Successful Grant Writing Ideas
This workshop is designed for those who have a description of an idea to submit as a proposal to federal agencies like the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research in science and engineering, including science and engineering education, but also funds “high-risk, high pay-off” ideas and novel collaborations. It has seven directorates in which science teacher educators can submit 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). The National Institute of Health has programs with different goals. The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) 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 (National Institute of Health. Science education partnership awards). Hence, science educators might want to team up with scientists 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 also 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 K-12 science educational topics that are not addressed by existing science curricula, community-based or media activities will be given priority. Finally, the Department of Education funds science education research, specifically through its Institute of Education Sciences (IES) program. One IES program funds research focusing on the improvement of students’ STEM knowledge and skills (Institute of Education Studies, National Center for Education Research, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education), while the Cognition and Student Learning (CASL) program supports research that capitalizes on our understanding of how the mind works to inform and improve education practice in reading, writing, mathematics, and science, and study skills (Institute of Education Studies. National Center for Education Research. Cognition and learning).
ASTE members that have a short written description of a funding idea will desire to participate in this one-hour beginning and intermediate level grant-writing workshop. Attendees interested in professional and curriculum development can benefit from participating in this grant writing workshop. Science teacher educators who are interested in research, especially young scholars will definitely benefit from this workshop. Oftentimes research grants can “jump start” new scholars research agendas which can be a challenge without funding support, especially science teacher educators of color (Atwater, Freeman, Butler, & Parsons, 2013). Obtaining grants can promote the creative work of science teacher educators to implement science instruction based on scholarly research. 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. The workshop presenters have been PIs and co-PIs of both federally funded and privately funded grants. Professor Atwater 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 (CEOSE, 2017). She is now the PI of a NSF-funded EAGER grant, work that is potentially transformative but have “high risk-high payoff”. She has conducted grant-writing workshops at University of Georgia. Professor Melody Russell, an Assistant Department Head at Auburn University, is PI and co-PI on multiple NSF grant projects in which she has been responsible for directing projects as well as conducting research for funded projects. Professor Malcolm B. Butler, Director of the School of Teacher Education 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 also conducted grant writing workshops for junior faculty and Holmes Scholars. Dr. Rhea Miles, an associate professor at East Carolina State University, is co-PI on a NIH/SEPA grant, has experience as PI on several 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 grants.
The objectives of the workshop include answering the following questions:
1. How do proposal writers target the appropriate funding agency? The appropriate program within the funding agency?
2. How to put together a good team to write a proposal? What are important issues or concerns relative to collaborating on writing grant proposals?
3. How do proposal writers submit proposals at their institutions? What are the deadlines?
4. If the renegotiation of the budget with the program director starts, what does that mean about funding?
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-up communication with participant attendees.
Description of the Workshop
The workshop will occur in three parts. The first part, which will be the major part of the workshop, will be group work. The participants will be divided into groups. The groups will be based upon experience of the participants in proposal writing. Each group will be led by one of the workshop leaders. However, each group will have no more than 5 participants. Each participant is asked to have a one page proposal prepared prior to the day of the workshop. The participants must have some idea in advance of participation if they wish to submit a proposal to NSF or the National Institute of Health. In addition, the participants will need to have decided if the proposal will be a collaborative/cooperative, be conference/workshop, or regular proposals and have some idea about the budget amount of the proposal. This phase of the workshop will last for 35 minutes.
Part II, each group will report their major discussion (15 minutes) points. Part III will be a question-and-answer session (5 minutes), along with the completion of the evaluation questionnaire (5 minutes). Sufficient time will be given for the question-and-answer sessions.
Availability of the Presenters: Participants can contact the presenters for minor input or a few ideas for their proposal submissions. However, the presenters will not read proposals and can only provide superficial feedback. The presenters will only read the one-page description of the proposal sent to them prior to the workshop. If a 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.
Successful Grant Writing Ideas