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National Council of University Research Administrators. The Logistics of Developing Complex, Multi-Project Proposal. Steven B. Chin Julia L. Angstmann Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Introduction: Defining a Common Vision.

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The Logistics of Developing Complex, Multi-Project Proposal

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The logistics of developing complex multi project proposal

National Council of University Research Administrators

The Logistics of Developing Complex, Multi-Project Proposal

The logistics of developing complex multi project proposal

@ 2014 National Council of University Research Administrators

Steven B. Chin

Julia L. Angstmann

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Introduction defining a common vision

Introduction: Defining a Common Vision

Proposal development services

Proposal Development Services

  • Proposal Planning

    • Establish timeline and process for development

    • Alert project team to specific requirements

    • Coordinate assignments and track sections

  • Proposal Production

    • Edit technical and non-technical sections

    • Develop budget forms

    • Identify proposal sections to be strengthened

Nih multi project activity codes

NIH Multi-Project Activity Codes

  • Resource Programs

    • G12

  • Research Program Projects and Centers

    • P01, P20, P30, P40, P41, P42, P50, P51, P60

  • Research Projects

    • R24, R28

  • Research-Related Programs

    • S06

  • Cooperative Agreements

    • U10, U19, U24, U41, U42, U45, U54, U56, UC7, UM1

Features of multi project grants niaid

Features of Multi-Project Grants (NIAID)

  • At least two interrelated research projects related to a theme with each capable of standing on its own scientific merit by complementing one another.

  • Collaboration and interaction among projects and investigators to achieve a common goal.

  • One grantee institution that will be legally and financially responsible for the use of funds.

  • Support as needed for shared resources—core resources or facilities—that provide services or resources to at least two research projects.

Nih electronic multi project applications

NIH Electronic Multi-Project Applications

  • Single Overall Component

    • Data collection comparable to a single-project application that describes the entire application and how each of the components fit together

  • Additional Components

    • Additional component types with predefined data collection requirements (e.g., Admin Core, Project Core, FOA-specific)

  • Summaries

    • Information compiled from the data provided in the individual components (e.g., component and categorical roll-ups of budget data)

Promoting faculty collaborations

Promoting Faculty Collaborations

  • Administration-initiated responses

    • Identify senior investigators

    • Facilitate investigator meetings

  • Investigator-initiated responses

    • Identify staffing gaps, fill staffing gaps

    • Facilitate investigator meetings

Investigator screening

Investigator Screening

  • Faculty questionnaires

    • School, department affiliations

    • Research description

    • Current funding, past funding, pending funding

    • Collaboration history

    • Anticipated relationship to proposed project

      • Core usage

      • Research projects

      • Analytical approaches

Promoting a common vision

Promoting a Common Vision

  • Promoting a common vision of the project

    • Agency mission

    • Institute/Center mission

    • Funding opportunity announcement

    • Principal investigator

    • Investigator meetings

Promoting a common vision1

Promoting a Common Vision

  • Promoting a common vision of the proposal

    • Understanding of complex, multi-project proposals

    • Application Guide

    • Funding opportunity announcement

    • Principal investigator

    • Investigator meetings

Foa references to application guide

FOA References to Application Guide

  • “It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in the funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise…

  • Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced.

  • Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

  • All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) must be followed, with the following additional instructions, as noted.”

Application guide

Application Guide

  • Required sections

  • Required content

  • Required typography

    • Typeface

      • Arial, Helvetica, Linotype, Georgia

    • Font size

      • 11 points or larger

    • Font color

      • Black

    • Margin size

      • At least one-half inch (top, bottom, left, and right)

Funding opportunity announcements nih

Funding Opportunity Announcements (NIH)

  • 1. Overview Information

  • 2. Full Text of Announcement

    I. Funding Opportunity Description

    II. Award Information

    III. Eligibility Information

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    V. Application Review Information

    VI. Award Administration Information

    VII. Other Information

Promoting timely submissions

Promoting Timely Submissions

Proposal outline

Proposal Outline

  • All proposal components

  • Outline format to indicate position of component in structural hierarchy

  • Special instructions and limitations

  • Page limits

  • Assignment of each component to specific investigator(s) or specific staff member(s)

Development schedule

Development Schedule

  • Tasks in chronological order

  • Dates, responsible persons, and actions to be taken

  • Dates to request action or information

  • Agency due date as starting point

  • Internal institutional deadlines and developer deadlines

Non technical and technical editing

Non-Technical andTechnical Editing

Nontechnical editing format

Nontechnical editing: Format

  • Alignment with the FOA/guidelines

    • Enforce typographical requirements

  • Number/header system

    • Establish early in the process

    • Use headings or key phrases from FOA to organize

    • Provide outline to each section lead

  • Administrative components

    • Biographical sketches

    • Budgets, budget justifications

    • Descriptions of facilities, resources, equipment

    • Letters of support and collaboration

  • Visual appeal

    • Format all figures and tables the same

    • White space

Nontechnical editing content

Nontechnical editing: Content

  • Begin with the proposed activity

  • Alignment with the FOA

    • Confirm that all requested topics are addressed

  • Research plan

    • Timeline of research

    • Personnel

    • Plan of attack

  • Administrative components

    • Insure that all administrative components support the proposed research

  • Typos and misspellings

Technical editing focusing the proposal

Technical Editing: Focusing the Proposal

  • Outline project goals, objectives, and outcomes

  • Ensure proposed work is relevant to the agency’s mission

  • Ensure all items in FOA are adequately addressed.

  • Compose the overview/first page so that the purpose, rationale, connection to agency mission, and significance of the work is concisely conveyed.

    • More detail later in the proposal.

Technical editing the art of persuasion and stylized writing

Technical Editing: The art of persuasion and stylized writing

  • It’s not a mystery novel (nor a technical paper)!

  • Background section should be the shortest part of the proposal

  • Be explicit, don’t leave anything to the reviewer’s interpretation.

  • Avoid long, complex sentences.

Technical editing the art of persuasion and stylized writing cont d

Technical Editing: The art of persuasion and stylized writing (cont’d)

  • Forward-moving

    • Sentence stress-points

      “You have asked me twice now to respond to your short notice requests.”

      “Twice now you have asked me to respond to your requests on short notice. This short notice causes my office to rush and may result in mistakes.”

    • Parenthetical commas

    • Flow of narrative

      • Overview  Background  Rationale/Significance  Objective/Hypothesis  Methods Expected Outcomes  Contingency

Technical editing aim driven research

Technical Editing: Aim-driven Research

  • All research is aim-driven

  • Must conclude in an outcome

    • The research aim of this proposal is to apply method M from field Q to problem X in field R.

  • Unclear language = fishing expedition

    • A clear aim and/or testable hypothesis will avoid this!

  • Aims can be accomplished through descriptive or hypothesis-driven research.

  • George Hazelrigg, NSF 2012

    Technical editing descriptive versus hypothesis driven research

    Technical Editing: Descriptive- versus Hypothesis-driven Research

    • Dependent on agency and field of research

    • Descriptive research is used to describe a population or phenomenon (the “what”).

      • Does not answer the how, when, or why of the phenomenon.

    • Hypothesis-driven research must be testable:

      • Do not be vague

        • Poor: “X could cause Y”

        • Good: “X causes Y”

        • Better: “X will increase Y”

        • Best: “X will increase Y by Z amount”

    Other items

    Other items

    • Include only figures that are simple and useful

    • Once a decent draft of the proposal is completed, go back and check off each point in the FOA, including the merit review guidelines.

    • External review

    Coordination with other institutional offices for submission

    Coordination with Other Institutional Offices for Submission

    Division of labor

    Division of Labor

    • Departmental/School Fiscal Officer

      • Work with PI on budget/budget narrative

      • Assist with internal routing through SRO

      • Paper submissions: pagination, final check, copying

      • Electronic submissions: final check of all documents

    • Institutional SRO

      • IUPUI: 5 day administrative deadline; 2 day technical deadline; funding agency deadline

      • Know the policies at your institution and follow them!

    Concluding remarks

    Concluding Remarks

    • The FOA and guidelines are your best friends, read them carefully at least 2-3 times!

      • Try to convince PI and any others writing a portion of the proposal to read the FOA/guidelines too.

    • Use the FOA/guidelines as a checklist to ensure that all content is present in the final application.

    • Print and read the application prior to submission.



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