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OK, so we have now read the request for proposals, so let's start thinking about assembling your project and one thing is what is the team like. and these are just some thoughts I can give you two perspectives. a big team may be better or a small group may be better in a big team we can put all the experts together we can bring in somebody who's relevant to each dimension of the project we can show nice broad team work and coalition building we can essentially share the wealth and show benefits of the funding that would go beyond just your particular group and so these proposals tend to be more authoritative and representative, inclusive at the other end of the spectrum under some circumstances it maybe batter to be a small group so if we have a huge number of groups the budget gets spread out and eluted and there may not be much benefit for any one in the group some team members are not good team players which is to say pick your collaborators very very carefully this one is something I'm quite focussed on I many times feel that when you do science by committee when you work in big big groups it often will distil down to something that is fairly boring. so these small proposals or these small teams can emphasize on economy, agility, responsiveness, individuality May even be individual personalities. OK, so now let's imagine we've designed our proposal, our group we've chosen our funding agency, we've read about the funding agency I want to go through seven elements of these proposals with you they wont always be explicitly in every proposal but to some degree you have to deal with each of these seven elements. and I want to give you examples from each of four proposals that I've been involved with over the years Just for fun I have gone ahead and included the proposal that is funding the biodiversity informatics training curriculum so the first of these elements is the executive summary it might not always be called an executive summary it might be an abstract it might be a summary.. whatever. but essentially you should remember that the people who are reviewing your proposal are busy and they probably rush So they are going to read the summary it has to be very convinced and clear it has to grab their eye it has to essentially sell your proposal and it has to be done up front because in some cases it will be the only thing that the reviewers or program officers have time to read so this is a really critical part of the proposal so here is one example this is from the JRS biodiversity grant which funds this project but I start off with a very general statement I get to what is the problem which is access to techniques and knowledge and then the solution and the I finish up with a very clear statement of what the benefit is Ideal combination of direct contact training in sites across Africa and permanent online training resources like this video that will be available world wide. so that's one. here is another one National Science Foundation proposals, you have these big single paged statements that are the summary and again many times, that is what sells the project or not Here is another one, which is for the commons project and again it has got the statement of the problem or the challenge what we would do and why it is interesting and here is an equivalent section from a proposal to Mac Arthur foundation and notice in this case this is literally a number of lists so it doesn't even have to be full sentences OK, the second element of you your proposal is essentially what? you really further review that goes ahead that reads your whole proposal you have to give them in depth detailed reasoning as to why the proposal should be funded what's the need, what's the benefit to the community essentially why they should invest in you this rationale can be based on work that you've done today work that other people have done today but essentially it just has to set the scene for this project again some examples, what are the issues you want to address this is the JRS proposal I've mentioned that there are XXXX text books in biodiversity informatics formal academic XX program is just beginning to appear so what can we do to move this field forward in the immediate term for the NFS proposal again, the statement of that challenge, development of the challenge, this statement actually goes on to several more pages back to the the commons proposal again this is more general and XXXXual but notice this paragraph, this project aims take advantage of to evaluate and understand land use change of over 120 year time span essentially I am laying out why this proposal should be interesting to the funding agency and here is for the Mac Arthur proposal this is the entire section, obviously you cant see that in this video but the point is simply to point out problems varying lack of detailed knowledge of biodiversity limits the efficacy of conservation and sustainability development remember that was one of their key priorities of the Mac Arthur foundation OK, third element is detailed description of the project so now maybe you have made it through a couple of filters may be the reviewers read the abstract or the executive summary of 20 or 30 proposals and they throw away 10 or 20 of them and they have five or ten proposals in front of them this is where the hard decisions come in maybe they've only got money for three proposals so they are going to read through very carefully and they want to see the detail and the worst thing is, it's the expert in your field who is going to read your methodology and if that expert says this proposal has one serious gap in the methodology, you are out. So this section really, even though most of the reviewers will never read it, this section has to be really really solid you have to show that you know the literature, you what's been done in your field world wide you have to have considered all of the possible methodologies as you decide on the methodology you’re going to use Because what you don't want is for your reviewer to say "Oh, why aren't they using that technique? that’s what I do" So this is your opportunity to say I'm not using that technique because of this and this. and finally this is an opportunity to offer some preliminary data show your previous work and list the experience of your team members so for this detailed description, again I am going to show you those four proposals and I'm not going to go into detail this is a fun one, because this is the biodiversity informatics training curriculum. three training sessions yearly over three years held in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt and again, going through all the details, this is a training proposal so it has a very general format for the national science foundation proposal, notice that there is immense detail "further collections of 32 mammals..." estimate completeness via XXXXX these are literature references but look at the density of detail that we are providing here. for the commons proposal for the very general proposal there is almost not an explicit statement "but to revisit the first set of sites locating them photographing them, relate the old and new satellite imagery" this is a very short proposal. So there's very abbreviated information and finally for the Mac Arthur proposal notice " large group of international leaders in biodiversity surveys and inventories.. I am waving the flag of the group " a nine year ongoing collaborative agreement with each country... give some details of the field surveys so this is kind of in the middle as far as how much detail we provide next piece of the puzzle is the budget you cant just say give me this amount of money you have to say give me this amount of money for this, this and this so you have to tell them how you are going to spend the money that you are requesting give an accurate cost estimate if you say you are going to buy a new computer maybe that's going to cost somewhere around $ 2000 but if you say $ 2000 it looks like you just are what we call ball parking and many funding agencies will be much more comfortable if they know that you've gone out looked for exactly the computer you need and you can say $ 2145 instead of $ 2000 so you give detail on how you derive the cost estimates you request enough money that the work can be done but you don't request so much money that the request is ridiculous so remember these people are comparing your proposal to other people's proposals and they are going to get these same intervals requesting enough and not requesting too much so lets look at some budget information Here is the budget information for the JRS project as you can see everything is being spent on moving trainees to the training sites this is a very detailed table where it says what, in which year, how much the total is We then give some notes on what the budget consists of so a minimal salary quater time for a technician to process the videos, a little bit of supplies and then a lot of travel essentially you give point by point you tell how you got to the number you ask for in your budget National Science foundation budgets are much more complex and not going to go into the fine details, but it is essentially "personal, equipment, travel, supporting participants and everything else there is a little bit in here for institutional funds essentially to support the light and the internet and the all the other parts of the institution where I work In Mac Arthur proposal you can see again we provide details in fact here we inserted this note regarding expedition expense calculations my institution and one other right amongst the most active programs of global sites XXXX collecting anywhere based on that we can tell you how much these expeditions will cost so it's also a way of reminding them of the experience that the team has another table that gives all these details and then some detail on how we are going to support the people that are participating and then here's that Commons proposal it's very short basically we give just enough information 15 day trip when it's going to happen 10 day visit by two Mexican members to the university of Kansas and they can see this way how we are going to spend the money that we say we are going to spend and again here are those exact details four round trip air fares, hotel accommodations for DMs Mexican visit to the US purchase of imagery and the idea is that we give them enough detail that they'll scan down and say "yeah, it's a reasonable amount of money to request"

Video Details

Duration: 15 minutes and 1 second
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 20
Posted by: townpeterson on Jul 2, 2013

Proposals 2

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