2012 Cohort for USU’s Proposal Writing Institute

The Proposal Development division of the Office of Research and Graduate Studies has announced the upcoming cohort for USU’s fourth annual Proposal Writing Institute (PWI). The PWI is an intensive workshop offered each spring and is designed to assist researchers in learning the tools and techniques to develop high-quality proposals. To maintain the characteristic hands-on instruction, participation is highly limited, and applications are competitive. A stipend of $5,000 is provided to participants for their involvement in and successful completion of the PWI.

Those accepted into the 2012 PWI include:
• Eadric Bressel (Education)
• Koushik Chakraborty (Engineering)
• Tom Chang (Science)
• Kai He (CHaSS)
• Kevin Heaslip (Engineering)
• Joan Hevel (Science)
• Zhao Ma (Natural Resources)
• Lisa Milman (Education)
• Bethany Neilson (Engineering)
• Nghiem Nguyen (Science)
• Marie Walsh (Agriculture)
• Zonda Wang (Agriculture)
• Maggie Zraly (CHaSS)

“This year and last year, we admitted several more faculty to the institute than usual,” said Jerilyn Hansen, manager of proposal development. “This is due to the better prepared nature of the applicants, so we are making every effort to accommodate them.”

The Institute consists of presentations, discussions, and small group activities. Some of the topics covered include funding opportunity resources, developing a proposal outline from RFA/RFP guidelines, creating timelines for proposal development, building budgets based on project tasks, and understanding the proposal submission process.

The PWI also features two panel discussions by experienced faculty researchers, one on collaboration and the other on how agency review panels work. “Both of these panels are always a big hit with participants because of the opportunity it gives them to hear from successful faculty and ask questions about key issues which are important to understand, but difficult to assemble real-life information on,” said Hansen.

“The ultimate goal of the PWI is for participants to leave with a solid proposal ready for submission to an external funding agency, and this is a requirement for successful completion of the workshop,” said Hansen. “We also anticipate the skills participants learn during their time in the Institute will stick with them and make them stronger competitors for external funding in the future.”

Since its establishment in 2009, the Proposal Writing Institute has supported a number of successful participants. Four of the last six USU NSF CAREER Award winners participated in the PWI to prepare their proposals, helping USU to grow to a record twelve active recipients of the NSF’s most prestigious award for new faculty.