Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 27, 2019

“I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something.” ~Isabel AllendeIsabel Allende once said, “I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something.” In reflection on this quote, TAA member Caroline Eisner commented on our LinkedIn page, “Allende seems a strong proponent of the idea that writing needs to communicate something TO SOMEONE, a strong appeal to writing with audience awareness. As if, without that awareness, literature doesn’t exist? Just thinking out loud here.”

This week’s collection of articles addresses similar thought, with focus on what publications matter at what stages of your career; the idea that writing is more than technical skill, but rather a capacity to apply knowledge; and the ability to use our skills as examples to others through mentoring or models. As more colleges try classes without textbooks, discussed in our final article, it’s right to consider whether literature is an end in itself or just a way of communicating something.

As you write this week, consider your audience and your form of writing. Are they aligned and do they communicate the ideas you intend to share with those for whom they are intended? Happy writing! [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…]

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. “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. [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…]

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

grant writing folderQ: “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.” [Read more…]