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Slide 22: how to obtain funding: an assistant professor’s guide

Robert M. Raphael, Ph.D.

TN Law Assistant Professor

Dept. of Bioengineering

Rice University

Slide 23: spirit of the fighting irish

Lou holtz

“To everyone who has ever faced adversity, whether in business, professional or personal life. I admire the person who says: Every day someone does something great. Today that person will be me.” -- Lou Holtz

Slide 24: writing great grants: a three step recipe

  • Choose a significant problem
    • Bonus points if not much work has been done on the problem
    • More bonus points if you have done the important work
  • Leave no question that you can accomplish your aims
    • Established track record of publications
    • Clear and convincing preliminary data
  • Write a clear, easy to read proposal
    • “Calm down, understand the situation and communicate clearly” – We Were Soldiers

Slide 25: big hurdles and pitfalls

  • Navigating the Scylla of building on your accomplishments and the Charybdis of creating new research problems and attacking new research areas, given your situation:
    • Laboratory techniques not yet working
    • Students not yet trained/busy with classes
    • Teaching and other responsibilities
  • Proposing to do too much
  • Not making clear the points and connections that are obvious to you

Slide 26: final do’s and dont’s

  • Do not necessarily assume the person who reviews your grant will be an expert in your area or know why your research is novel
  • The response to a revised NIH grant is very important
    • Never appear to be angry or emotional. Just stick to the science. If a reviewer got something wrong (which often happens), just lay out the facts.
    • This is hard because you have put so much effort into the grant it’s easy to take comments personally.
    • Criticisms are of the science, not of you!
  • Get grants done in advance and have colleagues read them !
    • Resist the thrill of pulling it off on “third and long”

Slide 27: and remember:

Slide 28: acknowledgements

“my mariners, souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me”

Raphael Lab: Emily, Yong, Ryan, Jeff, Imran, Jenni, Louise (and Robert Raphael, center)
  • Thanks for Believing in Us!
    • Whitaker Foundation
    • Texas Advanced Technology Program
    • National Organization for Hearing Research
    • NIH NRSA (Greeson, Organ)
    • Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology
    • DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship

Slide 29: so you want someone else to pay for your research?

Joan E. Strassmann, Ph.D.

Department Chair

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Rice University

  • So you want someone else to pay for your research?
    • Ask important, big questions.
    • Have several projects at once.
    • Write clear, well-researched proposals.
    • Collaborate.
    • Identify all possible funding sources and learn their cultures.
    • Don’t let funding consume you. Keep publishing!

Slide 30: number 1 - ask important, big questions.

  • Do not redo your Ph.D. or postdoc work.
  • Find a substantially new project if your proposal is rejected twice.
  • Read deeply and broadly (at least 5 articles a day).
  • Be creative.
  • Do not be afraid to do something really different.
  • Talk to lots of people about research.

Slide 31: number 2 - do several projects at once.

  • Keeps you excited.
  • When one project faces problems, another could be blooming.
  • Increases funding opportunities.
  • Synergy in thinking about different things can suggest novel pathways.
  • Increases your visibility.

Slide 32: number 3 - write clear, well-researched proposals.

  • The proposal must be impeccable, no typos, clear headers, clear flow from hypotheses to methods.
  • Follow the format of the agency exactly.
  • Include preliminary data and figures.
  • Get sample funded proposals by asking people for them, preferably those not too close to your research.
  • Have several people read your proposal.
  • Leave enough time, at least 3 months.

Slide 33: number 4 - collaborate.

  • New ideas often come from collaboration.
  • Techniques and approaches can be shared.
  • This is the ONLY way to succeed without turning into a workaholic.
  • Teamwork is fun!
  • Find collaborators from a broader pool than is initially comfortable, and bridge the gaps with frequent meetings.
  • Same-stage collaborators are often best.

Slide 34: number 5 - identify all possible funding sources and learn their cultures.

  • NSF and NIH are not the only sources of funding.
  • Learn about those grants requiring nominations, and get them.
  • Take advantage of your sponsored research office in learning about private funding.

Slide 35: number 6 - keep publishing.

  • The search for funding can be discouraging.
  • Keep trying, but don’t forget to keep publishing anyway.
  • Write up your research quickly.
  • Write a minireview, review, perspective etc. at least every 2 years.

Slide 36: conclusion

Have fun! It’s a great life!

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
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Source:  OpenStax, 2006 nsf advance workshop: negotiating the ideal faculty position. OpenStax CNX. Jul 31, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10442/1.7
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