How to get your proposal funded Tony Readhead – Astronomy Good Luck!
Dabovich, Chris, Managing Editor has reference to this Academic Journal, PHwiki organized this Journal How to get your proposal funded Tony Readhead – Astronomy The Brutal Facts NSF states that 30% of proposals are funded But in typical panels I have served on the number has been 10%-20% A typical astronomy or physics panel may have ~30 proposals of which 10 have been rated very good-excellent by mail & panel review, in addition to 5 have been rated poor-fair, so 50% of the proposals are rated good-very good but these will never be funded. Of the 10 proposals rated very good-excellent only half will be funded in addition to the selection of these over the half which have equal rating is what the panel will spend most of its time on. The panel gives the NSF a ranked ordering. How do you get your proposal ranked in the top 10%
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Essentials as long as a funded proposal: 1) Outst in addition to ing Science 3) Care in Presentation no matter how good the science, if the proposal is badly organized, in addition to the presentation is sloppy, containing spelling errors, etc., you will not be funded because there are other proposals with equally good science impeccably presented – dont underestimate the competition 4) Follow Up 2) Preparation we take this as given or you wouldnt be here with funding agency in addition to institution with funding agency – report significant new developments – you must always appear hungry – dont drop the ball here Know: Your Field Your Competition Your Funding Agency have you already done a significant fraction of the work BASICS 1 Know: Guidelines Budget Your Local Support is any of the work fabrication or to be done off campus BASICS 2
Overall Organization 1) Science 2) Management 3) Budget feasibility & timescale personnel & other resources. Links with other groups, facilities justification – aim as long as complete transparency
10-Point Road Map 1) T-6 months begin discussions with agency, colleagues, collaborators 2) T-2 months begin planning proposal (science, budgets, personnel, facilities) 3) T-6 weeks organize writing proposal: delegate science writing, budgets, management 4) T-3 weeks first draft of proposal due start weekly telecon 5) T-2 weeks discuss final details with sponsored research discuss with division chairman discuss with sponsored research 7) T-1 week final draft – submit proposal 6) T-1.5 weeks second draft of proposal due 8) T+ 1-6 months care packages – updates on progress to agency 10) Following funding – keep agency fully in as long as med + involved in press releases, etc. 9) FUNDED! Reduced level – remember that program officers are fighting FOR you!!
The Actual Writing T-6 weeks organize writing proposal: delegate science writing, budgets, management T-3 weeks first draft of proposal due Begin with an outline showing topics to be covered in prior research in addition to project description Leave summary to the end – your proposal will evolve Guidelines on Style: 2) Aim as long as clarity in addition to be succinct 3) Avoid purple prose – its very irritating 1) Make sure the layout follows a natural logical flow: not the way you developed the ideas 4) Communicate your excitement about the field 5) Make good use of figures, images, plots. These should be aesthetically pleasing in addition to easy to underst in addition to in addition to interpret 6) Avoid meaningless in addition to overused words: very, current, etc. never use utilize 7) Use split infinitives sparingly, if at all. to boldly go etc. 8) Excessive use of the passive voice is boring 9) Polishing: be ruthless in paring down verbiage. Allow enough time to return to review your writing after a significant interval. Spend a day away from your work be as long as e final editing. Fowlers Modern English Usage Williams Style Ten Lessons in Clarity in addition to Grace Be magnanimous to others – but make clear where you are making a key/unique contribution. Be accurate, dont exaggerate. By putting your work correctly into perspective in addition to emphasizing your unique contribution you will be more convincing. Response To Referees criticisms – try to relax Always remember that your program officer is on your side dont personalize the process – she/he would like to fund you The criticisms come from your peer reviewers Your job is to give the program officer the ammunition that she/he needs to counter criticisms either received or anticipated Distinguish between your errors in addition to the referees errors Do your best to respond proactively to all the referees points But if you are sure the referee has made a mistake point out where your proposals has addressed the issue adequately You will find most of the criticisms absolutely maddening! Allow at least 2-3 days be as long as e you begin to work out your response One has to wait a whole year be as long as e one can resubmit a proposal – so this is generally not practical. One has to start again in addition to submit a proposal which is significantly different Remember – in MPS if you are responding to referees you are already winning – youre in the top 10%!
Dabovich, Chris Managing Editor
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