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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

Apply social psychology on real life in Nigerian universities campus
tyosaa Reply
what is the meaning of an idiosyncratic pattern
Krystle Reply
I am here for the first time just here to learn...
michael Reply
hi I'm new on here first time
hi,am new here
what is this group all about
Suppose an individual with OCD experiences obsessive thoughts about germs, contamination, and disease whenever she encounters a doorknob. What might have constituted a viable unconditioned stimulus? 
la Reply
What are factors that influence learning?
Enos Reply
Environment Heredity(I am not sure about heredity)
Helpful. .. thanks
Sure, anytime
I have other questions also
Based on the factors affecting learning, how do we improve learning
I think that addressing that everyone learns in their own time
Peer group influence can also be another reason
Also knowing what's going on at home. what pressure are the parents putting on them.
am I close or no
also is there a lack of care? going one more step. with peer groups do an activity that shows how much they have in common
under what schedule of reinforcement do animals learn from ?
Phelisa Reply
the role of emotional intelligence in a courtship behavior
Caren Reply
describe the task and roles of industrial psychologist in solving the problems
Solomzi Reply
hi I'm Vaishnavi and I'm new to psychology:)
Vaishnavi Reply
what is motivation
Muhammad Reply
getting passionate about something and strive for success
observation and method based
Winter Reply
the meaning of science
soul is the Greek word for psyche
psychology is scientific research of the human brain.
Psychology is a study of human mind and behaviour
psychology is a social science which aim at studying the mind as it affect the behavior of an individual.
write and explain four psychosexual stages of personality development
I'm asking on behalf of someone How can a guy get over his weakness for girls? Like the person have soft spot for every girl and he thinks he love them then suddenly stuff change.... Like a switch
Ajayi Reply
whats the age of the boy?
16 or 17
lol. it gets over with time. it's not something that can be changed instantly. and for teenagers.. anyone of opposite sex is a tasty lollipop.
yes in time it will go away but could also take years
maybe because he doesn't really have mind of making decisions at the moment on what he need and what he doesn't want
maybe he's trying to find someone to love because he's either lacked loved and feel that's the only way to feel loved or he's lonely and feels a girl can make it better . either he's got deal with the core issue
its natural. I think it should be like this. girls also have weakness toward guys. but you can overcome on few things like concept of beauty. first step is realisation which will grow in you. also discipline help in these things.
what are cluster A disease?
Saee Reply
because psychology is a natural science as well as a science. it's a interdisciplinary subject
Kamakshi Reply
yes absolutely we cabt out Psychology completely into science dur to its various measuring aspects
cannot* put*
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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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