Goals of Proposal Design - CERGE-EI

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Transcript Goals of Proposal Design - CERGE-EI

Secrets of Successful Grant-writing
Petr Zemčík
(based on a presentation by R. Filer)
Goals of Proposal Design
Your Objective Function Contains:
1) Probability of Acceptance
2) Interest (to you) of the Project
3) Probability of Successful Completion
4) Effect on Your Reputation of Outcome
There Are TRADEOFFS - Today and Over Time
Probability or interest is often so low that writing
application fails cost/benefit test
 Interests of Funding Source
 Review Process
 Budget Consideration
 Administrative Procedures
Interests of Funding Source
 Science / Policy
 Viewpoint / Political Agenda
Review Process
 Internal / External
 Specialists / Generalists
 With / Without Referee Reviews
All Combinations Are Possible
1) GDN or NSF - External, Specialists Refereed
2) Fulbright - External, Generalists, Refereed
Always Cost / Benefit Calculation
1) At Initial Stage
2) Negotiate After Review
What Are Your Incentives in Each Case?
Administrative Procedures
 How Easy Is It To Modify While In Process?
 Availability of Extensions (Cost or NoCost)?
 How Closely Will Deliverables Be
How to Influence Probability
of Acceptance
 Pr(A) = f(CR, CP) where
CR = Characteristics of Researcher
CP = Characteristics of Proposal
Characteristics of Researcher
 Can’t influence much in short run – but
remember it is a repeated process
 Send the strongest possible signal without
 Can you “borrow” someone else’s
 Will evaluation be on team or institution?
Characteristics of Proposal
Importance of Initial Impression
Use of Language Is a Signal
Show Mastery of Subject
Show Significance of Contribution
Show Realism
Work Plan
Main Reasons for Grant
 Mechanical
 Methodological
 Personnel
 Cost-Benefit
 Deadline Not Met
 Format Not Followed
 Presentation Not Clear
 Presentation Not Complete
 Presentation Showed Political Agenda
 Quality of Writing Was Poor
 Presentation Was Sloppy
 Proposal Lacked Originality
 Methodology Was Inappropriate
 Unclear That Required Data/Cooperation
Would Be Available
 Investigator Did Not Show Mastery of
 Investigator Appeared to Lack Required
 Investigator Failed to Deliver on Previous
 Investigator Appeared to Be Overcommitted
Cost-Benefit Test
 Relevance to Agency’s Priorities Not Clear
 Budget Excessive in Relation to Apparent
 Budget Reveals Padding Not Necessary for
 Probability of Failure Seems High
Grants Administration
Internal webpage: For Faculty and Researchers » Important Info for Researchers
The Deputy Director for Finance, DDF, and the Deputy Director for Research, DDR,
would like to ask all researchers who are coordinators of or partners in research grants to
set up a meeting with DDF at least one month before the end date of each grant to discuss
final financial reports.
A minimum of 25% of the total budget of each research grant must be used for the internal
overhead of CERGE or EI. The following expenses can be included in this overhead:
- official overhead approved by the grant agency;
- monthly research assistantships;
- purchase of PCs, printers, databases, books, journals, office supplies for common use
- phone and mail expenses, unless they must be included in the official overhead;
- compensation for local staff (finance management, workshop coordination, etc.).
Czech Grant Agencies
 Grant Agency of the CH.U. (GA UK) University employee or doctoral student at
Charles University, January
 Grant Agency of the Academy of Science of
the Czech Republic (GA AV ČR), April
 Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (GA
ČR) - Czech or permanent residence,
Other Agencies
 National Science Foundation
 Global Development Network
 European Commission FP7