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Support For Faculty Writing Proposals To New Investigator Programs

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Mentoring and Development of New Faculty

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1100.1 - 14.1100.11

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Paper Authors


Laurie Garton Texas Engineering Experiment Station

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Dr. Laurie Garton is a Senior Research Development Associate with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station Office of Strategic Research Development. She has BS, ME, and PhD degrees in civil engineering (environmental) from Texas A&M University and was an engineering faculty member before joining TEES in 1999 where she has worked 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 and guiding faculty through the proposal development process. She also works with multi-institutional Center level efforts, such as proposals to the NSF CREST program.

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Luisa Deckard Texas Engineering Experiment Station

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Lucy Deckard has worked at Texas A&M University since 2000. She is Associate Director of the Texas A&M’s Office of Proposal Development and leads the office’s new faculty and graduate fellowship initiatives. She also works on proposal development activities related to physical science, mathematics and engineering. Ms. Deckard has 18 years of experience working as a materials engineer, conducting applied research and writing proposals at Lockheed Martin as well as at HRL Labs. She has a B.S. degree in Materials Science from Rice University and an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, from Northwestern University.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Support for Faculty Writing Proposals to New Investigator Programs Abstract

Research grants aimed specifically at junior faculty and new investigators, such as the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, Department of Defense Young Investigator and Beckman Young Investigator grants, can provide a significant boost to an early career faculty’s research program. However, these grants are highly competitive and are generally more difficult to write than other research grant proposals, since they often involve a career development plan, an education plan, and other strategic components integrating research and education efforts, in addition to a solid and innovative research project. The Texas A&M University Office of Proposal Development and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station Office of Strategic Research Development, both within the Texas A&M University System, work together each year to present a seminar on how to write competitive proposals for grants specifically for junior faculty. In addition, these offices assist junior faculty individually in planning and writing those proposals, with an additional goal of helping faculty to improve their overall grantsmanship skills. This effort has been successful in engaging faculty, increasing submissions to these programs, and increasing the overall number of these grants awarded to the institution. In this paper targeting junior faculty and new investigators we will discuss common features of these kinds of proposals, how they differ from other research proposals, how agency culture and strategic plans affect grant development, common features of successful proposals, and common proposal pitfalls. We will also discuss how departments and universities can best support junior faculty in their efforts to compete for these grants, by creating an infrastructure for faculty development and engaging and interacting efficiently and effectively with faculty. The model of workshops and seminars to distribute information and create awareness, followed by one-on-one meetings, including critical review of the proposal drafts, has worked well at Texas A&M.

Characteristics and Common Features of New Investigator Programs

New investigator awards are offered by most research funding groups, including: • federal agencies (for example, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration), • private foundations (for example, Beckman Foundation, Dreyfus Foundation, Sloan Foundation, and Welch Foundation - Texas only), • professional societies (for example, American Chemical Society – Petroleum Research Fund, Texas Space Grant Consortium, Water Environment Research Foundation, American Heart Association, and American Cancer Society), and • industry (for example, Microsoft or Honda). Many university sponsored projects offices maintain comprehensive lists of available new investigator programs with active links1,2,3. Overall the funding amounts vary by organization, but most federal new investigator awards are for 3-5 years funded at $100-300K per year. This paper will focus on federal new investigator programs in general as they serve a broad audience

Garton, L., & Deckard, L. (2009, June), Support For Faculty Writing Proposals To New Investigator Programs Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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