Powerful Project Summaries - Office of Research and Sponsored

Report
Barbara Ustanko, Senior Proposal Editor
Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
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Succinct stand-alone overview of:
◦ Research goals, objectives and methods
◦ Significance and Innovation
◦ Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact (NSF)
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Initial impression and reader engagement
Scope, credibility, importance of your project
Will represent project publically upon funding
It is your “Elevator Pitch”
Fulfilling agency requirements for Summary/Abstract
Using Project Summary/Abstrct as a springboard for:
Addressing key agency criteria
Significance
Intellectual Merit (NSF)
Innovation
Broader Impacts (NSF)
Discussing broadly applicable grant writing skills
Integration of proposal components
Focus, clarity, precision
Process
You MUST clearly articulate and communicate
the importance of the proposed work:
◦ to the field (what gaps and/or needs your work will
fill; what it will contribute; what its implications are;
what impact it will have);
◦ to the funding agency (how this matches their
priorities; how funding your project will help them
fulfill their mission)
◦ to your own longer-term research agenda (how this
fits within your overall research trajectory)
Concise and Precise
Focused
Persuasive
Engaging
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Write directly to the guidelines/agency
Establish context and necessity for your work
Balance level of specificity
State contribution to your field and beyond
NSF
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1 pg Project Summary
Third person
NIH
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Proposed Activity
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Hypothesis or Need
Significance/Innovation
Specific Objectives
Methods
Intellectual Merit
Broader Impact
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30 line Summary
+3 line “Narrative”
Third person
Significance & Innovation
Hypothesis
Specific Aims
Methodology
Expected Results
Public Health Relevance/
Impact on Field
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What important problem or barrier to progress
in the field does the project address?
How will the project improve scientific
knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical
practice?
How will the project change concepts,
methods, technologies, treatments, services,
and/or preventive interventions that drive the
field?
How does the project advance knowledge/
understanding within and across fields?
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What are the main barriers to progress in your field?
What has led to success so far? What limits remain?
What gap or need does your work fill?
What aspects of the current state-of-the-art lead to this
proposal?
Why do the issues on which you focus need to be addressed
at this particular time?
What lessons from past/current research motivate this
project?
What elements of the research are novel/innovative?
How does the project suggest and explore creative and
original concepts?
What is the relation to the present state of knowledge?
To current work here and elsewhere?
After you have written Specific Aims page.
 Unmet need/gap that drives this work.
 Significance and Innovation.
 “This application focuses on ____ “ (or “is
centered on the development of ___”)
 Hypothesis, Specific Aims.
 Primary methods/approaches/results.
 Outcomes, contribution, impact.
 Public health relevance. (echoed in Narrative)
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Several studies have examined the relationships between
these adverse birth outcomes and maternal exposure to
ambient air pollution but results have been inconclusive. A
major impediment to this research has been the large
sample size needed to investigate these relationships as
well as the level of personal information needed to
address potential confounders and accurately estimate
exposure throughout pregnancy. (R01)
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Despite concerted efforts in changing lifestyles and the
use of new pharmacologic approaches to lower plasma
cholesterol concentrations (the main risk factor),
cardiovascular disease continues to be the principal
cause of death in the United States, Europe and much of
Asia. Atherosclerosis in particular, is a chronic
inflammatory disease involving the walls of large and
medium-sized elastic and muscular arteries and can lead
to ischemia of the heart, brain, intestine or extremities,
resulting in infarction. (R15)
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Recent genomic breakthroughs have revolutionized our
understanding of cancer. It is now possible to envision
treatment paradigms that would be individualized,
targeted and tailored according to the tumor genetic
profile. However, high-throughput functional assays
capable of identifying and validating potential cancer
drugs, based on abnormal tumor gene expression
profiles, in a setting that would directly translate to
providing recommendations for patient treatment are not
readily available. (R43)
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Over the past 15 years, the use of APDs in pediatric
populations has doubled - a phenomenon that has garnered
considerable attention in the scientific community and
national media. This increase has occurred in the relative
absence of basic research documenting the effects of earlylife APD exposure on later brain and behavioral function.
Studies of APD action in laboratory rats would serve as a
significant first step in filling this void. It has been well
established in adult rats that continuous receptor blockade
caused by long-term APD treatment leads to compensatory
yet transient changes in brain dopamine function. In
contrast, there is currently no body of research that has
ascertained the long-term effects of APD treatment in
developing rats. (R15)
After you have written Objectives/Specific Aims.
 Proposed Activity:
◦ Unmet need/gap that drives this work.
◦ Significance and Innovation.
◦ “This application focuses on ____ “ (or “is centered on
the development of ___”)
◦ Hypothesis, Specific Aims.
◦ Primary methods/approaches/results.
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Intellectual Merit (clearly labeled section)
Broader Impact (clearly labeled section)
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Little work has been done on detailed measurements of
3D wing deformation during flapping and the associated
aerodynamic benefits in the study of animal free flight.
This is mainly due to the small wing size, fast motion of
the wings, and unpredictable motion of flying insects/birds
that make it difficult to perform high-speed visual tracking
of the details of wing flexion. To make such study
possible, the PI is currently developing two sets of
techniques for experimental measurement and
computational flow simulation/analysis. Equipped with
such tools and advances, it will be possible to discover
the mechanisms surrounding complex flight dynamics
and the fundamental physics behind insect flight.
(CAREER)
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(Selective detection and isolation of circulating tumor cells
(CTCs) from blood provide valuable clinical insight into
disease diagnosis and prognosis as CTCs have been
demonstrated to be an independent predictor of disease
progression and survival. Additionally, accurate CTC
numbers can be used to manage the disease by
monitoring changes in tumors during treatment. However,
CTCs are extremely rare, comprising as few as one in
109 hematologic cells in the blood of patients with
metastatic cancer, effective recognition and separation of
the rare cells remain a tremendous challenge. CBET
Standard Research Grant)
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Rising costs of survey data collection and researchers'
growing concerns about the quality of survey data
necessitate the development of innovative approaches to
data collection (SES – Standard Proposal).
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How important is the proposed activity to advancing
knowledge and understanding within its own field or
across different fields?
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How well qualified is the PI or team to conduct the
project? (includes quality of prior work).
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To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and
explore creative and original concepts?
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How well conceived and organized is the proposed
activity?
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Is there sufficient access to resources?
Check program guidelines for specifics on individual
NSF programs (MRI, CAREER, TUES, etc.)
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This research will advance scientific knowledge in survey
methodology and related fields. Reducing measurement
errors in survey data is critical to achieving accurate
inferences from survey data. The project will create new
tools that minimize or reduce measurement errors in
survey data, will improve conclusions made from surveys
across various disciplines, enable the improvement of
survey designs/instruments, and enhance data quality by
reducing interviewer and respondent burden. The
interdisciplinary project team includes experts in
statistics, psychology, sociology, computer science, and
survey research and methodology. The team will leverage
long-term collaborations and will partner with industry
leaders -- Gallup and Abt SRBI -- as well as with the U.S.
Census to accomplish its goal and objectives.
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A better understanding of how animal wing deformation
impacts the efficiency of flight and how moving wings
affect the ambient fluid environment will be developed
across animals of various sizes and species. This work
will advance the much-needed development of a
comprehensive theory of animal flight aerodynamics with
respect to low-speed low Reynolds number flow physics
and dynamic force generation associated with vortex
dynamics of deformable control surfaces. Methods and
findings from this work can be applied by investigators in
other areas to study the biological aspects of animal
flight in ways not previously possible, and can also
significantly advance the design of current flapping-wing
micro air vehicles with superior performance. (CAREER)
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(1) Advance discovery and understanding while
promoting teaching, training and learning
(2) Broaden the participation of under-represented
groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability,
geographically)
(3) Enhance infrastructure for research and education,
such as facilities, instrumentation, networks,
partnerships, collaborations
(4) Broad dissemination of results to enhance scientific
and technological understanding (include DMP?)
(5) Proposed benefits to society
Select most relevant from list of NSF options
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Integrate research activities into STEM teaching at various levels (e.g.,
K-12, undergraduate majors, non-majors, graduate students)
Include students/participants in proposed activities
Recruitment, training, and/or professional development of K-12
teachers
Develop research-based educational materials or contribute to
educational databases (e.g., K-16 digital library)
Partner with researchers and educators to develop effective means to
incorporate research into learning and education
Encourage student participation at professional meetings and activities
Establish special mentoring programs for high school students,
undergraduates, grad students, and technicians conducting research
Involve graduate/ post-graduate researchers in undergraduate
teaching
Develop, adopt, adapt or disseminate effective models and pedagogic
approaches to STEM teaching
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Establish research and education collaborations with UR students and/or
faculty.
Include UR students as participants in the proposed research/ activities.
Establish research and educational collaborations with students/faculty
from non-Ph.D. and UR-serving institutions.
Make campus visits and presentations at UR-serving institutions.
Establish research and education collaborations with faculty/students at
community colleges, women’s colleges, undergraduate institutions, and
EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research)
institutions.
Mentor early-career scientists and engineers from UR groups who are
submitting NSF proposals.
Participate in developing new approaches (e.g., information technology and
connectivity) to engage underserved individuals, groups, and communities
in STEM.
Participate in conferences, workshops and field activities where
diversity is a priority.
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Identify and establish collaborations between disciplines and
institutions, among the U.S. academic institutions, industry and
government and with international partners.
Stimulate and support the development and dissemination of
next-generation instrumentation, multi-user facilities, and other
shared research and education platforms.
Maintain, operate and modernize shared research and education
infrastructure (e.g., facilities, science/technology centers,
engineering research centers).
Upgrade the computation and computing infrastructure, (e.g.,
advanced computing resources, new types of information tools,
large databases, networks and associated systems, digital
libraries).
Develop activities to ensure that multi-user facilities are sites of
research/mentoring for large numbers of STEM students.
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Partner with museums, nature centers, science centers, and similar
institutions to develop exhibits.
Involve public or industry in research and education activities.
Give presentations to the broader community (e.g., museums,
libraries, radio shows, other venues).
Make data available in a timely manner via databases, digital
libraries, or other venues (e.g., CD-ROMs).
Publish in diverse media to reach broad audiences (e.g., nontechnical literature, websites, CD-ROMs, press kits) .
Present research and education results in formats useful to policymakers, Congressional reps, industry, broad audiences.
Participate in multi- and interdisciplinary conferences, workshops,
and research activities.
Integrate research with educational activities to communicate your
area of research expertise in a broader context.
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Demonstrate linkage between discovery and societal
benefit by providing specific examples and explanations
of potential application of research/educational results.
Partner with academic scientists, staff at federal
agencies and/or private sector on STEM projects to
integrate research into broader programs/activities of
national interest.
Analyze, interpret, and synthesize research/educational
results understandable/useful formats for nonscientists.
Provide information to impact public policy formation
by Federal, State or local agencies.
This project will have a broad impact, because of the
important role that the vibration of microcantilevers plays in
an ever-increasing number of applications described above.
Additionally, the undergraduate students involved in this
project will have an extraordinary opportunity to perform
cutting-edge on-campus research and to collaborate with
well-known research groups at other institutions. These
students will gain experience in a wide range of fields,
including acoustics, optics, computer-controlled data
acquisition, signal processing, modal analysis and computer
modeling—all of which will provide valuable training for
careers in physics and engineering. Students will develop
demonstrations to communicate the principles and
importance of this research to the general public, and to
enhance the university’s well-established K-12 outreach
programs. (NSF RUI)
The proposed research will enhance the infrastructure for research
and education at a publicly-funded university through interactions
between the PI and collaborators, both national and international,
with expertise in biology, applied mathematics, and engineering. The
research effort is fully integrated with an education and outreach
program to meet the ever-increasing demands of bio-engineering
education. New courses and hands-on senior capstone projects will
be developed to attract students of all backgrounds at Wright State
University and will be adopted by collaborators at other institutions.
This research project will also build a web-based interactive platform
for biological fluid dynamics-related activities, which will be
accessible not only to the engineering research community but also to
the biological research community, as well as to teachers and
students at many levels. The tools built in the course of the project
have potential applications for the study of other low-speed low
Reynolds number fluid dynamic problems such as swimming, efficient
wind energy conversion, damage prevention from gusts, and internal
biomedical fluid dynamics applications. (CAREER)
The requested instrumentation will provide opportunities for training on cuttingedge computing facilities across four departments and two colleges. It will also
allow student participation in the operation and maintenance of the system, and
it will facilitate projects that foster inter-disciplinary research and collaborations.
The Feynman integration project is supported by the High Energy Accelerator
Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan. Collaboration for the radiation therapy
project is established with staff of the Henry Ford hospital in Detroit. Furthermore, some projects have applications in biomedical engineering
(composite materials modeling, orthopedic implants and other medical devices,
drug delivery with nanotubes, flow in IV tubes), medical physics (radiation
oncology) and biochemistry (development of antibiotics, antimalarial drugs and
herbicides), which can lead to new bio-engineering collaborations within the
university. The research in multiscale modeling for composite materials may
impact global energy usage through improved fuel economy associated with
weight reduction in structural components. It will also contribute to improving
the environment through advances in wind turbine models and other renewable
energy-generating technologies. The findings with respect to flexible body
aerodynamics will update, advance, and positively impact our understanding of
fundamental mechanisms of migration, rotation, flocculation, and dispersion of
flexible and deformable fibers and bio-particles. Thus, the instrumentation can
set the stage for educational developments at an undergraduate institution.
Software, data, and materials from the participating research
projects will also be disseminated.
NSF
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1 pg Project Summary
Third person
NIH
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Proposed Activity
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Hypothesis or Need
Significance/Innovation
Specific Objectives
Methods
√Intellectual Merit
√ Broader Impact
30 line Summary
+3 line “Narrative”
Third person
√ Significance & Innovation
 Hypothesis
 Specific Aims
 Methodology
 Expected Results
 Public Health Relevance/
Impact on Field
Preterm delivery, intrauterine growth restriction and low birth weight are major causes of
infant mortality and severe morbidity in the United States. We propose to investigate the
hypothesis that maternal exposure during pregnancy to ambient air pollution (CO, NO2, O3,
PM2.5, PM10, SO2) and traffic (a significant local source of air pollution) is associated with
increased risk for low birth weight (<2500 gm), preterm delivery (<37 weeks gestation) and
small for gestational age birth (< 10th percentile weight for gestational age). Several studies
have examined the relationships between these adverse birth outcomes and maternal
exposure to ambient air pollution but results have been inconclusive. A major impediment
to this research has been the large sample size needed to investigate these relationships as
well as the level of personal information needed to address potential confounders and
accurately estimate exposure throughout pregnancy. This study will utilize two related
datasets for the same geographic area and time period: (1) an existing cohort of women
(N=10,524) followed prospectively throughout pregnancy by the Yale Center for Perinatal,
Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology; and (2) birth certificate data (480,000 singleton
live births in CT and MA, 2000 to 2006). The cohort data provides well characterized
variables to control for all major confounders and information about each of the mothers'
residences throughout pregnancy to accurately assess exposure. The birth certificate data
provides the statistical power to investigate severe, less frequent outcomes (very low birth
weight <1500 gm, very preterm delivery <32 weeks), and to examine the effects of air
pollution and traffic among African American women, already at risk for preterm delivery
and low birth weight. A comparison study will also be conducted to determine the reliability
of birth certificate data for use in air pollution research. Since all exposure assessments have
some limitations, we propose four methods to measure exposure to air pollutants: central
site monitors; a GIS/traffic model; land use regression to measure NO2 exposure; and
satellite imagery to measure PM2.5 exposure. The proposed study will have the power to
estimate odds ratios of 1.15 and 1.25 in the birth certificate and cohort data,
respectively. If an association is confirmed, reductions in specific types of
air pollution may result in a reduction in adverse birth outcomes.
Recent genomic breakthroughs have revolutionized our understanding of cancer.
It is now possible to envision treatment paradigms that would be individualized,
targeted and tailored according to the tumor genetic profile. However, highthroughput functional assays capable of identifying and validating potential cancer
drugs, based on abnormal tumor gene expression profiles, in a setting that would
directly translate to providing recommendations for patient treatment are not
readily available. The human tumor stem cell assay (HTSCA), also known as
anchorage-independent growth assay, has been considered as the "gold standard"
for chemosensitivity testing of patient tumor cells. In its current format, the
HTSCA suffers from many pitfalls that make it unfit for high-throughput clinical
testing. Falcon genomics, Inc. is developing the Cancer BioChip System (CBCS), a
rapid, high-throughput, automated, and quantitative anchorage-independent
growth assay for the personalized identification and validation of inhibitors of
cancer cell growth. We will use silencing RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin RNA (shRNA)
to inhibit expression of abnormally expressed tumor genes and test their impact
on anchorage-independent tumor growth in a high-throughput fashion. In this
Phase I application, we will develop a Test Cancer BioChip for optimizing plating,
transfection, silencing, and cytostatic efficiencies. Results from these studies will
validate the CBCS as a tool for cancer target identification and validation. Through
future clinical trials, we anticipate development of the CBCS into a cancer
diagnostic and personalized therapeutic tool.
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Preterm delivery and low birth weight are major causes of infant
death and disability in the United States. This study will investigate
whether a mother's exposure during pregnancy to air pollution and
traffic (a significant local source of air pollution) is associated with
increased risk for these adverse birth outcomes. If confirmed,
reductions in specific types of air pollution may reduce these major
infant health problems. NIH R01
The use of antipsychotic drugs in pediatric populations has doubled
over the past 15 years despite the relative absence of basic research
documenting the effects of such drug exposure on later brain and
behavioral function. The purpose of this research is to ascertain the
long-term behavioral effects of early-life exposure to antipsychotic
drugs in laboratory rats. This research will provide researchers,
policy-makers, and practitioners with critical information regarding
the long-term consequences of prolonged antipsychotic drug
treatment during development, in addition to enhancing research
experiences in neuroscience among college undergraduates at
Northern Kentucky University.
(NIH R15)
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Write directly to the funder’s guidelines
Tailor your presentation to funder’s mission
Clarify significance of project up front
Ensure that scope of work proposed is feasible
(considering time and budget)
Writing: clear, concise, direct, affirmative
Plan for iterative/collegial review
Draft, Draft, Draft…. – Revise, Revise, Revise….
Get feedback from readers—both peers
and generalists
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Mandatory
◦ Exception: supplements to existing awards
2 page limit
◦ If your plan is more extensive and can’t fit in 2 pages,
you may also use some of your proscribed narrative
page limit for it.
Reviewed and scored
◦ under either Intellectual Merit or Broader Impacts, or both,
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as appropriate for the scientific community of
relevance.
Subcontracts & collaborative proposals:
◦ Use 1 DMP regardless of # of non-lead collaborative
proposals or subawards included.
Types of data:
samples, physical collections, software, curriculum
materials
Standards for data and metadata
format and content.
Access and sharing policies
protection of privacy, confidentiality, security,
intellectual property, other rights/requirements
Policies/provisions for
reuse, redistribution, and production of derivatives
Plans for archiving:
data, samples, and other research products
Plans for preservation of access
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May simply state: “No detailed plan is needed.”
Must have adequate justification (e.g.,
educationally-focused program in which no
data or materials will be generated).
Check with Program Officer.
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Requirements and plans specific to Directorates,
Offices, Divisions, Programs, and other NSF units
continue to evolve. Check:
http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp.
If program-specific guidance is not published,
follow the general NSF guidance provided in the 3
prior slides.
If your DMP is too complex to fit the 2 page limit,
you may also use part of the (limited # pages
available for your Research Plan) for additional
information.
Valuable tips on data management are given below.
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UC3 website:
http://www.cdlib.org/services/uc3/datamanagement/
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MIT website:
http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/data-management/
An online data management tool to create your management plan is available at
http://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/
Other useful online information on data management plans is available at:
http://www.cdlib.org/uc3/datamanagement/dmpo.html
Examples of NSF Data Management Plans are added at the end of this document and are
taken from
http://rci.ucsd.edu/dmp/examples.html
Other helpful resources:
DMP Online:
http://dmponline.dcc.ac.uk/
For a Template for a Data Management Plan (Word), see
http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/data-management-plans
Project Communication and Data Management Plan (Word Document) (Relu-DSS (UK Rural
Economy and Land Use Programme Data Support Service) – see
http://relu.data-archive.ac.uk/introduction.asp.
Research Data Management Plan Template (Word) (University of Melbourne) – see
http://ilp.anu.edu.au/dm/ANU_DM_Manual_v10.09.17-63_2010-09-17.pdf
Australian National University Data Management Manual (pdf): Describes research data
management in general and includes an outline for a generic data management plan see
http://ilp.anu.edu.au/dm/ANU_DM_Manual_v10.09.17-63_2010-09-17.pdf
Data Management Plan Examples (ICPSR):
Lnks to examples of data management plans in various scientific disciplines, see
http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/ICPSR/dmp/index.jsp
Other Guides to Data Management see
http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/media/2894/managingsharing.pdf
Grantwriting is the only genre of
academic writing in which you focus
as intensively on “selling” your ideas.
“A grant proposal is a marketing tool.”

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