Schoolbook - size > 11 pt - occasionally use special fonts let your text - indent paragraphs - skip line between paragraphs Conform to instructions! - type size - margins - # pages - sections

23 A. A. Background and Significance B. The importance of training in “survival skills.” Success in science requires a solid background in a specific scientific discipline as well as extensive laboratory experience. However, for individuals to develop into accomplished professional, they must acquire survival skills, that is, they must be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, obtain employment and funding, manage stress and time, teach, and behave responsibly (Bloom 1992; Bird 1994; national Academy of Sciences 1995).This has always been the case and is becoming even more true as our doctoral and postdoctoral trainees need to be prepared for a variety of vocations (National Academy of Science 1995; Varmus 1995) In addition to traditional jobs in academia, many of our trainees will ultimately find themselves doing research in industry, teaching in 4-year colleges, or serving in some administrative capacity. Others will combine their PhDs with professional degree in medicine or law and become clinical researchers, patent layers, or become involved in the formulation of public

24 A. BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE The importance of training in “survival skills.” Success in science requires a solid background in a specific scientific discipline as well as extensive laboratory experience. However, for individuals to develop into accomplished professional, they must acquire survival skills, that is, they must be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, obtain employment and funding, manage stress and time, teach, and behave responsibly (Bloom 1992; Bird 1994; national Academy of Sciences 1995).This has always been the case and is becoming even more true as our doctoral and postdoctoral trainees need to be prepared for a variety of vocations (National Academy of Science 1995; Varmus 1995) In addition to traditional jobs in academia, many of our trainees will ultimately find themselves doing research in industry, teaching in 4-year colleges, or serving in some administrative capacity. Others will combine their PhDs with professional degree in medicine or law and become clinical researchers, patent layers, or become involved in the formulation of public

25 8. Get feedback and revise: Asking for help Yes − Program staff − Former reviewer − Colleague NO! - Current reviewer

26 9. Get approvals Use of subjects - humans - animals Safety Agreements - collaborators - consultants Your institute -office of research -department chair

27 Clues for assignment officer Title Abstract Specific aims Cover letter Input from program staff

28 10. Submit application Know the deadline Anticipate problems Give yourself extra time What if you are late? - call and ask - there often is a grace period - sometimes there isn’t

29 11. Await review What will be happening 1. Assignment 2. Evaluation - staff - peers sitting panel external reviewers 3. Preparation of report, which may - not be available - need to request - take 2-3 mo - be incomplete - contain contradictions

30 12. Study the report Possible outcomes - scored high “gray area” low - rejected

31 Reasons for rejection: Research proposals not innovative, important inadequate rationale uncritical approach not well reasoned lacks expt’l detail overambitious diffuse or uncertain future directions ethical concerns

32 Reasons for rejection: Fellowships weak candidate - productivity - letters - training Poor mentor - research - funding - experience inadequate proposal - quality of research - relevance to training Weak institution - colleagues - support

33 13. Respond to Critique If funded, but with reduced budget Estimate what can be accomplished Renegotiate - objective - experiments save rest for future application

34 If scores is in “gray zone” talk to program officer Consider providing additional material - rebuttal - evidence of feasibility If not funded Revised application - some changes - some polite rebuttal Request new reviewers

35 Part II: Components of an application

36 Sections of an application Title Abstract Budget & justification Biographical sketches of key participants Research plan Subject welfare Supplementary materials

37 Title Mini-abstract Accurate statement of long-term goals Conform to guidelines Include key words

38 Abstract Contents background specific aims unique features methodology expected results method of evaluation generalizability relation to field broad impact

39 Abstract Accurate Simple Interesting Not provocative Key words

40 Research plan A. Specific Aims B. Background & Significance C. Preliminary Data D. Research Design & Methods

41 A. Specific Aims Goals long-term broad diffuse “Specific Aims” short-term specific measurable hypothesis-driven

42 A. Specific Aims Goal (long-term objective) Develop interventions that reduce the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Specific Aims (short-term) 1) Identify the behavioral consequences of the loss of cholinergic neurons in forebrain, and 2) Determine the extent to which these effects can be reversed by increased activation of specific subtypes of Ach receptors.

43 A. Specific Aims Small number (~3-5) Specific Single sentence Lead to hypothesis-driven experiments Example 2 Examine effect of GDNF on cell death caused by stroke Hypothesize that GDNF attenuates cell death induced by stroke via the activation of MAP kinase

44 B. Background & Significance literature review - rationale for project - state of the end your proposal - innovation - contribution to field be selective deal with contradictions include own work include reviewer’s work cite sources

45 C. Preliminary Data feasibility of methods support for hypothesis summarize critical findings include reprints in appendix interpret results critically

46 D. Research Design & Methods Parallel to Specific Aims Match to funds, time Be specific: methods/data analysis Be Hypothesis-driven Discuss contingencies

47 Experiments Specific Aim 1 - Identify the behavioral consequences of the loss of cholinergic neurons in forebrain Experiment 1 - Use the local administration of inhibitors of Ach synthesis to selectively reduce the availability of ACh in specific brain regions; then examine impairments in performance in the Morris water maze.

48 Methods Why your method is best Provide details - methodology - controls - instruments to be used - information to be collected: value & limitations - precision of data - procedures for data analysis - interpretation Potential problems & how you will overcome them Alternative method, if yours fails

49 Methods List sources of unique materials - reagents - materials - populations Consider input from statistician - experimental design - analysis procedures

50 Presentation of an individual experiment Expt 1: Studies of.. title parallel to specific aim

51 Presentation of an individual experiment Expt1: Studies of.. hypoth.: A will correlate with B hypothesis What you will test (not prove)

52 Presentation of an individual experiment Expt 1: Studies of.. hypoth.: A will correlate with B 1. Rationale rational why you propose to do this experiment

53 Presentation of an individual experiment Expt 1: Studies of.. hypoth.: A will correlate with B 1. Rationale 2. Experimental design what you will do assay method - availability - sensitivity - specificity # of replicates data analysis

54 Presentation of an individual experiment Expt 1: Studies of.. hypoth.: A will correlate with B 1. Rationale 2. Experimental design 3. comments comments expectations problems? - measurement - interpretation contingencies

55 Timeline Approximate Timeline (in years) Experiment12345 Impact of GDNF on cell death Signaling underlying effects of GDNF Molecular basis of neuroprotection

56 Collaborators & consultants Add skills, expertise Add credibility

57 Biographical sketches Include for critical personnel Highlight relevant accomplishments Ensure accuracy - training, experience - publications - grant support

58 Budget Reasonable for the project - funding agency - your level of experience Full budget - itemize, justify each cost “modular” budget - request in $25,000 increments - limited justification

59 Justification Personnel - % effort on project - responsibilities Ben Aster, Ph.D., 20% effort. Dr. aster is responsible for program evaluation. He develops evaluation instruments, interviews subjects, administers surveys, codes and analyzes the data, initiates follow-up inquires, and writes evaluation reports.

60 Justification Animals - quantity - cost at age - days housed - cost of housing

61 Special concerns Salary Travel Equipment - purchase - service maintenance New costs in subsequent years Inflationary increases

62 Construction of budget Fringe benefits - this example=20% Direct costs (DC) Salaries 50,000 Fringe benefits(20%) 10,000 Supplies 25,000 Equipment 15,000 Direct Costs 100,000

63 Construction of budget fringe benefits - this example=20% Direct Costs (DC) Facilities & Administrative Costs (F&A)* - example=50% - not on equipment Salaries 50,000 Fringe benefits(20%) 10,000 Supplies 25,000 Equipment 15,000 Direct Costs 100,000 Facilities & Admin* 42,500 Total Award $142,500 *Also referred to as “indirect costs” (IDC)

64 Resources and environment Document resources available - equipment - space - facilities - support staff

65 Subject welfare Know, adhere to guidelines Get appropriate approvals

66 Human subjects Characteristics of subjects, population Recruiting methods Criteria for selection Consent procedures Potential risks How risks will be minimized Benefits to subjects and community Inclusion of women and minorities

67 Vertebrate animals Detail proposed use Justify species and number Veterinary care Minimizing stress, discomfort Justification for method of euthanasia

68 Letters Agreement, collaboration Recommendation Letters of agreement - obtain from collaborators, consultants - to document type, level of involvement access to unique materials - improve by providing sample Letters of recommendation - may be required - could be optional - could be inconspicuous

69 Appendix Some example of materials - color or enlarged figures - reprints of your work - updated information results other accomplishments Find out if,when,where Never use to circumvent page limits!!

70 Advice to new investigators Get funded as soon as possible - funding track record helps get more $ - proposals often not funded first time

71 Advice to new investigators Starting small is fine - amount - time Make sure previous work published Every proposal should be excellent Letters from others can help Don’t stop’till you have more than enough’


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