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Writing/Designing NSF Proposals

Houston Marriott Medical Center Houston, TX
Jan 29, 2020
8:30a - 4:30p

Our one-day focused workshop addresses essential NSF research resources, as well as the conversion of ideas into fundable research. Following the workshop, you will understand how to navigate the mechanisms of grant procurement, identify the critical sections of successful proposals, and demonstrate the excellence and innovation that propels your research beyond other submissions. You will also understand the diversity of the grant programs and comprehend how to respond to various NSF guidelines.

Your training covers the overall strategic plan for writing grants, including: intellectual merit, broader impacts, goal or hypothesis, objectives, approach, key personnel, and budgets. Our instructors will engage you in interactive exercises, lectures, and discussions so you can better understand how to research, write, and develop your individual research proposals.

Our curriculum targets:

  • Early Career researchers seeking to acquire the techniques to research and draft winning NSF grant proposals
  • Senior Principal Investigators and grant writers looking to polish existing skills and receive updates about NSF funding trends

You will learn how to:

  • Locate the right funding opportunities for your research
  • Navigate the NSF website to understand the culture, language and foci of interest
  • Know how to address the NSF Program Solicitation
  • Write a winning Summary Page, which includes Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts
  • Compose a full proposal that will stand out from the competition
  • Understand the NSF scoring system and peer review process
  • Use what happens during the review process to your advantage
  • Address reviewers' comments for successful second submissions

Dr. Maria Esformes

Dr. Maria Esformes

Dr. Maria Esformes has lectured and taught for the Grant Training Center for eight years. In her extensive career as an academic at such institutions as Harvard, University of Massachusetts, University of Washington, University of South Florida, and the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada she has written and received major research and programmatic grants from such donors as the Mellon Foundation, Skirball Foundation, Maurice Amado Foundation, American Philosophical Society, and various government grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. Dr. Esformes has participated on many grant review panels for internal University grants and for government grants. Most recently she has reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Esformes received her B.A. from Portland State University (Portland, Oregon), M.A. from the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington), and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado (Boulder, Colorado).

8:30 am -9:00 amIntroduction
9:00 am -10:00 amOverview of Agenda and Good Grantsmanship
10:15 am -11:00 amGeneral NSF Information and Proposal Sections
11:00 am -12:00 pmProject Description and Intellectual Merit
1:00 pm -2:00 pmSections of an NSF Proposal
2:15 pm -3:15 pmTimelines and Gantt Charts
3:15 pm -4:15 pmDiscussion of a Complete NSF Proposal
4:15 pm -4:30 pmSummary of the Day, Q & A

Preparing for the Workshop

Begin thinking of the research you want to develop. Having a specific project in mind will help you better understand the various proposal components presented during the course. Consider which grant program best suits the type and needs of the research you hope to conduct.

If you decide to develop a proposal during the workshop, consider how you would answer the following questions:

  1. What is the need of your project?
  2. What is the significance of your project?
  3. How will you budget your proposal?
  4. What is the time frame of the grant you are seeking?
  5. What is your hypothesis?
  6. What are the objectives?

What to Bring

  • Computer/Tablet and charger - All workshop materials will be supplied via USB drive and email. Many will be in PDF format.
  • Power strip or Extension cord
  • Notetaking: Paper and pens, and/or a personal USB drive

Click on your question below to see the answer. If this page does not answer your question, feel free to contact us.

General Questions:

Q. When should I register?
Q. How can I tell if a training session is full?
Q. When do I get information about the training I registered for?
Q. Does the Grant Training Center provide hotel or other travel recommendations?
Q. Will I receive additional assistance after the class?
Q. How can I network with the other participants?
Q. Can I share the materials I get with friends and colleagues?

Payment Questions:

Q. Do I need to pay when I register?
Q. What types of payments do you accept?
Q. Is U.S. currency the only type accepted?

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Grant Training Center (GTC) has the sole and absolute discretion to reschedule and cancel all workshops. In the event of such a cancellation, GTC will attempt to notify attendees two weeks prior to the scheduled workshop. If a participant has paid for the cancelled workshop and is unable to attend the rescheduled session, he/she will receive either a refund or a credit toward a future workshop. If we do not hear from the attendee within 30 days, they will not be able to receive a refund.

In no event shall GTC be responsible for travel arrangements or other costs related to or arising from workshop attendance or GTC’s rescheduling or cancellation of the workshop. Participants should contact GTC prior to making travel arrangements to ensure the workshop is taking place.

If you are unable to attend the workshop and wish to receive a full refund, GTC must be notified at least seven (7) business days prior to the start of the workshop.

If you cancel less than seven business days prior to the start of the workshop, no refund will be given. Instead, you will receive credit for a future workshop, which is valid for one (1) year.

Force Majeure: If a workshop is canceled due to reasons of Act of God or nature, war, riot, strike, or labor dispute, the cancellation policy will not apply and the fee will transfer to the rescheduled workshop. If participants cannot attend the rescheduled date, the registration fee can be utilized for any Grant Training Center workshop during a period of exactly one (1) year from the date of the original workshop.

Individual Membership Cancellation: Once an individual membership has been paid and processed, members will have three (3) days to cancel for a full refund. After the three (3) day period, no refunds will be issued.

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Group Registration

TOTAL: $395.00