Show me the money: How academics can secure research funding

A handful of cash isolated over a green money background. As academics, we are rarely at a shortage of ideas for research topics within our disciplines, but having the money to execute the research of those ideas – that’s a different story.

Research funding generally comes from one of three sources: corporations, government, or charitable organizations. According to an article in Science, referencing data from the National Science Foundation (NSF), federal agencies provided for only 44 percent of research funding in 2015 representing a significant decline from over 70 percent less than half a century earlier. [Read more…]

7 Strategies for writing successful grants

grant writing folderThroughout my journey as a grant writer, reviewer, and mentor to aspiring grant writers, I have had multiple opportunities to read grant proposals that received funding—and many more that did not. One question I often get from novice grant writers is: “How do I get my proposal funded?” To address this question, it is helpful to examine strategies that successful grant writers have in common. Here, I highlight seven basic strategies that I consider “musts” when it comes to preparing grant proposals. [Read more…]

Three new writing templates added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library

Templates and SamplesThree new templates have been added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library – a grant requirements matrix template and writing collaboration planning and progress templates.

The grant requirements matrix template was contributed by Erin Comeaux, a grants coordinator with Pasadena ISD, and Jennifer Travis, a professor of mathematics at Lone Star College-North Harris, who use it to keep track of each grant requirement, as well as the solicition/RFP page number or URL, paragraph number or URL, and who is responsible for drafting each requirement, to make sure all the grant’s instructions are being followed. [Read more…]

Academic grant writing tips from a pro (and lessons from a rookie)

GrantsA grant is a great tool to help you build or enhance your project or program, said Erin Comeaux (the pro), formerly a professional grant writer for Lone Star College System, and now a grants coordinator for Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas, and Jennifer Travis (the rookie), a professor of mathematics at Lone Star College-North Harris, during their presentation at the 2016 Conference in San Antonio in June. The two recently partnered to write Travis’ first grant proposal. [Read more…]

Apply for a TAA Academic or Textbook Writing Grant

TAA LogoTAA offers two forms of grants to assist members and non-members with some of the expenses related to publishing their academic works and textbooks. Publication Grants provide reimbursement for eligible expenses directly related to bringing an academic book, textbook, or journal article to publication. Contract Review Grants reimburse eligible expenses for legal review when you have a contract offer for a textbook or academic monograph or other scholarly work that includes royalty arrangements. The deadline for submitting a grant application is October 31 (grants are awarded December 31). Visit the TAA Grants page for more information or to apply.

Apply for a TAA grant to offset academic or textbook writing expenses

grant writing folderLooking for funding to offset some of the expenses related to publishing your academic works or textbooks? TAA offers publication grants and contract review grants of up to $1,000.

The next grant application deadline is October 1. [Read more…]

Prolific grant writer shares his advice on landing grants

grant writing folderThe key element in grant writing is attitude, said Kenneth Henson, distinguished professor at the Citadel’s School of Education, and author of a new book by Allyn & Bacon, Grant Writing in Higher Education: A Step-by-Step Guide. “You have to believe that you can take it as far as you want to as long as you’re willing to work hard,” said Henson, during his TAA Convention presentation, “Grant Writing in Higher Education,” in Las Vegas, June 22. “If you don’t have a belief in your ability to succeed, it’s not going to happen.” [Read more…]

Grant-writing: A game you can win

grant writing folderGrant writing is fun! It’s a way to get a lot of money, and more. I love it because it’s a game I know I can win. You can, too, if you use my game plan.

A former University of Florida classmate, whom I believe to be one of the best football coaches in the country today, recently gave us the first key to winning. When losing a game, he said, “I guess we just didn’t want it badly enough.” Like sports, grant-writing is competitive. Winning requires a plan, and more; it requires passion. Here’s my plan. [Read more…]

3 Tips for writing a successful grant application

Q: “I need to write my first grant application. What are the elements I need to include to ensure that my project is funded?”

A: Elaine M. Hull, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, and the recipient of 20 years of NIH funding, shares three basics tips:

  1. The proposed research should answer an important question, have justification based on previous work and/or pilot data, and have a reasonable end point. Emphasize hypothesis testing, as opposed to a ‘fishing expedition.’ State how the outcome of the project will relate back to the ‘Big Issues’.
  2. Present the idea clearly. Organize paragraphs and write in short, clear sentences. Anticipate potential questions and criticisms. A diagram is worth more than the space it takes up.
  3. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It’s unusual to get funding from the NSF or NIH on the first try. Seek advice from a person in the grant agency or another expert in the field.

 

Tips to ensure your project is funded

Tips of the Trade ImageQ: “I need to write my first grant application. What are the elements I need to include to ensure that my project is funded?”

A: Elaine M. Hull, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, and the recipient of 20 years of NIH funding, shares these basics tips for writing a proposal:

“1) The proposed research should answer an important question, have justification based on previous work and/or pilot data, and have a reasonable end point. Emphasize hypothesis testing, as opposed to a ‘fishing expedition.’ State how the outcome of the project will relate back to the ‘Big Issues’; 2) Present the idea clearly. Organize paragraphs and write in short, clear sentences. Anticipate potential questions and criticisms. A diagram is worth more than the space it takes up; 3) Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It’s unusual to get funding from the NSF or NIH on the first try. Seek advice from a person in the grant agency or another expert in the field.”

A: Kären Hess, the author or co-author of more than 30 trade books and college-level textbooks on a variety of topics including financial planning, dental marketing, art, literature, engineering, hospice care, reading, management and report writing:

“Key is a worthwhile idea about which the proposal writer is passionate, carefully formulated with a good chance of success. If there is an RFP, follow the guidelines exactly. Research the foundation and match the proposal to their stated mission statement.

Include a cover letter, a cover page, table of contents, statement of needs (problem statement), proposed solution or program strategy, goals and objectives, how and by whom implemented, timeline, pricing, how evaluated, qualifications of those involved (some grantors request resumes of all key personnel) and references if applicable.

As with book proposals, presentation is critical — – the axiom you never get a second chance to make a first impression applies. Use a good printer and quality paper with a professionally appearing binder. Never submit a handwritten proposal.”