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HORT603 - Grants and Grantsmanship

Weekly Goals

Weeks 1 - 3

1. Become familiar with program areas of USDA-NRICGP or alternative granting agency to which you plan to submit your proposal.

2. Think of a research topic that you would like to write your proposal on.

3. Choose the agency and program area that would be most suitable for your proposal (submit your proposal title, agency and program area choices to your instructor using the assignment tool of WebCT Vista).

4. Start thinking about what you can do now to get your proposal together within the 13 week deadline :

    a). Start making notes on how to organize your proposal:

    • clearly define the research problem.
    • what are your key objectives?
    • how are you going to approach these objectives (outline an experimental plan)?
    • begin writing your Project Summary.

    b). Start getting a relevant reference list together.

    c). Update your Curriculum Vitae/Resume.

    d). Think about what facilities and equipment are already available to support your proposed research.

    e). If certain equipment is not available, find out how much it will cost to purchase the necessary equipment.

    f). Think about what personnel you would need to accomplish the research, e.g. a post-doctoral associate or laboratory technician?


Weeks 4 - 6

Once you have selected a title and program area it should be possible for you to partially complete the "Grant Application Cover Page". The total amount ($) you will be requesting cannot be entered on the Cover Page until the Budget has been completed. We will discuss Budget preparation and completion of the "Grant Application Cover Page" and "Project Summary" pages during weeks 4-6.

You should already be making notes on the objectives you want to accomplish in your research proposal, starting to compile a list of references, and trying to break down your proposal into the main sections (with sub-headings) which will comprise the bulk of the proposal -- the Project Description. Remember that this section will be limited to 15 pages, and should, if possible include some preliminary data which will convince the reviewer(s) that the objectives and experimental approaches are feasible. If your proposal becomes too long (i.e. exceeds the 15 page limit) try to put the "preliminary data" into an addendum (i.e. Addition to Project Description). Try to be thinking about what preliminary data you want to include in your proposal, and start preparing it in Tabulated or Figure form that you can easily include in your proposal.

Please follow the "tips" provided on what constitutes a good proposal. Try to avoid, at all costs, the common mistakes we have discussed.

By the end of the 6th week you should have taken several important steps toward preparing your proposal:

1. You should have completed your Curriculum Vitae, including your educational background (degrees received), work experience, and list of publications.

2. You should have selected a title and program area for your proposal, and should have completed the Cover Page.

3. You should have prepared a Facilities and Equipment section for your proposal.

4. You should have prepared a Budget (including a Budget Justification for all the items requested).

5. You should have prepared a Project Summary. Remember that the Project Summary page is probably the single most important page of your proposal. Try to make it as succinct and clear as possible, capturing the main ideas and objectives of the proposed research.

Items 2, 4 and 5 will be provided as Word files. Completed items 1 - 5, above, should be submitted to the Instructor as a file attachment (via WebCT Vista) by the end of the 6th week of the course.

In preparing the Cover Page, Budget and Budget Justification, description of Facilities and Equipment, and Project Summary, you should have begun to think seriously about what research you want to accomplish and what it will take to meet your objectives. You should be preparing (or have already prepared) outlines of your Experimental Plan, you should be preparing a list of References to your Project Description, and should have begun to think about how to organize the Introduction and Rationale and Significance sections of your proposal which will precede the Experimental Plan (Research Methods). You will have about 6 more weeks to complete your proposal. Focus on preparing a first draft of your Project Description and Reference sections in the upcoming 3 weeks.

Remember:

  • Carefully manage your time -- don't leave everything until the last minute.
  • There is no substitute for good science and clear, concise writing.

Week 7 - 9

At this stage you should have taken several important steps toward preparing your proposal:

1. You should have completed your Curriculum Vitae (due at the end of the sixth week).

2. You should have selected a title and program for your proposal (due at the end of the third week), and should have completed the Cover Page (due at the end of the sixth week).

3. You should have prepared a Facilities and Equipment section for your proposal (due at the end of the sixth week).

4. You should have prepared a Budget (including a Budget Justification for all the items requested) (due at the end of the sixth week).

5. You should have prepared a Project Summary (due at the end of the sixth week).

6. You should have already prepared a good first draft of your Introduction, Rationale and Significance, and Experimental Plan sections, and associated list of References.

7. You should have prepared Figures or Tables describing any preliminary data to be included in the proposal (as either part of the Project Description, or as an addendum).

A preliminary draft of the Introduction, Rationale and Significance, and Experimental Plan sections, list of References, Figures and Tables (if included) are due at the end of the ninth week of the course. Your instructor will attempt to provide rapid feedback on this first draft. The sooner this first draft is completed and submitted, the sooner you will get feedback and can begin to modify your proposal accordingly!


Weeks 10 - 13

You should be aiming to try to "tidy up" your proposal, so that it can be submitted by the deadline. During this period you should concentrate on preparing the final draft of the Project Description (incorporating suggestions from your Instructor's review of your first draft).

The final version of your proposal will be due at the end of the 13th week ... absolutely no exceptions.. Primary, Secondary and Ad hoc reviewers will be assigned at this time.


Week 14

You will each review 3 proposals. You will have only approx. 9 days to complete your reviews. Each student will be a Primary reviewer for one proposal, a Secondary reviewer for one proposal, and an Ad hoc reviewer for 1 additional proposal. The Instructor will prepare written reviews for all proposals. Each proposal should therefore be reviewed by 4 people (1 Primary, 1 Secondary, 1 Ad hoc, and 1 Instructor).

The reviews should be submitted electronically to the Instructor by the end of the 14th week. Reviews (omitting reviewer's names) will then be posted on the WebCT Vista server as soon as possible, so that the reviews can be studied by the primary reviewers in advance of the Panel Meeting.


Week 15

The Panel Meeting(s) will be held on the Thursday of the 15th week of the course. I propose to be the Panel Manager at our Panel Meeting. It will be the responsibility of each Primary reviewer to present their assigned Primary proposal to the Panel. Each Principal Investigator will be asked to step out of the Panel Meeting room when their proposals are discussed. Each Primary reveiwer will prepare a Panel Summary.

Awards will be made to the top 25% of the proposals!


Week 16

Course evaluation and concluding discussion.

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www www.hort.purdue.edu
David Rhodes
Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
Horticulture Building
625 Agriculture Mall Drive
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2010
Last Update: 01/07/08