Chronicle: How Your Grant Proposal Compares

David A. Stone (director of the Office of Sponsored Projects at Northern Illinois University), writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, in an article entitled “How Your Grant Proposal Compares,” suggests that “positioning” as much as “a good idea” distinguishes the successful grant application: “Sure, good ideas are an essential ingredient of any external grant proposal, but however necessary, they’re not enough to ensure you’ll get the money. To stand a fighting chance, the ideas in your project must be both good and well positioned relative to other grant proposals.”

Stone suggests that faculty applying for grants pay attention to context, big players, a good track record, integrating teaching and service, and dissemination in order to succeed in grant applications. Some excerpts from Stone’s article:

Context is everything. The ideas that win grant money are those that are most well positioned in the literature. All successful grant proposals must demonstrate how their central idea arises from and speaks to ideas and efforts that have come before. . .

Know the big players. In one sense, the best-positioned grant proposals are those written by the key players whose research findings, strategies, publications, and other dissemination efforts allow them to be the framers of the nature and scope of the problem, and to be recognized by their peers as key contributors to its solution. Their grant proposals authoritatively stake out the contours of the problem and offer what are recognized by reviewers as the most likely solutions. . .

Have a good track record. A well-positioned proposal has a principal investigator (PI) and a research team with a strong track record of attracting money from recognized and prestigious sources; of using those grants to produce findings with recognized impacts; of getting published in well-regarded journals; and of demonstrating frequent subsequent citation of their work. A well-written proposal makes the strong positioning of the PI and the research team clear to members of the review committee. . .

Integrate teaching and service into research proposals. The reach of well-positioned proposals extends beyond the scientific exercise itself. The clear expectation among grant agencies, large and small, is that research projects make an impact on the world around them. Two ways in which that can be demonstrated in a proposal are to reference integration of the project with teaching and service. . .

Disseminate your ideas. Well-positioned proposals demonstrate how the important findings will make their way out into the world. Of course that means publishing results in top journals. But beyond publishing, researchers can position their proposals by demonstrating that they are plugged in to groups, organizations, societies, or other conduits through which the findings will reach audiences who have some capacity to do something with them. A project is even better positioned if it can demonstrate that much of its impetus stems from ongoing, productive relationships with groups dealing with the very problems that the proposed study would explore. . .

The article is available on line to Chronicle subscribers.


Ethics and Integrity Conference at the Uniformed Services University

Registration is now open for the 2nd of the 2009 Ethics and Integrity Conferences at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference is sponsored by the USU Office of the President and the Graduate School of Nursing in partnership with Navy Medicine.

Title: Understanding Research–The Purpose of Knowledge, The Passion for Discovery

Date/Time: Tuesday, 22 September 2009; 0730-1500

Place: USU Sanford Auditorium, Building B

Cost: Free

Participants: Federal employees, along with federally-related contractors, consultants, and collaborators from diverse private sector institutions.

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Howard Federoff, Georgetown University Medical Center; Dr. John Dahlberg, DHHS Office of Research Integrity; and Distinguished Panelists.

Summary: Research is a critical part of healthcare and human services. Yet what do we mean by research? An uncritical assumption seems to exist today that research is equated solely with product development. Perhaps there is a more expansive meaning of research in the continuum that is knowledge and discovery. Deep within our being, the imagination fires our desire to know more and to live ever more humanely. Research, regardless of academic discipline, is the intellectual turbine in which we stoke the greater part of being human. It is the pathway on which we dare ourselves into regions never thought possible. This conference seeks to explore the purpose and the passion of research. It is designed to provide healthcare and human services providers and administrators with the opportunity to reflect upon the phenomenon that is research; to consider current problems with research misconduct; and to explore the many meanings of research, knowledge, and discovery from the professional experience of current leaders in the research enterprise.

On-Line Registration Required: If the link below does not work, copy and paste it into one’s browser and proceed from there. The URL contains the agenda, driving or Metro directions, and other pertinent information.

Logistics: Entry to the Campus and Parking are “on one’s own” entirely. Coffee and lunch will be available for cost to registrants at the USU Cafeteria and William III Cafes.

Point of Contact: Dr. Carol Parsons at Carol.Parsons@CTR@usuhs,mil or (301) 295-1241.

RoMEO Project: Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving

Time was when you published an article in a journal that was circulated in print, requiring scholars and researchers to find a library that subscribed to the journal or secure a paper photocopy via interlibrary loan. Issues of copyrights and access were relatively simple–but limited.

Those days are gone.

Now your journal article may be published in print, but it is often pre-published in a digital medium and later archived in one or more of a variety of digital formats. It will most frequently be accessed or recirculated in a digital format.

So what does this mean to your rights as the author?

The British SHERPA organization (Securing a Hybrid Environment for Research Preservation and Access) has created the RoMEO database (Rights MEtadata for Open archiving) to help authors determine the policies of the journals in which they publish their articles.

SHERPA also maintains the OpenDOAR database, the worldwide Directory of Open Access Repositories.

Tutorial for New 6th Ed of APA Style

The new 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual and style guide now has an accompanying Flash video tutorial provided by the American Psychological Association. The Web link to this tutorial is also permanently included in our “blinks” list.

This new edition employs a research-to-publication process structure in its organization of the chapters.

This new edition takes into account the fact that many disciplines outside of psychology now use the APA style, and it explicitly mentions nursing. This new addition broadens the examples used in order to reflect those disciplines.

NursingWriting: First Anniversary

Earlier this month (while I was presenting a paper at the Making Sense of Health, Illness and Disease conference at Mansfield College, Oxford), NursingWriting marked its first anniversary.

Thanks to all the editors, conference organizers and editors who over the past year have sent calls for submissions, conference announcements, and other information relevant to nurse writers.

Your scholarship and dissemination of scholarship shape the future of human health. Your writing is indispensable.

CFS: Health and Human Rights: An International Journal

Health and Human Rights: An International Journal, invites manuscript submissions for its theme issue, on “international assistance and cooperation” (deadline: August 15, 2009).

A brief description of the issue is below; further information is available at:  

Issue 12:1 “International Assistance and Cooperation” and Health and Human Rights Obligations Beyond Borders. Submissions due: August 15, 2009. The ability of poor countries to realize the right to health, as well as to fulfill other human rights obligations relating to social determinants of health, must be understood within the context of the global political economy. Donor countries assume human rights obligations directly and as members of international organizations, such as the World Bank, IMF and regional development banks. UN and international agencies, as well as transnational corporations under certain circumstances, may also have human rights obligations relating to health. This issue will critically explore how these international obligations are being defined and discharged, and existing mechanisms to hold donor states and other actors, including transnational corporations, accountable for their human rights obligations. It will also consider the challenges to expanding the human rights regime to focus on actors beyond the immediate nation-state in which a violation occurs.

Med Library, Nursing & Allied Health, Journal Survey

The Nursing & Allied Health Resources Section of the Medical Library Association (NAHRS/MLA), which assists nurses trying to publish, has started a NAHRS journals list project this year. For some of the data, they plan a survey of the editors of selected journals. The purpose of the list is to 1) help prospective authors decide where to submit their work, 2) to help nurses determine what journals to read regularly, and 3) to help nursing librarians work with their clients to decide which journals to include in their subscriptions. This will be an online-only, open-access publication on the MLA/NAHRS section website, They plan to include several factors on the list that only editors know, including things like acceptance rates. (Reported by Peg Allen