We know there's no EASY button when it comes to successful proposal development, but DER has some simple tips to help you submit proposals that go an extra step beyond informing agency reviewers to persuading them to (fully!) fund your compelling concepts. Here are some things to consider as you work with DER research administrators to develop your best possible proposal.
Pour a solid foundation—before investing your valuable
time in creating a budget and crafting your project narrative, make sure
it has firm ground on which to stand.
Does your concept address sponsor goals and priorities?
budget ranges stated in the funding opportunity appropriate for your
project? Is the available funding adequate for your proposed research
Does the call require a pre-proposal or concept paper?
Is the timeline adequate for you to create a stellar proposal?
justifications should justify rather than just describe in order to be
persuasive. If selected for funding, the justification may help avoid
situations where a proposal is awarded, but with budget reductions. This
is your opportunity to demonstrate why every dollar requested is needed
to run a successful project, and why it is a good use of those dollars.
Describe who will be supported, and demonstrate how
those individuals will best support the research. Highlight the
expertise of your team, and why their effort is critical to success.
Provide details for non-personnel items, and reinforce why those are items are needed to carry out the work.
Take a step back and make sure that all expenditures are reasonable and allocable to your project.
Explain how travel will either further the research and/or allow you to disseminate your results—and who that will impact.
Publication costs: don’t forget about open, public access requirements for federally funded research.
kind to reviewers; like you, many of them are likely performing this
work late at night, or early in the morning, in addition to many other
job responsibilities. There are ways you can make this task easier for
Make it meaningful. Audience adaptation is key—start out by catching their attention:
How is this relevant to what is happening in our world right now?
How will your work have meaningful impact? How might it improve lives.
RFPs include clues to how project narratives will be reviewed, both in
the description of how those documents should be organized, and in how
they will be reviewed. Be sure to review this portion of the funding
opportunity carefully, and let your project narrative follow that
outline. Reviewer checklists often follow solicitation language, and
this allows the reviewer to work through your narrative in a linear
Look for sections such as NSF’s "Merit Review Principles and Criteria" and
take the time to make sure every point is addressed; this is a great
time to request a second set of eyes—DER is happy to help with this.
Use supplementary documents to provide compelling evidence, depending on what the sponsor requires.
Bio-sketches: Does each one speak to the
solicitation and to the proposed research? Are highlighted
accomplishments and publications relevant and current?
and/or equipment descriptions: Are they relevant? Do they demonstrate
what resources are already in place and that will contribute to your
Collaborator documents: do these clearly show clearly
delineated responsibilities and strong commitments among partners to
work together through the life of the project?
This, of course, is by no means an exhaustive list of the ways
proposals can be developed as highly persuasive tools. DER staff is
always here to assist you in submitting your strongest proposal. We are
focused on your success, and we are here to help! If you have questions
regarding the information above, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building a better cookstove (Across the developing world, daily cooking responsibilities are largely held by women and girls who cook — often indoors — on open fires fueled by organic matter like wood or dung. Inhaling that smoke…)
Event Description: The 2023 CAREER Award Workshop (Session 1),
presented by Dr. John Verboncoeur (Senior Associate Dean for Research
and Graduate Studies) & Dr. Robert Ofoli (Associate Professor), will
lead a discussion of the competition format, along with best practices
and strategies for producing successful NSF Career proposals. Session 1
will also include presentations by previous CAREER award winners, and
presentations from other key resources from around campus.
Writing a winning grant requires a winning strategy. In this two-day
(afternoons of May 10 & 11) webinar designed for faculty members,
postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and administrative staff
who have some exposure to writing grant applications, Write Winning Grants
comprehensively covers practical and conceptual aspects essential to
the proposal-writing process. Learn how to tailor your content to
relevant agencies, develop strategies for each section of the
application, and to articulate your proposal in a way that makes
reviewers want to read it.
This two-part, virtual seminar comprehensively addresses the
practical, conceptual, and rhetorical aspects of writing competitive
grant proposals. Dr. Robertson will cover:
Critical steps for organizing and planning your proposal (all of
the things you need to do before you start writing a full proposal in
order to have a competitive edge)
Understanding the role (and mindset) of your reviewers
Our 4-paragraph rhetorical strategy for writing a compelling
Specific Aims page (NIH), Overview & Objectives (NSF) section, or
the equivalent for other funding agencies.
Specific strategies and tips for each major section of a grant proposal
Emphasis is placed on doing the “extra” things that can make the
difference between being funded versus not. Regardless of the target
agency, participants are taught to write with a linear progression of
logic, which leads reviewers through an application without them knowing
that they are being led. We also emphasize the fact that applicants are
writing for two different audiences – the assigned reviewers, who read
the application in its entirety, and non-assigned reviewers who may have
read little, or none, of the proposal before the meeting of the review
This seminar is appropriate for junior through senior faculty
members, postdoctoral fellows, and doctoral students who have had some
exposure to writing grant applications, either through training,
mentoring, or personal experience. All participants may use the seminar
for new ideas on gaining a competitive edge in “proposalship”, how to
write for a broad spectrum of reviewers, and/or for strategies in how to
mentor others in proposal writing.
This seminar will focus on proposal writing for a broad range of funding agencies.
Note that the majority of this content will be relevant and usable
for individuals applying to various funding entities (e.g., private
foundations, professional organizations, and state/other federal
agencies). This is because the core structure/format of most grant
proposals, and the review criteria for most grant proposals, are very
similar across funding entities, often merely called something
Attendees will receive a copy of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook,
which has been written to complement and extend the seminar. Cost to
order and receive your agency specific workbook is $90. Registration and
payment are due April 1, 2023. More detailed workbook information can
be found below.
Presenter: John D. Robertson, Managing Member, Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops, LLC
DoE: Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) FY23 Multi-Topic FOA, Golden Field Office - DE-FOA-0002997
This Funding Opportunity (FOA), issued by the Office of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy, on behalf of the Industrial Efficiency
and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) will advance the strategies identified
in the Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap and Industrial Heat Energy
Earthshot and will focus on cross-sector approaches for industrial
decarbonization (such as thermal processing, low-carbon fuels
utilization, and exploratory cross-sector topics), along with
high-GHG-emitting subsectors (such as chemicals, iron and steel, food
and beverage, cement and concrete, and forest products). By accelerating
the development and adoption of sustainable technologies that increase
efficiency and eliminate industrial GHG emissions, the research,
development, and prototype or pilot-scale technology validation and
demonstration activities to be funded under this FOA will contribute to a
clean and equitable energy economy, bolster the technological and
economic competitiveness of domestic manufacturing, and boost the
viability and competitiveness of U.S. industrial technology exports.
This FOA is part of an integrated industrial decarbonization
technology development strategy for DOE’s basic and applied research
offices. Rooted in the principles identified in the 2022 Industrial
Decarbonization Roadmap, DOE is building an innovation pipeline to
accelerate the development and adoption of industrial decarbonization
technologies with investments spanning foundational science; research,
development, and demonstrations (RD&D); and technical assistance and
workforce development. DOE’s highly coordinated RD&D investments –
leveraging resources and expertise from the Offices of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM),
Nuclear Energy (NE), and Science (SC) – are designed to achieve deep
decarbonization across the industrial sector, targeting both
industry-specific innovations and crosscutting technologies. This
technology development strategy complements the demonstration and
deployment efforts led by DOE's Offices of Clean Energy Demonstrations
(OCED) and Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) and the Loan
Programs Office (LPO). This FOA and its associated projects are distinct
from any existing or forthcoming efforts funded under the Bipartisan
Infrastructure Law or Inflation Reduction Act, including activities
related to Industrial Demonstration Projects.
The topics included are:
Topic 1: Decarbonizing Industrial Heat
Topic 2: Low-Carbon Fuels Utilization R&D
Topic 3a: Enabling Flexible Industrial Energy Use
Topic 3b: Enhanced Thermal Conductivity Materials
Topic 4: Decarbonizing Chemicals
Topic 5: Decarbonizing Iron and Steel
Topic 6: Decarbonizing Food and Beverage Products
Topic 7: Decarbonizing Cement and Concrete
Award Size: $750,000 up to $10M | Deadline: December 1, 2023
Amazon Research Awards issues spring 2023 call for proposals
Submission deadline: April 26, 2023
Amazon Research Awards (ARA) is announcing the spring 2023 call for
proposals (CFP) for the AWS AI: Generative AI research area, a new focus
area for this cycle. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. PT on
April 26, 2023.
Proposals will be reviewed for the quality of their scientific
content, creativity, and their potential for impact at scale. Proposals
related to theory, practice, and novel new techniques are all welcome.
ARA provides grant recipients unrestricted funds and AWS promotional
credits. Funded projects are assigned an Amazon research contact, and
recipients also receive training resources, including AWS tutorials and
hands-on sessions with Amazon scientists and engineers.
The State of Michigan will receive approximately $110M for the NEVI Formula Program, through fiscal year 2026. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) will lead the administration of this program, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Public Service Commission, and Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
With help from program partners, EGLE has developed a draft version – non-final and subject to further change – of the NEVI Formula Program materials. These draft documents include the request for proposals, application, and evaluation form, and are intended only for public awareness, transparency, and review. These draft documents may be accessed on EGLE’s NEVI Formula Program Website.
EGLE intends to publish a final version of the program materials in the coming months.
Questions and comments about the NEVI Formula Program draft documents may be sent to the following email: EGLE-MMD-NEVI@Michigan.gov.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is releasing this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications in accordance with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA).
Demonstrating the technical and commercial viability of industrial decarbonization approaches will promote widespread technology implementation and drive a U.S. edge in low- and net-zero carbon manufacturing while helping to substantiate a market for low-carbon products. To maximize the transformative potential for these funds, DOE will prioritize a portfolio of projects that offer: Deep decarbonization, by demonstrating significantly less carbon-intensive industrial production processes leading to materials that can be labeled as having substantially lower levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions; Timeliness, through rapid technology demonstrations that can address emissions in the near-term, meet funding horizons, and be replicated by fast followers; Market viability, with technological approaches designed to spur follow-on investments for widespread decarbonization as well as partnerships between buyers and sellers of the materials produced, with special consideration given to industries that are focusing on shifting entire ecosystems and enabling new market structures for low-carbon products; and Community benefits, tailored through substantial engagement with local and regional stakeholders, as well as labor unions and Tribal Nations across the project lifecycle, supporting environmental justice and economic opportunity for local communities.
DOE expects to award up to approximately 55 projects in high GHG-emitting industries and for cross-cutting technologies as discussed in Section 1.3 of the FOA. DOE anticipates providing awards to teams that are led by a single, for-profit organization or owner/operator of an eligible facility and encourages applicants to strengthen projects by partnering with experts, universities, labor unions, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, product off-takers, and/or national laboratories, as outlined in Section 3.0 of the FOA. Given the transformative potential of these funds, DOE seeks first- or early-of-a-kind commercial-scale projects. These could include new technologies that have been proven at a pilot scale but have yet to be deployed commercially, technologies that are being pursued internationally but do not have a foothold in the U.S., or other early-of-a-kind projects that face market or adoption risks.
All projects should incorporate a path from demonstration to deployment that includes sustained operation after completion and substantiate the projects’ ability to meet priority criteria. DOE will apply the following four-phase structure for projects selected under this FOA:
Phase 1 will encompass initial planning and analysis activities to ensure that the overall concept is technologically and financially viable.
Phase 2 will finalize engineering designs and business development, site access, labor agreements, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review, permitting, and offtake agreements.
Phase 3 will encompass installation, integration, and construction activities.
Phase 4 will ramp-up to full operations including data collection to analyze the plant’s operations, performance, and financial viability.
Award Size: $35M up to $500M | Deadline: August 4, 2023
NEW DATE: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. | Zoom
Community-engaged researchers often struggle to engage young people or community members with the data analysis part of the research process. In this talk, the presenters will share their work implementing Youth GO, a five-step participatory approach for engaging young people (and adults) in creating and organizing qualitative data in a way that is accessible and feasible within most community and practice settings.
Topics of discussion will include:
A background and overview of the Youth GO approach
Strategies for in-person and virtual implementation
Lessons learned from implementing the Youth GO approach with diverse populations, including youth living in low-income communities and sexual and gender minority youth
Sara T. Stacy, Research Associate, Evaluation Services Center, University of Cincinnati
Danielle Chiaramonte, Associate Research Scientist, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health
Description: DER has a catalog of research and funding seminars available on demand. Seminar topics range from critical instruction for new faculty through advanced training for senior research faculty. These presentations include instruction from experts regarding themes that include best practices in research, MSU policy, sponsor compliance, industry specific seminars, and more. Check them out today and utilize this incredible resource to help streamline your proposal development and promote success in your research. Watch now on demand!!!
Recent seminar presentations include:
DER is Here to Help (proposal & proposal development resources geared to promote success)
Tips for Writing a Persuasive Grant Proposal (grant writing to ‘sell’ a project to funders)
Finding Funding (tips for finding funding to support your research)
Roles and Responsibilities (tips for understanding roles and responsibilities at each stage of the project)
CAREER Award Workshop - Session 1 (best practices and strategies for producing successful NSF Career proposals)
Does effort reporting for your grants and contracts seem more cumbersome than it should be? CGA has compiled a very
helpful list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Topics range from reporting deadlines, to resolving errors, and everything in between!
As you peruse this list, you might notice that there is a dedicated email address for any questions or issues you may have when submitting effort reporting. Please use email@example.com to expedite service.