Establishing the Need for Major Research Instrumentation:   Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals

Establishing the Need for Major Research Instrumentation: Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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A Little Bit About TAMUCC. Hispanic Serving Institution~ 8,000 studentsUndergraduate Institution Masters degree in Environmental ScienceComputer ScienceBiologyMariculture (Marine Aquaculture) MathematicsPhD in Coastal and Marine System Science started this yearPrior to 1994 TAMUCC was not a four year collegeOnly juniors and seniors and a few graduate programs.

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Establishing the Need for Major Research Instrumentation: Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals

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1. Establishing the Need for Major Research Instrumentation: Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Eugene Billiot Associate Professor of Environmental/Analytical Chemistry Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) email address: [email protected]

2. A Little Bit About TAMUCC Hispanic Serving Institution ~ 8,000 students Undergraduate Institution Masters degree in Environmental Science Computer Science Biology Mariculture (Marine Aquaculture) Mathematics PhD in Coastal and Marine System Science started this year Prior to 1994 TAMUCC was not a four year college Only juniors and seniors and a few graduate programs

3. A Little Bit About Chemistry Program In 1998, when I started at TAMUCC, there were 3 chemistry faculty with very little instrumentation and no adjuncts or instructors Mostly donated antiquated instruments Now there are 7 chemistry faculty, 2 instructors, 5 adjuncts and numerous teaching assistants

4. Challenges Faced Conduct research with limited resources and time Build infrastructure, especially in terms of instrumentation Essentially no faculty with history of writing proposals to federal funding agencies So how do you learn to write “good” proposals? How did you learn to ride a bike or anything else? By trying and learning from failures

5. Success of TAMUCC with MRIs - 70% in last 5 years 2001 - Instrumentation for the Chemical and Biological Characterization of Factors Affecting the Distribution and Phytoremediation of Seagrasses in Coastal Bays and Estuaries 2002 - Acquisition of a Digital Imaging System to Support Research and Research Training in Applications of Molecular Biology 2003 - Development of a Cluster System to Support Computational Science Research 2003 - Acquisition of a GC/MS System for Enhancement of Research/Teaching at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi resubmission from previous year 2004 - Acquisition of a Powder X-ray Diffraction System for Earth Science Research and Education resubmission from previous year 2004 - Acquisition of an AA Graphite Furnace and Microwave Digestor for the Enhancement of Research/Teaching at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi 2005 Acquisition of a 300 MHz NMR for the Enhancement of Research/Teaching at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

6. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Attend EVERY “free” grant writing workshop you hear about I attended ~ 10-12 workshops in four years Establish a close working relationship with the office of sponsored research Never allowed an opportunity to write a proposal to build infrastructure pass without writing a proposal Practice makes perfect ALWAYS view the reviewer’s comments from rejected proposals as an opportunity to improve your proposal writing skills Their comments are not personal

7. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Ask several people from different disciplines to read your proposal and critique it Nice people are of no use to you. TALK to the program officer They want to help READ the RFP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make it VERY easy for the reviewer to read your proposal Pay close attention to the criteria used by the reviewers to critique your proposal Think like a reviewer

8. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Use charts and/or tables to simplify things for the reviewer and to allow the reviewer to follow more easily see the organization of your proposal in terms of timeline, activities, etc. Know that if you are at a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) then you have a real advantage NSF really wants to help build the infrastructure of MSIs HOWEVER, you can not send in a sloppy proposal The primary charge of the NSF is to fund good research, not to build infrastructure Make sure your research description is sound!!!!!! Get copies of successful MRIs that requested the same instrumentation Go to fastlane and email other MRI awardees and ask them to send you copies of their successful proposals

9. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Get copies of successful MRIs that requested the same instrumentation Go to fastlane and email other MRI awardees and ask them to send you copies of their successful proposals Award Search and Funding Trends Award Search Search All Fields under Search Award For: type name of instrument Scroll down to Program and type Major Research Instrumentation Near the bottom select Active Awards Only:  Then click on Search button

10. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals

11. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Click on info in first or second column and get more information about the award

12. Overcoming Challenges Learning How to Write Good Proposals Volunteer to be a reviewer for the NSF and other federal agencies FAILURE IS NOT TRYING!!!!!!!

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