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  • 00:11

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK: I'm Dr. Sally Lechlitner Lusk.I'm a professor emerita at the University of Michigan.I was in the School of Nursing, where my research focusedon the worker's health and safety, and particularly,in preventing noise-induced hearing loss.[Introduction]

  • 00:31

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: In this tutorial, I'll be describinghow to develop a grant proposal that willget you an outstanding score.Everyone who is writing a grant proposalwants to get an outstanding score,and I'll be presenting some tips about how you could do that.[Goal of Your Proposal]

  • 00:51

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: You need to think the proposal is a sales pitch.You're asking somebody to give you moneyfor a product you're going to produce,the findings of the research project.So it needs to be clear, persuasive, and easyto understand.[Writing a Proposal]

  • 01:14

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: So I developed this acronym on howto score an outstanding on your research grant proposal.And for each letter I will describe the activitiesthat you need to focus on to makeyour grant an outstanding one.[How to Score an Outstanding on Your Research Grant Proposal]Obtain information to ensure eligibility and observe

  • 01:38

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: the limitations of the program.So first, you need to check the funding agency that you'regoing to submit it to, what their funding limitationsare per grant, and the total budget they have for grants.If it's a small agency, with not much money,and they don't provide much for each grant,then you do not want to submit a grant that takes a lot of money

  • 01:59

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: in order to conduct the study.So check that first.Then next, look at the website to determine what the agency'sgoals and priorities are.And those might look that maybe not relevant to you,but you can think broadly.You can look at their particular goal,and how might what I want to do fit into that.

  • 02:21

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: And then you can find out, specifically,by calling the project officer, a program officer,at the agency, explain what you're interested in doing,and get their feedback on whether theythink that it would be something thatwould be of interest to their agency to fund.[Use grant proposal guidelines and follow precisely.]

  • 02:44

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: When you check the agency's website, or talk with a programofficer, you will find out about itif they have any specific requests for proposalsout where they have identified areas that theywant proposals submitted.Or if they have program announcements thathave identified broad general areas where

  • 03:04

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: they're seeking proposals, and those will be on the web,and all the details will be on the web about howto apply for those.But, you can also submit a grant proposal, as longas it's within the goals and priorities of that agencythat's something that is unique that you have decidedon, and not fitting into a specific call for proposals,

  • 03:28

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: or a program announcement.Next, you want to work on assembling your team.You want them early on.Who you have, who you can work with,and what their roles will be.And consider a timeline that willallow you to have multiple iterations of that writtengrant proposal, so that you can have other people look at it,

  • 03:50

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: you can rewrite, you can have other people look at it,you can rewrite.It takes multiple iterations before youwant to submit it in order to have a strong proposal.I was asked by a colleague to help a junior facultymember at her school.This is an example of what can happenif you do not follow these.

  • 04:11

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: She had an excellent idea for proposal,told me where she was going to submit it,and had done a lot of writing.And I said, well do you know if that agency is interestedin that topic.And she hadn't checked with them.She checked with them, and no they weren't.So she had wasted some efforts that she didn't need to.[Translate technical terms and processes for non experts

  • 04:33

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: in your specialized area.]For T you need to translate technical termsand the processes you're going to use for non-experts.Now your grant reviewers, they go to a committeeand there are three reviewers whospend a lot of time on your grant,and the rest of the committee reads it, and reacts to it.

  • 04:55

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: Although they are knowledgeable about the area,they may not be that knowledgeableabout the specific area of your expertise, and the processthat you're going to use.So make sure that you translate these technical termsso that the reader, your reviewers, can understand them.And be careful about acronyms.

  • 05:16

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: They're very useful, and they're very necessary with pagelimitations.However, the reviewer can get really tired of themand exasperated.And you want to keep your reviewer happy.You don't want them to be upset with having to read this.I once had a proposal I was reviewing on study section

  • 05:36

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: where I counted 17 different acronyms on one page.You can't expect every viewer to keeptrack of all those acronyms.And so you need to make it easy for the reviewerto do the reading of your proposal.[Show importance of project and its relevanceto the profession.]S, you need to show the importance of the project,

  • 05:58

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: and relevance to the agency's goals, and to the profession.Example, I'm in nursing.I submitted grants to the National Institutefor Nursing Research at NIH.And I made sure when I did those grants,that I identified the specific relationship to nursing,and what this was going to do for nursing and nursing

  • 06:19

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: practice.When I submitted grants with similar areas of interest,and focus, in terms of the research that was actuallybeing done to NIOSH, the NationalInstitute for Occupational Safety and Health,I had less emphasis on what it wasgoing to mean to nursing, more emphasis in terms

  • 06:40

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: of what it was going to mean to occupational health.And so you do want to gear it to the agency to which you'resubmitting.[Tap and include consultants to augment skills and abilitiesof research team.]For T, tap and include consultantsto augment the skills and abilities of your researchteam.This is seen as a strength by the reviewer

  • 07:01

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: that you don't think you can do everything all by yourself.You need experts in the field, and identify those,and include them early, get their feedbackon the grant proposal, as you write it, if you possibly can.Make sure that you have written commitmentsfrom them regarding what they're goingto do, that you can then use that in the proposal,

  • 07:21

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: if allowed.[Assure congruence, logical connections,and flow among aims, significance,preliminary studies, methods, and analyses]A, assure congruence, logical connections,and flow among aims, methods, and analyses.This is critical.It's terribly important.And there are some steps to followto make sure you do this.

  • 07:43

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: For the entire proposal, take each aim,and look at each section of the proposal.Have I adequately addressed the aim in the preliminary studies?Does the theoretical framework fit with this am?How does the method act in relation to this aim?

  • 08:04

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: Is it consistent with what we want to do?Have we covered all the bases of this aim?And how the team can handle this aim,and the individual analyses for this,the reasonable conclusions to draw, et cetera.So you need to do this with each aim throughout the proposal,

  • 08:28

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: and make sure they're all fully developed.I mentioned theoretical framework.It's important that this is consistent with all the aims--and very important not to add later.Sometimes people who write grants get the idea downabout what they want to do, and thentry and grab a theoretical framework from someplace.

  • 08:48

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: It doesn't fit very well, and it shows.So you want to start with making surethat you have a theoretical framework thatworks for what you want to do.And when you consider preliminary studies,they not only describe the state of the science,and demonstrate what needs to be done,and why you should do this project,but you also garner information about the feasibility,

  • 09:12

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: the team's capacity to conduct their research,and to disseminate the results.And reviewers look very carefully at prior workin terms of was it published, and where was it published.[Note how this project relates to your overall researchprogram, next steps, and results.]N, you need to note how this project relates

  • 09:33

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: to your overall research program, next steps,and results.If you have done prior studies, youhave used them in the preliminary studies section,and you have shown how they told youwhat should be done next as the results of those studies.But you also need to think about with what I find out

  • 09:55

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: in this study, what do I plan to do after that,and to say how this study will build on the next study.And, depending on the results youget in this one, what you might look at in the next study.[Document your ability, and your team's ability,to do the project.]D, you need to document the principal investigators,

  • 10:16

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: and the team's ability, to complete the project.And there are a number of ways that youcan work on doing that.You can be clear about their roles, and the budget,and personnel section, and in the preliminary studiessection.When you refer to a study that you've done before,you can indicate which of the investigators lead that,

  • 10:39

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: and which ones assisted.You can make clear the team's experience and the descriptionof instruments.When you're describing you indicatewhether you've used them before or not, and that's important.And the flow charts to show data collection proceduresand timelines are very helpful.In fact, I think you shouldn't a proposal without one.

  • 11:01

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: Where you have a matrix with the months of the proposal,and you have a list of all of the activitiesdown the left margin, and you indicatewhich months of the proposal these activities willbe performed, so that you have data collection-- that'snot going to start right away, because you'vegot a lot of prep work.That's farther on some months on in the chart.

  • 11:23

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: And you indicate all of those activities associatedwith the project, recruitment of team.And then when you get to the analysis, and the disseminationof results, and all the tasks in between,these are all in the matrix, and you show which monthsyou will be focusing on them.And then the team's knowledge and abilityto identify potential problems and their solutions.

  • 11:45

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: You need to deal with that in the proposal,the potential problems that could come up,and what will you do about it.And that demonstrates that your team knowswhat they're doing, because they have figured out whatthe problems could be, and they've alsoanticipated how to solve them.So that gives confidence to the reviewerthat you know what you're doing.

  • 12:05

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: [Inspire excitement about your project.]I, inspire excitement about the project.What you really want is a reviewerwho is just entirely entranced with your project.If your primary viewer thinks that thisis a wonderful project that should be done,

  • 12:26

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: then that excitement is going to beconveyed when that reviewer presents that to the studysection, the group, the committee reviewing the grant.And it's infectious.It's important to have that enthusiasm about the granton the part of your reviewers.

  • 12:47

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: And you can do this by really focusing on the significanceof the study.What's it going to do?How is it going to make things better?How is it important?And so that, you really need to spend some time-- not justbecause you want to do it, or you think it's interesting,

  • 13:07

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: but why should the world want it done.[Negotiate agreements with sites, consultants,and contractors (if needed) and document in proposal.]You need to negotiate agreements for the N,negotiate agreements with sites, consultants, and contractors.I've mentioned the sites already, in terms of yourhaving contracts and letters.The consultants, in terms of contracts and letters.

  • 13:28

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: And if you have to contract out-- for instance,if you have someone who's producing videos for you--then you need to have the information about that contractin the proposal, in terms of what they will charge,and what the time frame is, and wherethey will get the actors for, if needed, et cetera.[Get input and objective, critical reviews beforesubmission, with enough time to revise proposal.]

  • 13:50

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: In selecting your reviewers, I thinkit's very important to have one whois quite familiar with the area of study.Now granted you don't want to choose someonethat you're sort of competing with for funds,but they should have a good knowledgeof what you want to do, and be quite familiar with the area.And it's helpful to have another reviewer, who is not

  • 14:13

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: familiar with the specific area of science,and they can be there for standingin for the other members of the review committee who don't knowall that much about your area.Usually, your grant is assigned to a reviewerwho is quite familiar with your area of focus.But that can't always be the case,

  • 14:34

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: because you may be doing something quiteunique and innovative, and there may notbe anybody on the study section whoreally has been in that area.So important to have someone who would be reviewing itfrom the standpoint of not having a lot of knowledge.You need reviewers who will be brutally honest and critical,

  • 14:57

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: provide those critical comments, and suggesthow it could be improved.It's often helpful to have reviewers externalto the investigator site.And there are resources for obtaining external reviewers.Often the person responsible for researchin your employer's agency will have

  • 15:21

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: a list of possible reviewers.Also, for instance, the Medical Schoolof the University of Michigan hasa website where they list people who will assist with grants.And our foundation at the Midwest Nursing ResearchSociety-- which I was involved in starting-- we

  • 15:43

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: set up a roster of reviewers, and it's on our website,so that you can obtain for nursing-focused studies,someone from that list, to do a review.And in fact, SAGE, as publishing company,has helped to support that foundation each year.

  • 16:05

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: [Conclusion]My tips were designed based on proposalssubmitted to the NIH, the National Institutes of Health.But they're really applicable to any other application you wouldbe submitting for funding.My suggestions are based upon my experiences,first, as a charter member of the Nursing Study

  • 16:26

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: section at the NIH, and as an ad hoc reviewer for other NIHproposals, and as a NIOSH reviewer-- that'sthe National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health.They have special emphasis panels and program grants,for which I did reviews.And then I also have done pre-submission reviews

  • 16:47

    DR. SALLY LECHLITNER LUSK [continued]: for colleagues before they submitted their grants, to tryto make them stronger as well.

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd

Publication Year: 2017

Video Type:Tutorial

Methods: Grant application, Research proposals, Research funding

Keywords: contract services; enthusiasm; expertise; feedback; future considerations; guideline adherence; jargon; knowledge, skills, and abilities; negotiation; relevance (education); roles; roles and responsibilities; team composition; terminology as topic ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Professor Sally Lechlitner Lusk provides advice on writing grant proposals for research funding. She stresses choosing the theoretical framework prior to planning the project, as well as including a variety of people on the research team to offer a wide variety of expertise.

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An Introduction to Writing Grant Proposals

Professor Sally Lechlitner Lusk provides advice on writing grant proposals for research funding. She stresses choosing the theoretical framework prior to planning the project, as well as including a variety of people on the research team to offer a wide variety of expertise.

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