Your Research and Education Strengths
(from the 9/15/2010 issue of the Research Development and Grant Writing News)
No matter the type of institution at which you teach, your ability to win research and
education grants will depend on the steps you take to develop a strong track record in research
and teaching. Reviewers and program officers recognize that the number of publications will
generally be lower for PUI faculty because of their teaching commitments, but they will still
look for an active record of publication. It is also important to engage in education and outreach
activities that reach beyond teaching courses, such as mentoring students in research
experiences, arranging internships for students at national labs, engaging in recruiting activities
aimed at underrepresented students, and participating in science and math programs for K
-12 students. The results of these activities can then be discussed in the education and broader
impacts sections of your proposals in the same way you would discuss prior research work.
This will lend credibility to your education and outreach plans.
The particular type of education and outreach activities you select should depend on
your interests, your institution’s goals and mission, and the needs of students at your institution.
If possible, publish the results of innovative education activities in science education journals,
and work with the students you mentor in research experiences to publish their work and
present it at conferences. NSF particularly likes to see papers co-authored with undergraduates
when considering proposals that include undergraduate research. Taking these steps to develop
your research and education track record will help to convince reviewers that you are
likely to be successful in your proposed research and education project and that your proposal
should be funded.
For more information on assessing your strengths at PUIs, please check out the article on page
42 of the Research Development and Grant Writing News on the Grants Office website.
Need some advice on what not to do in grant writing? Check out this entertaining article in the
Chronicle of Higher Education, entitled “How to Fail in Grant Writing”. It is a tongue-in-cheek
article written by former grant reviewers and program officers in Dec. 2010.