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Planning and Preparation


Consider these questions as you begin to plan your project or research leave:

  • What do you intend to do?
  • Why is the work important and to whom?
  • What difference will it make?
  • What has already been done and written on the topic?
  • How are you going to approach the work? What is your methodology?
  • How does the current project fit into your long-range teaching-research plan?

Advance preparation

Recognize the deadline as an opportunity to further your work, not a reason to start work. Carefully read the program announcement, instructions, and proposal guidelines before you begin.

Allow plenty of time to work on the proposal and do not wait until the last minute. Create a timeline for preparing the proposal, working backwards from the deadline. You might include the following steps in your timeline:

  • Creating an outline
  • Writing
  • Updating your résumé
  • Contacting collaborators for input, letters of support, and résumés
  • Contacting references
  • Reviewing your bibliography
  • Meeting with your dean and department chair
  • Sharing the draft proposal and budget with FCGR at least one week before the deadline

Talk to everyone who can help you; they become your support team. Some people who may be able to help include:

  • FCGR
  • Program officer at the funding agency
  • Your department chair and dean; this is especially important if you desire a leave
  • IRB and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), as appropriate
  • Colleagues — both on and off campus — who are successful grant recipients
  • Boatwright Memorial Library - Data Management Guide