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Grantsmanship and the Proposal Development Process: Lessons Learned from Several Years of Programs for Junior Faculty

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Best of the NEE

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.682.1 - 25.682.16



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Paper Authors


Laurie S. Garton Texas Engineering Experiment Station

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Laurie Garton is a Senior Research Development Associate with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station Office of Strategic Research Development. She has B.S., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering (environmental) from Texas A&M University and was an engineering faculty member before joining TEES in 1999 where she started working on technical research project grants related to interdisciplinary environmental themes. Currently, she leads the TEES New Faculty Initiative targeting grants such as the NSF CAREER awards for untenured engineering faculty throughout the TEES divisions, conducting workshops, guiding faculty through the proposal development process, with an overall goal to increase technical research capacity throughout the state. She has also worked with multi-institutional center-level efforts, such as proposals to the NSF CREST program.

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Grantsmanship and the Proposal Development Process: Lessons Learned from Several Years of Programs for Junior FacultyAbstractAlthough new engineering faculty members have an outstanding knowledge of their disciplinaryresearch field, their knowledge and skills in developing highly competitive proposals varieswidely and is often less well developed. To address these needs, many faculty development andproposal development units and programs have crafted workshops and other faculty developmentstrategies. Fortunately, these offices can benefit through sharing practices they have foundeffective. The XXX office at XXX University has held proposal development workshopstargeting junior engineering faculty and young investigator programs, especially the NSFCAREER, for almost 10 years as well as individual follow-up with the participants. Attendanceand feedback from these workshops has resulted in several levels of workshops to addressdifferent needs and audiences, including workshops across our university system campuses onvarying aspects of overall grantsmanship through regional campus research initiation workshops,graduate student fellowship seminars, presentations at a graduate seminar on preparing studentsfor academia, proposal development workshop series for a state research agency, and post-doctoral workshops on grantsmanship. This paper will summarize these grantsmanshipdevelopment events in the form of lessons that junior engineering faculty can apply whenconstructing an entire proposal.Proposal development encompasses generating an initial idea, identifying funding sources,preparing and submitting proposals, responding to reviews, and funding or resubmission. It isnot a secret process, but a craft that can be learned and honed and involves hard work andrelationship building. Each proposal contributes to a faculty member’s reputation and must beapproached with thoughtful attention to this end. Faculty needs and expectations vary, butcommon struggles in proposal development include: setting and maintaining a timeline to theproposal deadline, creating goals and objectives and using them to organize a proposal, writing aproposal to sell an idea to a funding agency rather than writing a manuscript for publication, andfocusing text to address review criteria, especially the NSF broader impacts review criterion.These issues will be addressed in how they affect and can be incorporated into each aspect of theproposal development process. Carefully approaching each of the proposal developmentelements will ensure a best effort is submitted and thus a good foundation laid for a beginningacademic faculty researcher. Each of the elements will be fully developed in the proposal topaint the big picture of the proposal development process, but include details to be truly helpfulto new faculty navigating this sometimes confusing and seemingly esoteric process.

Garton, L. S. (2012, June), Grantsmanship and the Proposal Development Process: Lessons Learned from Several Years of Programs for Junior Faculty Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21439

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