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Professional Development Seminar

by: Isobel Lowe

Professional Development Seminar BIOL 541

Marketplace > New Mexico State University > Biology > BIOL 541 > Professional Development Seminar
Isobel Lowe
GPA 3.94

Elba Serrano

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Elba Serrano
Class Notes
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Isobel Lowe on Sunday November 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to BIOL 541 at New Mexico State University taught by Elba Serrano in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see /class/233207/biol-541-new-mexico-state-university in Biology at New Mexico State University.

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Date Created: 11/01/15
Grant Writing Tips Biol 541 Professional Development Spring 2008 Mary O Connell PhD Regents Professor Plant amp Environmental Sciences NMSU I Mechanical Issues 1 Start writing early Plan on at least2 months for a new topic less time for a modified topic in writing time Data acquisition and literature review require a much longer period of time 2 All grants have at least two different components 1 business issues forms budgets approvals forms that need signatures forms for your institution forms for the funding agency IACUC forms IRB forms IBC forms etc etc etc 2 scientific ideas hypotheses methods preliminary data etc Do 1 first sign all the forms and file a draft copy of 2 with your institutional business groups and spend your energy on 2 A day or so before the deadline provide your business office with a final copy of 2 Thank the assistants and secretaries for their help Get the proposal to them as early as possible Thank them again for their help Proof the final copy for page numbers missing pages poor quality copies etc 3 Budget Don t agonize over the budget approximate costs If you are funded you often renegotiate the budget many proposals are funded for less than you asked for anyway You usually can request reebudgeting between categories salary into supplies or vice versa Major items like equipment are best acquired via equipment grants Make sure the items in the budget are used in the proposed research Justify personnel describe what their duties will be ideally this is done both in the budget justification section as well as in the narrative of the proposal If equipment is requested be sure you have justified it in the budget justification section as well as in experiments in the proposal 4 Read the instructions Make an outline of all of the required parts and slowly but surely fill it in as you generate the information make an outline and just put down phrases of what I want to be sure to include in different sections Then as write out the text delete the phrases as incorporate the ideas For large programmatic proposals make a matrix what is requested where to put the information in the proposal and who will write that portion If you do manage a large team writing effort get organized early Make sure you know what you need from other people and ask them for everything at one time Do not send out one email after another first asking for cv then later for research descriptions and later on for number of grad students etc Send one request for all the information required at one time Keep track of who responded thank them and only pester with follow up emails those people who have not responded 5 Read the review criteria This may differ from the instructions on what to provide Make sure you meet both sets of requirements Again make a matrix of the two sets of requirements and make sure that all of the information is provided Often reviewers are provided with explicit instructions in what to use in their evaluation of the proposal make it easy for them to find these types of items The last thing you want a reviewer to do is to start thinking about your proposal in a critical manner Reviewers are human if they have to dig around for this type of housekeeping information they may get cranky A cranky reviewer is not going to think you are brilliant 6 Read the instructions Provide all of the information requested and put it in the order recommended by the funding agency If the RFA requests information about safety training go ahead and state the obvious include a paragraph with a bold heading Safety Training of Lab Personnel NMSU Safety office requires all students staffand faculty to attend mandatory annual training in chemical hygiene and radiation training Records of attendance and quiz scores will be kept for all personnel working on this project In addition all students working on this research project will receive task speci c training in blah blah blah Lab safety issues are reviewed at weekly lab meetings All undergraduates are supervised by blah blah blah 7 Pitch your idea to the Funding Agency Get your ideas organized list any procedural questions you have on a note pad pick up the phone and call the program manager named in the RFA Tell them what you want to propose in 273 sentences Ask them if their program is the correct place for your proposal If yes ask your procedural questions eg Appendix material page limits for parts x etc If no ask where they think your proposal might be funded a different program a different institute a different federal agency etc Shopping around for the correct funding mechanism is important Thank them for their time 8 You can always write a better proposal When not if your proposal is not funded read the reviews get mad and then read them again Sometimes reviewers did not understand your proposal THAT MEANS YOU DID NOT COMMUNICATE CLEARLY not that reviewers are dumb Work on the way you communicate your ideas you are brilliant but not easily understood More often than not your proposal can be improved by the comments of the reviewers try to figure out what they meant in their cryptic statements IF YOU RESUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL ALWAYS RESPOND Productively TO MOST IF NOT ALL OF THE REVIEWERS COMMENTS II Scientific or Content Issues 1 Think about your ideas talk about your ideas discuss your ideas and revise your ideas Ask colleagues to review your proposal Ask your students to review your proposal Get letters of support from colleagues who will consult on new methods Get preliminary data in collaboration with these colleagues 2 Propose simple experiments only a few specific objectives Propose several different methodsapproaches to test the same hypothesis Development of biological resources is a great contribution to science but as young facultyscientists you need publications not seIerss contributions to science ConceptuaIize what you will physicaIIy have in hand at the completion of each proposed experimentmethod Describe what you will conclude if you observe A if you observe B etc 3 Generate preliminary data Provide data for most if not all of the methods you propose to use Show data in tables or figures If the image of the gel does not reproduce DO NOT USE THE IMAGE Spend time and money on high quality representations of your data Use reasonable font sizes use white space use bold and italics judiciously IncIude sets of color copies in an appendix for the reviewers 4 Propose experiments you know how to do Have a publication track record in the research area I did my post7 doctoral research on tomato protopIast fusion experiments My first proposal was to USDAiNRI to do more and different tomato protopIast fusion research Tomatoes are not a crop in NM so I slowly developed smaII funded projects working with other related pIants eg Chile 5 Clearly describe the significance and real world applications of your research 6 State or restate the goalsobjectives and significance of the research several times in the proposal executive summary in the significance section and in the interpretation of the expected results under experimental design You as an author should sense a certain redundancy in the document 7 Current literature review Many reviewers will skim the references and scan for cited years If your references are old this will work against you If your reviewer publishes in the area and you haven t cited her this could work against you So keep current do an electronic search the last week before you submit so that if something comes out you can catch it In cases where several competing groups publish on your topic cite both or all groups Don t onIy cite one group 8 Websites to visit at NIH and NSF NIH grantwriting advice httpgrantsnihgovgrantsgrantbasicshtm Examples of funded grants NIH CRISP httpcrispcitnihgov Minority postdoctoral proposal httpminorityopportunitiesncinihgovmTrainingK01 Careerhtm NSF grantwriting advice httpWwwnsfgovfundingpreparing Examples of funded grants by NSF httpwwwnsfgovawardsearch Predoctoral proposal hffn39llwww n f quot summisppims id6201


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