Successful Grant Writing

This workshop addresses mechanisms of writing and submitting federally funded proposals, specifically for national funding agencies like the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). The presenters will also discuss pursuing funding from private agencies.
The National Science Foundation funds research in all areas of science and engineering, including science and engineering education, but also funds “high-risk, high pay-off” ideas and novel collaborations. NSF has seven directorates to which science teacher educators may be interested in submitting proposals. Normally, science teacher educators will seek funding in the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR) in which one will find a variety of programs such as Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) and Advancing STEM Informal Learning under the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). In the National Institutes of Health, there are programs with different goals. In the National Institutes of Health, there are programs with different goals. The Science Education Partnership Award has as its goal to develop innovative educational activities for pre-kindergarten to grade 12 (P-12), pre-service and in-service teachers and students from underserved communities with a focus on courses, curriculum or method development, research experiences, mentoring activities, and outreach. In addition, science educators should consider collaborating with scientists and engineers to develop grants that foster the development of novel programs to improve K-12 and the public’s understanding of the clinical trial process as well as the health science advances stemming from National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded clinical and basic research. The SEPA program supports the creation of innovative partnerships between biomedical and clinical researchers and K-12 teachers and schools, museum and science center educators, media experts, and other interested educational organizations. SEPA applications that target P-12 or informal science education topics that may not be addressed by existing school, community or ISE-based activities are encouraged.

ASTE members who are completing their doctoral studies and seeking positions in higher education and who are faculty members at the assistant/associate levels will desire to participate in this two-hour beginning and intermediate level grant-writing workshop. Science teacher educators who are interested in research, especially young scholars will definitely benefit from this workshop. Oftentimes research grants assist new scholars to “jump start” their research agendas (which can be a challenge without funding support, etc.). Professional developers seeking funding for their work, or curriculum developers working with school systems that are interested in grant writing will definitely profit from this workshop. Obtaining grants can promote development of science teacher educators (relative to scholarship) in teacher education. Grant funding fosters partnerships/collaborations, networking, promotes research agendas, assist in the professional development of K-12 teachers, and can assist in doctoral student education. Grant funding can also lead to funding for participation in conferences and publication submissions. Oftentimes research grants also help new scholars get off the ground with their research agendas (which can be a challenge without funding support, etc.).
The workshop presenters have been PIs and co-PIs of both federally funded and privately funded grants. Dr. Atwater, a professor at the University of Georgia, has been PI of federally funded and privately funded grants and served on the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE), a congressionally mandated advisory committee to the National Science Foundation. She is now the PI of a NSF-funded EAGER grant, work that is potentially transformative, with a “high risk-high payoff” approach. She has conducted grant-writing workshops at University of Georgia. Dr. Malcolm B. Butler, a professor at the University of
Central Florida, has experience being the PI on privately funded grants, PI and co-PI on collaborative NSF grants, and PI on U.S. Department of Education grants. He has conducted grant-writing workshops for junior faculty and Holmes Scholars. Dr. Rhea Miles, an associate professor at East Carolina University, has experience as a co-PI on a NIH/SEPA grant, is PI on a foundation grant at East Carolina and has experience as PI on several other foundation grants, and coordinator of a NSF-ITEST grant. Each of the workshop presenters brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the writing of a variety of grants. The presenters are or have been the PI or co-PI of over $28 million of funded grant projects.
The objectives of the workshop include answering the following questions:
1. How do proposal writers identify their interests, intentions and needs?
2. How do proposal writers target the appropriate funding agency? The appropriate program within the funding agency?
3. How do proposal writers contact program directors in the program?
4. How to put together a good team to write a proposal? What are important issues or concerns relative to collaborating on writing grant proposals?
5. What do the proposal writers need to know about the specific criteria for the program? How do you get assistance? Are there any “tricks”?
6. How do proposal writers submit proposals at their institutions? What are the deadlines?
7. What are the differences between evaluation and research for the proposal?
8. What voices of support do you need if any?
9. If the renegotiation of the budget with the program director starts, what does that mean about funding?
10. What to do if your program officer contacts the project team with questions about the proposal or wants you to elaborate on specific aspects of the proposal?
11. Your institution received the grant. What are the next steps?
12. How do you identify potential funding from private agencies?
Near the end of the workshop, each participant will complete a questionnaire to evaluate the workshop. A Likert-type questionnaire will evaluate the expertise of the presenters, the appropriateness of the goals for the audience, and the accomplishment of the goals of workshop. The presenters will tally the results to assist us with any follow-ups with might make with the participants.
Description of the Workshop
The workshop will occur in three parts. The first part will focus upon answering Questions 1 through 4. This part of the workshop will occur through PowerPoint presentation and discussion. Questions 5 through 7 will be answered through examples of occurrences when submitting proposals. Question 8 will be conducted in a discussion format. A case study format will be utilized to answer Questions 9 -11. Finally, the answer to Question 12 will be discussed in the breakout sessions.
Part II will of the workshop will either consist of participants discussing their own abstracts of proposals they wish to get funded or the presenters sharing abstracts of funded projects and breaking the participants into groups to discuss the pros of these funded grants and their funding agencies. Funding agencies NSF and NIH will be categories to divide the groups. The NSF subgroups will be either collaborative/cooperative or regular proposals and may be further divided based upon programs.
Part III will be a question-and-answer session, along with the completion of the evaluation questionnaire. Time will be given for the question-and-answer session (15 minutes) and the completion of the evaluation questionnaire (5 minutes).
Availability of the Presenters: Participants can contact the presenters post-workshop for minor input or ideas for their proposal submissions. However, the presenters will not be available to read full proposals and can only provide preliminary feedback. If a workshop participant requests assistance with the conceptualization, writing, reading, or substantial feedback on the proposal, then it is expected that the presenter would be identified as senior personnel or co-PI on any proposal submission.