Objectives of Group Projects • The objective is three fold: • Gaining knowledge about a particular subject • Working with a client to deal with an environmental issue • The process of working as a team and project management • You gain experience: • Applying knowledge and tools • Developing analytical capacity • Dealing with challenging issues rigorously and comprehensively • Working in an interdisciplinary team • Working to deadlines • Managing, people, money, and time • Working with clients • Preparing and presenting professional reports
Why Propose? • You have a research question that you want to work on and that fits the criteria for a Group project • You want to interact with someone or some organization. • You want the experience of writing a proposal. • You want to have greater control over your group project destiny. -Student proposers of accepted project are guaranteed spot on project. -No more than two guaranteed spots per project. • You want to work on a project in specific area.
Preparing a Proposal Thoroughly Review Request for Proposals (RFP) and sample proposals on-line. Identify client and a clear research question. If you do not already have a relationship with the client, speak to John Melack, who can help you set that up. John Melack is the liaison with external clients. Write out paragraph or two describing your idea. Send to Christina Tague and request a meeting to discuss and explore. She will help you hone the idea and suggest a faculty sponsor. See website that will outline current pre-proposals under-development. – contact other students, faculty sponsor or John Melack for more information about a particular client and proposal. See what proposals other students are working on to ensure that there are not duplicative efforts or too many proposals being worked on in a particular area.
What Makes A Good Proposal? • Students are interested. • Faculty are interested and have some expertise in the area of exploration. • Doable in terms of time, labor force, and known funding. • Clearly defined, interesting question that is of reasonable scope. • Question requires multidisciplinary exploration. • Current state of knowledge and the value of further exploration well articulated. • Clearly stated objectives. • Data needs identified and data are attainable. • Methodological approaches described. • Interested external clients.
Good Proposals • A proposal may be good but still not selected! • We may have too many proposals given the number of students. • We may have too many in an particular area of specialization. • We may not have an appropriate faculty member to advise it.
Sharing of Proposal Ideas • Students and Faculty will have the opportunity to view and post prospective proposals via an internal Bren Google doc. The link will be available and emailed to you on Monday, November 9th. It will remain active until January 30th, 2010. • In order for the Group Project Coordinator to post prospective proposals, students must email firstname.lastname@example.org the following information before January 29th, 2010: • 1) Name of Proposer (s) 2) Title (descriptive of the environmental science and management problem to be solved) 3) Bren Faculty Sponsor who has participated in the development of the proposal (if applicable) 4) Proposed Project (5-8 sentence synopsis) 5) Prospective Client
Advice Prepare draft of proposal following guidelines. Discuss objectives with client and advisor – are they doable, interesting, clearly defined. Read the literature to become knowledgeable about prior work and methodologies. Have friend review it and edit it. Make revisions. Send draft to faculty sponsor to review (with at least week turn-around). 7
Advice (cont) Make revisions. Send draft to external clients. Set up meeting or phone call to discuss. Make revisions. Send final draft to faculty. Make final revisions. Submit. NEED TO GET GOING NOW!
$$$ • Each group gets $1,300 plus up to $200 for printing costs (automatically deducted). • If you require additional money from the client be sure this is made explicit and that you and the client understand the University’s procedures for dealing with extramural funds. Talk with John Melack, and he can direct you, as appropriate.
The Pre-Project Process • Fall Quarter • Start preparing project proposal (if you wish) • Winter Quarter • Complete project proposals and submit by deadline (Jan 30) • Projects selected by committee (end Feb) • Students on GP selection committee present accepted proposals to other students (end Feb, early March) • Students convey their preferences (early March) • Final assignments conveyed to students (mid March) • Group Project Kickoff (mid March)
Information Sources • Request for Proposals (RFP) http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/research/gp_submit.html • Example Proposals http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/research/current_gp.htm • Group Project Handbook http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/services/student/index.html (under group projects) • Past Reports and Briefs http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/research/gp_past.html • Brief Template and Example http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/services/student/index.html (under group projects)