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The Basics of Proposal Writing. An Introduction to Writing a Successful Grant Application. Introductory Comments: Is it about the money? Yes and No. Why write a grant proposal? Can you afford to support the projects that interest you from your own or your institution’s resources?

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the basics of proposal writing

The Basics of Proposal Writing

An Introduction to Writing a Successful Grant Application

introductory comments is it about the money yes and no
Introductory Comments: Is it about the money? Yes and No
  • Why write a grant proposal?
    • Can you afford to support the projects that interest you from your own or your institution’s resources?
  • Ultimately successful grant seeking must be driven by your professional goals, the quality of the research or project, the institution’s mission and the needs of the potential grantor, not simply the money.
introductory comments traits of a good proposal writer
Introductory Comments: Traits of a Good Proposal Writer
  • Is clever
  • Plans well
  • Prepares extensively
  • Takes input and criticism

in a positive manner to

improve ideas and

presentation

introductory comments be proactive not reactive
Introductory Comments: Be Proactive not Reactive
  • Start the proposal preparation process early
  • Don’t be either to narrow or too general in your approach
  • Learn about your potential funding source(s)
  • Develop a quality assurance process
    • e.g. have a pre-submission review team read and comment on the proposal
introductory comments innovation counts
Introductory Comments: Innovation Counts
  • In submitting a proposal you are marketing your ideas, the capabilities of you and your organization, and possibly those of your partners, to get the proposed work done in an effective manner.
  • Grant seeking is an entrepreneurial activity and the competitive nature of grant funding encourages innovative ideas that will solve the problem in the most effective manner.
introductory comments you must have goals
Introductory Comments: You Must Have Goals
  • Identify your long term goals
    • Your professional goals
    • Goals of the research
  • Get to know your field
    • The people
    • The funding sources
    • Begin networking – professionally and socially
  • Be prepared for rejection
  • Stick to your goals – but consider flexible solutions
the grants marketplace federal government funding
The Grants Marketplace: Federal Government Funding
  • Federal and State funding accounts for more than 75% of all money granted (note that this is money granted, if contracts are included the percentage would increase to well over 90%).
  • Types of Federal Grants
    • Categorical Grants – address a specific area of programmatic concern
    • Block Grants – Pass categorical grant money to the state for administration following state rules.
    • Formula Grants – funds allocated according to set criteria such as number of individuals below the poverty level. Specific to a problem area or geographic region and must pass through an intermediary such as a city government.
    • Cooperative Agreement or Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) - An award similar to a grant, but in which the sponsor's staff may be actively involved in proposal preparation, and anticipates having substantial involvement in research activities once the award has been made.
the grants marketplace state government funding
The Grants Marketplace: State Government Funding
  • In terms of dollars most of the state grants come from federal block and formula grants.
    • States can develop their own priorities for distribution of these federal funds.
    • States may add restrictions in addition to those imposed in the federal guidelines, use a peer review system, or use elected officials or political appointees to review applications.
  • States also create their own programs and review may or may not be by state-wide criteria.
types of grant opportunities
Types of Grant Opportunities
  • Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) - An announcement of a federal agency's general research interests that invites proposals and specifies the general terms and conditions under which an award may be made.
  • Investigator-Initiated Proposal - A proposal submitted to a sponsor that is not in response to an RFP, RFA, or a specific PA.
  • Program Announcement (PA)- Describes existence of a research opportunity. It may describe new or expanded interest in a particular extramural program or be a reminder of a continuing interest in an extramural program.
    • Parent Announcements – A form of PA used by the NIH, span the breadth of the NIH mission in order to ensure it has a way to capture “unsolicited” applications that do not fall within the scope of targeted announcements. 
types of grant opportunities11
Types of Grant Opportunities
  • Request for Applications (RFA) - Announcements that indicate the availability of funds for a topic of specific interest to a sponsor. Proposals submitted in response to RFAs generally result in the award of a grant. Specific grant announcements may be published in the Federal Register and/or specific sponsor publications.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP) - Announcements that specify a topic of research, methods to be used, product to be delivered, and appropriate applicants sought. Proposals submitted in response to RFPs generally result in the award of a contract. Notices of federal RFPs are published in the Commerce Business Daily.
contracts
Contracts
  • Contract - A mechanism for procurement of a product or service with specific obligations for both sponsor and recipient. Typically, a research topic and the methods for conducting the research are specified in detail by the sponsor, although some sponsors award contracts in response to unsolicited proposals.
types of private foundations
Types of Private Foundations
  • National General Purpose Foundations
    • These foundations have interests in several areas and fund projects that will have a broad impact.
  • Special Purpose Foundations
    • Define their area of interest specifically
  • Community Foundations
    • Want to make a difference in the communities in which they are based
  • Family Foundations
patterns of foundation funding
Patterns of Foundation Funding
  • Education is the largest recipient of foundation funds (25%) followed by human services (17%), health (16%), and the arts (12%)
  • Higher education receives more support than any other aspect of eduction (15% compared to 6% for K-12)
identifying potential foundation funding
Identifying Potential Foundation Funding
  • Define your project, its goals and the specific actions you will take to achieve those goals
  • The Foundation Directory is the source for information on sources of 92% of all foundation funding.
  • The Foundation Directory may be accessed on-line in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Administration.
the corporate marketplace education health human services
The Corporate Marketplace: Education & Health & Human Services
  • Corporate giving comes in two forms – directly from the corporation and from corporate foundations
  • The guiding principle of corporate giving is self-interest – “this-for-that” – corporations do not usually give away money, they invest it.
    • The latest IRS rule allows up to 10% of their pre-tax gifts and grants to not-for-profits as a tax deduction
    • Education and health and human services are the two biggest recipients of corporate contributions
the corporate marketplace culture the arts
The Corporate Marketplace: Culture & the Arts
  • Can you demonstrate that employees of the corporation come to performances or sites
  • Do employees of the corporation volunteer at the performances or sites
  • Do you interact with local agencies involved in the same activities
  • Do you offer activities such as family and school activities that will assist the corporation in recruiting employees
maximize lead time
Maximize Lead Time
  • Having time to write a compelling proposal is essential
  • This begins with a proactive and early search for funding opportunities
  • You must create the quality time to produce the proposal from generation of the idea through gap analysis to submission of the proposal
you do not want to get this review
You Do Not Want to Get This Review

“The problems with this grant are legion, but if I go on to detail them I will have spent more time on the review than it appears the applicant did in his preparation of the proposal.”

general guidelines for a proposal
General Guidelines for a Proposal
  • Nothing beats a good idea
  • Be realistic – You’re probably not going to solve the problem of world hunger with your proposed project
  • Make the presentation clear and simple
  • Make the presentation easy to read
  • Present yourself, or you and your collaborators, as the one person or group who can solve the problem of interest to the funding entity
  • Prepare a realistic budget and thoroughly justify it
nothing beats a good idea
Nothing Beats a Good Idea
  • Articulate a worthwhile, single, focused objective
  • Articulate Specific Aims that are clearly related to one another and logically fit under the umbrella of the overall objective
  • Present gaps in our knowledge
  • Plant the seed for achieving each specific aim by presenting the questions to be asked which will fill the gaps
develop your idea
Develop Your Idea
  • Define the problem that you want to address
  • Collect and critically analyze background information related to the problem
  • Develop, don’t force, the preliminary idea
  • Assess the potential for success in solving the problem based on your idea
  • Seek constructive input/criticism from knowledgeable colleagues
  • Refine the idea to maximize its potential for impact on your field
assess your idea
Assess Your Idea
  • Critically asses whether or not you have the necessary expertise, resources, personnel and preliminary data to be competitive
  • Find the agency that fits your idea
    • Know what an agency can fund
    • Funding your proposal should be compatible with meeting the goals of the agency
    • Contact the program officer and listen closely and carefully
sell your idea the successful sell
Sell Your Idea: The Successful Sell
  • Make a good first impression
  • Be well-prepared
  • Be credible
  • Deliver a clear message
  • Provide supporting documentation
  • Include appropriate endorsements
  • Have something special to offer
  • Be persistent
sell your idea convey enthusiasm
Sell Your Idea – Convey Enthusiasm
  • You must be enthusiastic about your idea and maximally convey this enthusiasm to the reviewers
    • A major key to success in grant-writing is to create enthusiasm in the reviewer such that he becomes an advocate for your proposal
    • If at all possible get to know who your reviewers will be
  • Articulate a worthwhile, single, focused objective
  • Articulate Specific Aims that are clearly related to one another and logically fit under the umbrella of the overall objective
sell your idea
Sell Your Idea
  • Present gaps in our knowledge
  • Plant the seed for achieving each specific aim by presenting the questions to be asked which will fill the gaps
  • Tell the reviewers what to expect for their investment
needs or gap analysis
Needs or Gap Analysis
  • You must convincingly establish the need for the solution to the problem you are interested in.
    • Just because it is obvious to you doesn’t mean it’s obvious to a potential grantor.
  • What is the problem that requires a solution?
  • What will happen if this problem is not solved?
  • What is the gap between what exists now and what ought to be or would be if the knowledge existed to solve the problem?
  • Why should grant funds be used now to solve the problem and reduce the gap?
does needs analysis apply to the basic research grant
Does Needs Analysis Apply to the Basic Research Grant
  • Yes – You must know the literature in your field in depth such that you can generate hypotheses which are based on what is not now known, but must be known to advance the field.
  • You must be on the “cutting edge”.
    • You do not want to have your idea labeled as “old science”
conceptual model of a proposal
Conceptual Model Of A Proposal

Idea

Supporting Concepts & Data

Details of the Plan

Appendices (Use sparingly if permitted at all)

the four most important elements of grant writing
The Four Most Important Elements of Grant-Writing
  • Read the Instructions, understand the Instructions, Follow the Instructions
  • Read the Instructions, understand the Instructions, Follow the Instructions
  • Read the Instructions, understand the Instructions, Follow the Instructions
the four most important elements of grant writing35
The Four Most Important Elements of Grant-Writing
  • AND THEN REALLY READ THE INSTRUCTIONS
  • Read the correct instructions
  • Read all of the instructions
  • Read the current instructions
  • Read the RFA and PA especially well as these are supplied to the reviewers
you must present the proposal so that it answers these questions
You Must Present the Proposal So That It Answers These Questions
  • What positively singles out this grant application from all others under consideration?
  • Why is this grant special and, therefore, deserving of support?
make the presentation clear and simple
Make The Presentation Clear And Simple
  • Assume total ignorance on the part of the reviewer
  • Provide all of the simplest conceptual background
  • No abbreviations or acronyms without definition
  • Use diagrams to illustrate concepts
  • Use formatting for emphasis
  • Be redundant
make the presentation easy to read
Make The Presentation Easy To Read
  • Put yourself in the position of the reviewer
  • Do not be wordy – write like Hemingway, not Faulkner
  • Tell the reviewer what he is supposed to think and write
  • Do not force the reviewer to hunt through the application for information
make the presentation easy to read39
Make The Presentation Easy To Read
  • Use simple declarative sentences
  • Avoid complicated words, unusual abbreviations (always define an abbreviation that is not common to the area), and tortuous syntax
  • Avoid “weak” words that may introduce doubt into the mind of the reviewer about your ability to do the work
    • Example “We will try to establish conditions for –” vs. “The following variables will be considered in order to establish conditions for ---”
order of preparation
Order of Preparation
  • Write the Specific Aims and Hypotheses first, then the Narrative, then the Justification and Background and finally the Title and Summary or Abstract
present yourself as the greatest expert in the field
Present Yourself As The Greatest Expert In The Field
  • Know the literature in depth and breadth
  • Do not make statements without attribution or preliminary data
  • Do not be reluctant to admit shortcomings
  • Seek collaborators or mentors when your expertise cannot be documented
present yourself as the greatest expert in the field42
Present Yourself As The Greatest Expert In The Field

This is an important research project, which can be accomplished in timely fashion because the personnel, methods and equipment required for the successful completion of the research are already in place. The PI and co-investigators are well qualified to accomplish the goals of this application. The PI and co-investigators have worked closely together for several years, as evidenced by peer-reviewed papers which are relevant to the current proposal. The PI will be responsible for the organization of the research project and for the overall administration of the program. The PI has extensive experience in investigation of opioid-mediated signaling pathways and innate immunity. One Co-I has extensive experience in neuroscience and in glial biology. Another Co-I has extensive experience in cellular biology of neuroscience and another Co-I is experienced in researching signaling pathways. The research team will continue to interact via weekly lab meetings, email, phone and direct interaction.

be realistic
Be Realistic
  • Ask questions which are answerable
  • Provide tantalizing preliminary data as evidence that the questions are worth asking and answerable
  • Propose technical approaches which are within the realm of your published technical expertise OR provide preliminary data
  • The volume of work proposed should be proportional to the time of support requested and your other obligations
significance
Significance
  • Does the proposed work address an important problem?
  • If the aims of the proposal are achieved how will the problems addressed be reduced or how will scientific knowledge be advanced?
  • What will be the effect of this work on the paradigm used in the field or what effect will there be on concepts and methods that drive this scientific field?
significance especially for nsf
Significance: Especially for NSF
  • What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity
    • How does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning?
    • How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups?
    • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks and partnerships?
    • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?
    • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
approach
Approach
  • Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project?
  • Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
innovation
Innovation
  • Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods?
  • Are the aims original and innovative?
  • Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?
environment
Environment
  • Does the environment (facilities, availability of relevant expertise, etc.)
  • Does the proposed activity or experiment(s) take advantage of unique features of the environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?
  • Is there evidence of institutional support?
background and significance
Background And Significance
  • Provide just enough background information so the reviewer appreciates what you are proposing
  • Extraneous information is distracting
  • Compartmentalize information with bold headings, key words and sentences
  • Make use of diagrams and

cartoons to describe processes

and concepts

  • Use a terminal sentence pointing to your goal at the end of each compartment
research design and methods general methods
Research Design And Methods:General Methods
  • Present most often used methods first, each in separate titled paragraphs
  • Present in a depth which is inversely proportional to your published experience with the methods
  • Cite publications in which you have used the methods
  • Refer to the preliminary data when describing unpublished methods
research design and methods experimental approaches to each specific aim
Research Design And Methods:Experimental approaches to each Specific Aim
  • Each specific aim is its own section
  • State specific aim
  • State hypothesis associated with that specific aim
  • State question(s) associated with that hypothesis
  • Provide rationale for each question
  • Describe experiments
  • Expected results, interpretation, shortcomings and pitfalls
the specific aims section
The Specific Aims Section
  • One of the two most important section of the application (the Summary is the other)
  • One of the only sections that will be read by all of the reviewers
  • Must quickly engender enthusiasm for your idea
  • The flow of logic must be compelling
the specific aims section characteristics
The Specific Aims Section: Characteristics
  • Two-to-five at the most
  • Brief, focused and limited in scope
  • Format each with an “eye-catching headline”
  • Conceptual, not descriptive
  • Each must logically flow from the preceding and into the next
  • Must test the stated hypothesis or hypotheses
  • None should be absolutely dependent on the outcome of another
the specific aims section55
The Specific Aims Section
  • Brief Introduction: Known, unknown, problem and why is it important to solve
  • Long-range goal
  • Objective of this application
  • Specific aim(s)
  • Hypothesis
  • Rationale
  • Why you are the best qualified (e.g. preliminary data, unique reagent, research environment)
  • Innovation, expectations and impact
the specific aims section56
The Specific Aims Section
  • Long-Range Goal
  • Not the goal of the current application
  • Is the goal of the overall program of which the current proposal is a part
  • Be realistic: do not overstate or over-anticipate your capabilities
    • “The long range goal of our research program is to better understand the neurochemistry of learning”
the specific aims section57
The Specific Aims Section
  • Objective of this proposal
    • “The objective of the research proposed in this application is to determine the relationship between acetylcholine and learning.”
  • Must be a step toward attainment of the long-term goal
  • Defines the purpose of the proposed research
  • Must be phrased in such a way that the central hypothesis clearly grows out of it
the specific aims section the hypothesis
The Specific Aims Section: The Hypothesis
  • Each Specific Aim should be HYPOTHESIS DRIVEN
    • May consist of more than one hypothesis
  • Hypothesis should be defended in terms of the overall objectives previously stated
    • Do not be afraid of redundancy with the Background
the specific aims section the hypothesis59
The Specific Aims Section: The Hypothesis
  • “Specific Aim 1 will test the effects of scopolamine, a drug that blocks acetylcholine, on the ability of rats to learn the radial arm maze.”
  • Write a hypothesis, not a predetermined conclusion
    • “The hypothesis that will be tested in accomplishing Specific Aim 1 is that blockade of acetylcholine will lead to deficits in learning.”
    • “The hypothesis that will be tested is to show that scopolamine, a cholinergic antagonist drug, will impair learning.”
the specific aims section environment
The Specific Aims Section: Environment
  • Only equipment that contributes to evaluation of merit – e.g. a confocal microscope and image analysis system, not a standard research microscope
  • Key collaborative arrangements and other unique features that enhance probability of success
  • Extraordinary institutional commitment, e.g. significant release time from teaching, support of a research technician
  • Intellectual environment conducive to successful completion of your research
the resources section
The Resources Section
  • Is a separate section and is more general than what is included under environment in specific aims
  • Must be well written
  • List key equipment including larger pieces of standard equipment, but do not include equipment requested in your budget
  • Include institutional core facilities
  • Include reference to colleagues such as biostatisticians who may be consulted but are not listed as key personnel
the specific aims section expectations and impact
The Specific Aims Section: Expectations and Impact
  • Key section for developing advocacy
  • Statement regarding innovation must grow out of the specific aims
  • Expectations must be realistic
  • Each statement of expectation must be followed by a statement as to why that outcome is important
    • e.g. “This research is innovative and important because to date no studies have been done that have elucidated the pathway whereby glia cells influence opioid dependence.”
  • Collective impact – Summary of how will all of the outcomes advance the field
the narrative
The Narrative
  • What do you propose to do
  • How you propose to do it
  • What results you expect and what they will mean in terms of the overall project
  • What might go wrong
  • What alternative approaches will be used to cope with potential problems
the narrative64
The Narrative
  • Organize the narrative according to the Specific Aims, with one section for each
  • Devote approximately the same number of pages to each aim
  • Use an organized presentation format
  • Use appendices sparingly if at all
  • Never exceed the page limits specified in the instructions
the narrative65
The Narrative
  • Each subsection of the narrative should be laid out the same
  • Introduction
  • Experimental design
    • Experiment #1
    • Experiment #2
  • Expected Results
  • Anticipate problems and their solutions (alternative strategies)
the narrative introduction
The Narrative: Introduction
  • Begin each subsection with a short paragraph that states its objective, the working hypothesis to be tested, the overall strategy that will be used, the rationale for the studies that will be proposed, and any specific outcomes that are expected
slide67

Specific Aim 1. Elucidate the mechanism by which TLR2-mediated glial activation contributes to the development of opioid dependence and withdrawal

The working hypothesis for this aim is that TLR2-mediated glial activation plays a critical role in opioid dependence and withdrawal. The objective of this aim is to decipher the mechanisms by which TLR2 effects glial activation to produce opioid dependence and withdrawal thereby obtaining insights into the mechanisms causing opioid-induced glial activation. The rationalefor this aim is based on the following evidence. We know that TLR2 knockout mice develop attenuated morphine dependence (Fig. 5). We also know that chronic morphine administration significantly increases the expression of TLR2 in microglia (33). Importantly, we have shown that TLR2 is required for the glial cell activation following opioid dependence (Fig. 7). In addition, TLR2 deficiency in mice significantly reduces the levels of proinflammatory cytokines following chronic morphine administration (Fig. 8). Moreover, recent evidence reveals that TLR2 can function as a cell death receptor (12). However, we do not know the mechanism by which TLR2-mediated glial cell activation contributes to the development of opioid dependence and withdrawal. The experiments in this aim will focus on this issue. The strategy of this aim is to block TLR2 in mice in order to determine the contribution of TLR2-mediated glial activation in producing opioid dependence and withdrawal.

the narrative experimental design
The Narrative: Experimental Design
  • Use separate paragraphs/sections to develop each planned set of studies
  • Avoid emphasis on routine methods
  • Methods detract from the conceptual appeal of the application
  • Where appropriate refer to previous work by you and/or your colleagues
  • Express confidence in your ability to accomplish your objectives
the narrative expected results
The Narrative: Expected Results
  • This is a key subsection
  • This is where you tell the reviewers what can be expected from the investment made in this project
  • Succinctly and realistically summarize what the most important results should be
  • Avoid overstatement
the narrative anticipated problems and alternative strategies
The Narrative: Anticipated Problems and Alternative Strategies
  • If potential problems exist, acknowledge them
  • Offer alternative strategies
  • Do not overemphasize the alternative strategies
justification
Justification
  • Significance
  • Make it easy for the reviewers to identify the importance of the impact the research will have
  • Include direct sentence regarding the significance
  • Significance projected must by pertinent to the interests of the reviewers and the mission of the agency
  • Background
  • The purpose is not to be comprehensive – this is not the introduction to your dissertation – be selective
  • The purpose is to present a solid foundation for your proposal – avoid undue reliance on review papers
background
Background
  • Describe what is known
  • Describe what is not known (the gaps)
  • Describe what needs to be done (what will fill the gaps)
  • Emphasize how your results will meet the need, i.e., solve the problem that you have highlighted
background73
Background
  • Write this section as one of the last
  • Cite review articles sparingly
  • Ensure that citations are fully up-to-date
  • Cite your reviewers where appropriate, but do not contrive a context to cite them
  • Be appropriately critical of earlier work in the field (not in a mean-spirited way)
  • Logically build toward what you expect your contribution to be
preliminary studies
Preliminary Studies
  • You really should have preliminary data so the reviewers do not think you are relying entirely on the work of others
  • Published studies
    • Describe first, include limited technical data
    • Include one or two figures or ables for each
    • Provide reprints as an appendix if allowed
  • Unpublished studies
    • Describe in more complete technical detail
    • Acknowledge level of reliability
the title
The Title
  • Reviewers’ first impression
  • Should be informative
  • Must engender enthusiasm
  • Can influence assignment for review
  • Can be misunderstood and used out of context – this is why you write it after the body of the proposal is finished
the title76
The Title
  • Know whether or not there are restrictions on length
  • If so, know whether the restriction pertains to characters or characters and spaces
  • List accepted abbreviations
  • List words that convey what you want to do and why it is important
  • Arrange words/abbreviations into a compelling, informative title that fits the space
the title77
The Title
  • Train Nurse Mentors in Grant-Writing Skills vs.
  • Teach and Sustain Grant-Writing Skills in Nurse Researchers
the summary
The Summary
  • The other of the two most important sections (along with the Specific Aims)
  • Will be read by all reviewers
  • Must convey all of the application’s essential information
  • Must be written in plain English because it will be used to summarize the agency’s investment
  • It must convey infectious enthusiasm for the project
the summary79
The Summary
  • The most difficult section of the proposal to write
  • Should be written last
  • Extract all essential information from the proposal verbatim and then edit it to fit the space allowed
slide80

Intellectual Merit. Scanning electron microscopy is an important investigative tool in the life and physical sciences. There are three major research programs and at least four additional research programs at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) that currently require high resolution SEM and/or EDS. Further, ETSU is beginning a Department of Geosciences in 2009 which will increase demand on the SEM. The expanding use of the existing scanning electron microscopes in research and teaching by several units and the age of the existing SEMs demands improved infrastructure in this area in order to provide adequate support for research and teaching in several departments at ETSU.

The purpose of this grant is to specifically upgrade ETSU’s SEM capabilities. The existing Zeiss DSM 940 and the Hitachi S-340, because of their age (greater than 25 years), condition, and the availability of parts have become increasingly difficult to maintain, and the resolution and quality of the images these instruments produce is not adequate for high quality research. Further, there is a critical need to add analytical capabilities to our SEM (i.e., EDS). In an evaluation of our EM facility users have unanimously viewed the acquisition of a high resolution SEM as the most immediate and critical research need.

Broader Impacts. The number faculty members using SEM has increased at ETSU during the past five years and there has been a concomitant increase in undergraduate and graduate student research projects necessitating more frequent offering of formal instruction in electron microscopy to prepare students to conduct independent undergraduate and graduate research projects. Investigators are more frequently using electron microscopic methods and analytical techniques in undergraduate and graduate classes (e.g. Mineralogy, Sedimentation - Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, Invertebrate Paleontology and Vertebrate Paleontology). SEM is used in these courses for, among other things, identification of mineral species, determination of the shape and form of minerals, and sedimentary grain analysis but because of age of the current instruments students are not being trained in the use of modern equipment and analytical techniques which will be corrected with the SEM requested in this proposal.

Without question an improved SEM facility will strengthen existing research programs, attract new research programs, and allow training of students at all levels, including K-12, in the use of SEM. The new SEM will significantly facilitate research programs at ETSU in biological sciences, paleontology, geology, anatomy and cell biology, microbiology and physiology. Further, it will also serve faculty and students at King College and Virginia Intermount College, liberal arts colleges located about 25 miles from ETSU. It will increase research capability at King in the area of phycology particularly in the study of algal diversity and taxonomy. Additionally students taking courses in Microbiology, Histology, and Photosynthetic Life at King will use the requested SEM.

The ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum provides an ideal venue to introduce students in grades K-12 to “hands on” education in research methods in the life and physical sciences. The purchase of the requested equipment will significantly contribute to the development and implementation of primary and secondary school programs through the Museum of Natural history, as well as exposing the adult general public to the use of this technology in research.

submit a realistic budget
Submit a Realistic Budget
  • Request only what you need and you can defend but do not request less than you need
  • Justify every item in the budget thoroughly
  • Present evidence that your institution supports your research or project