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  • No. 127: Get Your Foot in the Door With a Winning Letter of Inquiry | Principal Investigators Association
    to Manual How to Prepare an Award Winning Oral Presentation Webinar Pack Time Management Toolkit Lab Management Executive Report Library R01 Research Strategy Insider Tips to Ace the Most Important Part of Your Proposal NIH Short Form Answers to 16 Frequently Asked Questions Crowdfunding Why You Should Jump On This Innovative Funding Source New OLAW Guide Sets a High Bar for Cage Sizes Your NSF Funding Crucial Changes to Merit Review No 127 Get Your Foot in the Door With a Winning Letter of Inquiry Don t get passed over for foundation funding before getting your foot in the door Know what to include and exclude in your next letter of inquiry and how to make your best first impression count A single email can mean the difference between scoring foundation funding and going home empty handed That s because many foundations ask you to email a letter of inquiry before submitting a grant application This allows them to ensure your project is an appropriate match before they take the time to read a lengthy proposal Cynthia Duncan PhD is a former program director at the Ford Foundation where she was in charge of 15 program officers POs And she says they all required a written inquiry before talking to a PI Write a strong one page or half page letter about your research she says In your email say you will follow up with a call the following week This gives a PO time to think about your proposal What to include in a letter According to the Foundation Center your letter of inquiry should be no more than three pages And it should contain the following An introduction Include your organization s name the amount of funding needed a project description your methodology a timetable for completion and your staff s qualifications A description of your organization Explain why your institution is the right environment for the project Include a brief history and account of current programs A statement of need Convince the foundation there is an important demand your project can meet The methodology Describe the project including major activities names and titles of key project staff and your objectives Other funding sources you approached A final summary in which you restate your project s intention Sell yourself and your project Your letter should convince the foundation of your credibility in your research area says Peter Feibelman PhD Senior Scientist of Energy Sciences at Sandia National Laboratories Feibelman is the author of A PhD Is Not Enough A Guide to Survival in Science which includes a chapter on getting funded You should also explain how your research will make a difference in your field according to Doris Parent Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Gallaudet University Make it seem like your project is replicable it s going to have major impact outside of a particular community and other communities and universities can pick up this model and move with it as well Parent says Keep

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  • No. 126: How to Craft a Winning Title for Your Research Proposal | Principal Investigators Association
    of information must be a unique relevant and intriguing description of your research plan all packed into about 80 to 100 characters depending on the agency In this limited space you must strive to convey What you will do How you will do it And most importantly what the results will be Public agencies and private foundations want to fund work that can seriously impact society or advance science Point to the outcome of the research in your title advises Lisa Chasan Taber associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst It should inform the reviewer of the essence of the project says Dr Mario Inchiosa professor of pharmacology at New York Medical College at Valhalla Tips for creating successful titles for NIH and NSF grant applications include Be original and relevant How Make sure yours differs totally from those of already submitted applications or from funded research Agencies want fresh innovative projects Review databases of existing applications and awards at www projectreporter nih gov and www nsf gov awardsearch and contact the appropriate NIH scientific review officer or NSF program officer to ensure that your title is not redundant or closely similar to another Be accurate and use agency friendly keywords that help officials direct your proposal to the appropriate study section It s important to have terms in the title that will make it clear which study section should see it says Chasan Taber For instance using the term epidemiology of will help the application go to an epidemiology study section Find out which themes are mission relevant in priority areas for research or are emerging as future priorities For the NSF these include ecosystem impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico decontaminating dangerous drywall robotics energy alternatives climate change and its impacts nanotechnology improving science math and engineering education and commercialization of biosciences Go to www nsf gov funding for more information NIH themes getting attention include cancer HIV AIDS pediatric and adult obesity and aging related topics Information is available at http grants nih gov grants oer htm Use results driven words instead of those that describe your process Here are some examples find more at www projectreporter nih gov Testing Direct Effects of Reproduction on Stress and Mortality Via Ovariectomy Is Tolerance an Enabling Factor for Greater Alcohol Consumption Neonatal Neurobehavioral Impacts of Iodine Insufficiency and Pesticide Exposures Be authoritative That means let reviewers know that you know what you re talking about For instance if you re a researcher focusing on behavioral science obesity and nutrition in specific population segments your grant title could be Culturally Appropriate Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs for Hispanic Families An actual successful NIH grant proposal title Keep agency criteria in mind NIH criteria are significance innovation investigators approach and environment NSF criteria are intellectual merit and broader impact Use plain language Notice the simplicity directness and economy of words in this successful title Public Health Preparedness and Response for Bioterrorism A wordy

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  • 125: How to Develop a Beneficial Dialogue With a Program Officer | Principal Investigators Association
    and maintain a relationship with a PO So it s not only permissible to call us to ask basic questions but encouraged How can you plan for and initiate that dialogue Consider the following 1 Reach out when you re just formulating the idea The best time to call a PO is when you re just thinking of an idea says Perl That s when the most experienced ones call us When the application deadline is two weeks away it s usually too late for us to help Reasons We can give you direction advice even suggestions for potential collaborators says Perl We may know someone nearby sometimes at your own institution who could be a viable collaborator 2 Consider a concept paper Although some PIs may call POs they know with the germ of an idea both Perl and Senn say writing a concept paper is a good idea too Use it to structure and clarify your thinking on how your research will mesh with the agency s goals The advantage is that it gives the PO something in writing making it easier for them to follow your thinking get all the details and suggest any revisions Offer to send it to them after an initial e mail contact In this simple paper state the problem explains Perl Begin with a brief rationale add a few sentences about your basic research question and how you plan to answer it It s essentially the abstract of your NIH application but with a little more detail on methodology This also assists the PO to stay abreast of the latest developments Even if I m an expert in a particular area of science I would presume the applicant has more knowledge about the specifics of his research and I want to get up to speed on what his ideas are says Perl 3 Identify the right PO Sometimes you don t know whom to contact says Perl We are frequently asked for help in getting to the right person Two suggestions Ask your colleagues doing similar work who their POs are or who at the agency they typically work with says Perl Even if that s not the right PO for your project it s a starting point It might be the PO down the hall but I can direct you explains Perl Look at the NIH www nih gov or NSF www nsf gov Web site to get within range of the right person For example each NIH institute or center has a list of contacts for researchers On the National Cancer Institute NCI Web site for instance you can click on NCI Contacts for Applicants which takes you to a contact list broken down by area of research Every NIH institute has a different mission says Perl Look at the mission statements and organization charts to determine which institute addresses your area of science Perl notes however that you still need to follow up with contact to make sure you

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  • No. 124: Lead Your Diverse Research Team While Managing Effectively | Principal Investigators Association
    Cage Sizes Your NSF Funding Crucial Changes to Merit Review No 124 Lead Your Diverse Research Team While Managing Effectively Researcher Question I know that inspiring researchers who come from diverse backgrounds can be difficult but successfully meeting this challenge is crucial to a project and its overall level of accomplishment How can I more effectively lead my research team providing timely motivation and vision that will impact the project in the most positive way possible Expert Comments Providing effective leadership in today s modern laboratory is indeed challenging it requires technical knowledge and people skills and a successful leader needs a balanced blend of both to be effective His ongoing challenge is to be an effective inspirational example while successfully managing the practical day to day operations in the lab Expert Rick Parmely who has lead multiple technical projects and obtained remarkable results notes this about leadership and the technical manager Without a framework of effective leadership no amount of technical prowess will provide consistent sustainable research team results Why In addition to technical ability leadership of diverse researchers requires several skill sets great communication skills effective application of fundamental leadership and management techniques and the ability to successfully manage a limited calendar notes Parmely How does one successfully develop these skill sets and still manage to complete all the other essential technical tasks each day Where does a conscientious investigator begin to hone the skills needed to lead research teams to top notch research results First effective leadership is inspirational Inspirational leaders communicate the big strategic picture while nurturing a trusting relationship with team members A true leader regularly expresses appreciation for his team and seeks to clearly explain to each individual his projected contribution to the overall goals of the project Therefore good communication skills are fundamental states Parmely He suggests asking the hard questions How effective am I in communicating my vision in practical terms How well do my researchers understand their individual contributions to the overall goal of our research Do I regularly take time to paint that picture Second effective leaders are personally well organized How much time you invest each day in organizing your team is directly proportional to how well your team will use time says Parmely Time management skills of the effective leader result in a well organized highly predictable research environment Within this stable environment decisions are made direction is set and equipment allocation and other resource sharing takes place all without serious conflict Third inspirational leaders develop trust from the very onset of a project Genuine trust is crucial to the success of any team project therefore the effective leader seeks to build such trust not only between individual researchers and the PI but also among the team members themselves Rick Parmely notes Trust is built as the leader communicates honestly demonstrates his integrity and gives credit for the good work others do How can trust be eroded or destroyed Parmely notes that dishonesty failing to give credit where

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  • No. 123: Specific Aims—The Logical Framework That Holds Your Grant Proposal Together | Principal Investigators Association
    should do Specific Aims describe the relationship of your work to current biomedical problems outline critical areas where knowledge in your field is lacking and establish your project s purpose Include the basic questions and hypotheses driving your work and state the project s goals and objectives Also outline the experiments you will perform Your aims should provide readers with a glimpse of the long range goals that drive your research your 10 year question And they should focus on the questions you can address during the grant period roughly five years To design compelling aims you must have your finger on the pulse of your field This comes from attending scientific meetings reading recently published papers and speaking with colleagues Grasping what others in your field deem important is critical Issues that only matter to you won t meet the reviewers requirements for significance What you should include You may want to consider using a standard format for your Specific Aims to ensure they all include the necessary information Principal Investigator Association s manual NIH R01 Grant Application Mentor recommends using the following subheadings to structure your aims Rationale In this section describe what you are trying to show and why This is also the place where you defend the specific approach you plan to use consider alternatives and begin to describe your logic in designing your experiments Experimental Approach Here detail how you will perform the experiments and convince reviewers you can do them An established investigator can highlight key papers in his bibliography that support his experience in the proposed techniques A new investigator must either show preliminary data demonstrating such familiarity or recruit collaborators with widely acknowledged expertise in the method Outcomes and Alternatives Use this section to describe your experiments potential results and their implications for your proposed model s Aims must be related but independent Ensuring aims are connected creates logical structure for your project If the connection is weak or defective it doesn t matter how compelling your opening paragraphs are Aims should also be independent of one another If experiment B depends upon experiment A s outcome you re setting yourself up for failure Instead structure your aims so the results can provide a synergistic attack on the main problem Five mistakes to avoid Writing more than one page If you can t communicate your aims in a page or less you are either providing too much detail or proposing too many aims Creating aims that are vague with respect to rationale approach or significance Failing to clearly explain the central question or how you intend to answer it Using jargon and acronyms unknown to non experts Not including a general model or interpretative framework to understand the results Caveat There are exceptions to this rule For example if the value of the data you plan to collect is so interesting and unique that people are willing to forgo a hypothesis Discussing your aims with a program officer Keep in mind there

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  • eAlert | Principal Investigators Association
    Mentor An Educational How to Manual NIH R01 Funding Toolkit Writing in Science and Medicine Guide NIH Career Development K Awards Manual The Ins and Outs of NIH R Grants Multi methods Research Design for Applied and Translational Projects Guide NIH R01 Manual 4th Edition Revising and Resubmitting NIH Proposals Guide NIH R21 Grant Application Manual NIH R15 Grant Application Manual NSF Grant Application Mentor An Educational How to Manual How to Prepare an Award Winning Oral Presentation Webinar Pack Time Management Toolkit Lab Management Executive Report Library R01 Research Strategy Insider Tips to Ace the Most Important Part of Your Proposal NIH Short Form Answers to 16 Frequently Asked Questions Crowdfunding Why You Should Jump On This Innovative Funding Source New OLAW Guide Sets a High Bar for Cage Sizes Your NSF Funding Crucial Changes to Merit Review eAlert Archive Older Entries No 132 What is Innovative Research anyway Posted on October 30 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More No 131 Combating Interruptions for PI s Posted on July 9 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More No 130 Am I Eligible for the NSF CAREER Award Posted on May 20 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More 129 R01 or R21 Which Would You Recommend for an Early Investigator Posted on March 13 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More 128 The Scope of Your Research Plan Find the Best Way Up the Mountain Posted on in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More No 127 Get Your Foot in the Door With a

    Original URL path: https://principalinvestigators.org/category/ealert/ (2016-02-13)
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  • News For Scientists | Principal Investigators Association
    The Ins and Outs of NIH R Grants Multi methods Research Design for Applied and Translational Projects Guide Participatory Action Research from A to Z A Comprehensive Guide Interdisciplinary Research Teams Guide Qualitative Research IRB A Comprehensive Guide NSF Grant Application Mentor An Educational How to Manual NIH R01 Funding Toolkit Writing in Science and Medicine Guide NIH Career Development K Awards Manual The Ins and Outs of NIH R Grants Multi methods Research Design for Applied and Translational Projects Guide NIH R01 Manual 4th Edition Revising and Resubmitting NIH Proposals Guide NIH R21 Grant Application Manual NIH R15 Grant Application Manual NSF Grant Application Mentor An Educational How to Manual How to Prepare an Award Winning Oral Presentation Webinar Pack Time Management Toolkit Lab Management Executive Report Library R01 Research Strategy Insider Tips to Ace the Most Important Part of Your Proposal NIH Short Form Answers to 16 Frequently Asked Questions Crowdfunding Why You Should Jump On This Innovative Funding Source New OLAW Guide Sets a High Bar for Cage Sizes Your NSF Funding Crucial Changes to Merit Review News For Scientists Archive No 132 What is Innovative Research anyway Posted on October 30 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More No 131 Combating Interruptions for PI s Posted on July 9 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More No 130 Am I Eligible for the NSF CAREER Award Posted on May 20 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More 129 R01 or R21 Which Would You Recommend for an Early Investigator Posted on March 13 2014 in eAlert News For Scientists PI Mentor eAlert Research Funding eAlert Comments 0 Read More

    Original URL path: https://principalinvestigators.org/category/news-for-scientists/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Subscribe | Principal Investigators Association
    the managerial aspects of your lab operations and your science career It shows you how to easily manage your lab better and faster and provides easy to apply expert tips shortcuts and best practices so you can focus on the research you re doing right now PLEASE NOTE As future issues have been suspended you will receive the entire collection of past issues which includes 123 pages of expert advice to effectively manage your lab career and improve your grant writing skills To download the past issue collection of Science Pro Insider please provide your contact information below You ll get useful and practical advice on Financial quality grant writing funding advice effort reporting compliant spending budget preparation shrewd buying of equipment and supplies and more Lab Management increasing productivity easing hiring and firing motivating staff leading effective lab meetings reducing your administrative time and more Career Enhancement strategies for authorship ensuring deserved credit achieving tenure managing your time effectively protecting your intellectual property advancing to the next level and more To download the collection please provide your contact information below There is absolutely no cost or obligation After you submit the form you will be redirected to download your FREE eNewsletter collection in PDF format You ll also be enrolled to receive our email newsletters and special offers targeted to your interests Please make sure to fill out all fields marked with an asterisk First Name Last Name Title Institution Address 1 Address 2 City State AK AL AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA PR RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI

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