Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 25, 2019

As we come to the close of Open Access Week 2019, having been faced with the challenge of considering this year’s theme, “Open for Whom? Equity in Open Knowledge”, the words of Carl Sagan seem even more appropriate. “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.”

This week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with some relevant discussions on open access including an MIT-developed framework for negotiating contracts with scholarly publishers, the future of open access business models, discussion about ownership of research, and the first 100 books from Johns Hopkins University Project. We’ve also included some other hot topics for academic authors on grant writing, being an older student, and being a minority in academia.

Wherever your writing takes you this week, whether publishing open access or traditional, consider the audience you can reach and the shackles of time you can break as a result of your efforts. Happy writing!

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 8, 2018

Oscar Wilde once said, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” This week’s collection of articles has many things to read that may help you today or be foundation for who you will be in the future.

The list begins with helpful advice on bio-notes, collaboration, managing research notes, reviving “dead” writing projects, and working with data visualization and research. We then explore some insight into grant applications and journal paper review processes before closing with discussions of open access initiatives in textbook and academic authoring environments and the announcement of Eva O. L. Lantsoght’s new book, The A-Z of the PhD Trajectory.

Whatever you read from this list or otherwise this week, choose items that will continue to shape your career as an author both now and when you can’t help it.

7 Strategies for writing successful grants

Throughout 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.

Prolific grant writer shares his advice on landing grants

The 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. “If you don’t have a belief in your ability to succeed, it’s not going to happen.”

Henson, whose grant writing has brought in more than $100 million, said that pursing grant writing in an organized, controlled way will eventually lead to success. Start with your goals, he said. Decide where you are going professionally and then choose grant topics that will get you there. Identify the people who will be making decisions on your tenure and then go after those projects important to those people in their decision making, said Henson. For example, Henson’s first grant was based on a statement he overheard about 85 percent of physics teachers working out of field. He wrote a grant that would provide summer seminars to help teachers gain certification as physics teachers. The grant was not only funded once, it was refunded several times.

Grant writing: A game you can win

Grant 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.

Q&A: What elements should I include in my grant application to ensure my project is funded?

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 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.”