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NDSU Research Updates
  October 2013  |  Volume 4, Issue 6
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Plan Your Grant Proposal Strategy

Regardless of whether you are submitting a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation, the Bush Foundation, or the National Endowment for the Humanities, your core competitive strategies should be similar. According to the New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding, published by Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC, even though each grant agency may be very different, there are traits that are common to the content of all competitive grant proposals.

  • Make a compelling case for the significance of your research, including its impact on the field and the value it brings to the agency's mission.
  • Understand the mission and culture of the agency sufficiently to explain how your research fits within the context (e.g., goals, objectives, outcomes, etc.) of the agency's research priorities as defined in the funding opportunity.
  • Write a research narrative that fully responds to the program guidelines.
  • Understand how your proposal will be reviewed.
  • Describe for reviewers:
    1. what you will do,
    2. why it is important to do it,

    3. the significance and impact of your research on the field and agency mission,
    4. why you are the right person to do the research,
    5. why you have the capacity, expertise, and experience to perform it, and
    6. that you have the institutional infrastructure to support your efforts.
The fine details will depend on your discipline and the unique requirements of your targeted grant agency and program. It's important to do your homework on grant agencies, learn what they want and learn about their proposal process. But even before you find the right program, once you have a project idea, you can begin drafting narrative to fulfill the standard sections mentioned above that are likely to be required. For more guidance on getting started, see the New Faculty Guide to Competing for Research Funding. Log in with your NDSU network login to access this publication.

Pivot Tip: Claim Your Profile

Are you just learning to use Pivot to search for grants? Pivot uses both a funding opportunity database and an expertise database. For expertise profiles, Pivot draws on Scholar Universe. If you have published in journals, presented at conferences, or had any previous grants, Scholar Universe knows about you, and you likely have a profile in the system, whether you know it or not. Your Pivot account needs to be linked to your profile to have maximum efficiency.

When you log into Pivot, if it says "Claim your Profile" in the upper right corner, you should click on that link to complete the process. If your profile has already been linked to your account, you can view your profile by clicking on the small arrow next to your name in the upper right corner. View a short YouTube video to see more details.

Once your Pivot account and your expertise profile are linked, Pivot will automatically recommend funding opportunities for you, available by clicking on Advisor from your Pivot homepage, or by clicking on Funding Matches from your profile. Note, however, that even if you don't have an expertise profile, you can still use Pivot. Many non-faculty users have accounts without having an expertise profile. Feel free to contact kay.sizer@ndsu.edu with any questions about using Pivot. (http://pivot.cos.com)

Commonly Used Acronyms

If you are new to seeking grants, you may find it confusing to see and hear all the acronyms used in reference to grant programs and proposals. See the Commonly Used Acronyms webpage to find out what all those acronyms mean.

Making your Work Open Access

Want to increase readership of your research results? Learn more about Open Access with this guide from the NDSU Libraries and NDSU’s Institutional Repository. For more information, contact Jenny Grasto, Downtown Campus Librarian & Interim Technical Services Librarian in the NDSU Libraries.

Researchers In the News

Interest continues in research underway at NDSU. Here’s just a sample of media coverage. Some links to these news outlets are available for a limited time.

NDSU Barn Beefs up Cattle Research

Bats Use Rolled Up Leaves as Trumpets

Batty for Sound

NDSU Discovery Could Reduce E. coli’s Power to Make Us Sick

Solar Power’s Future Brawl

Speech Trend Made Popular by Kardashians Creeping into Everyday Conversations

A Mother and Daughter on Bullying

Researchers to Study Where Workers Want to Live

Climate Change and ND Agriculture

Video Games and Aggression

If you’d like to suggest a story highlighting NDSU research, let us know. While we may not be able to use every suggestion, we would like to hear from you.

Upcoming Events

Gear Up for Grants
"Grant Roundtables"
November 19, 2013, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union-Prairie Room
The November Gear Up for Grants event will feature Grant Roundtables, an informal way for Sponsored Programs Administration staff and Grant & Contract Accounting staff to interact with faculty and staff about various topics related to grants. Each roundtable will feature a different topic with an "expert," and attendees will be able to move from table to table to ask questions and get information of their choosing. Tables will feature such topics as proposal processing, budget development, grants.gov, financial and non-financial grants management, and effort reporting. Newer faculty are especially encouraged to attend and bring any grant-related questions. Please Register >>

Red River Valley Research Corridor
Precision Agriculture Action Summit
January 20-21, 2014
North Dakota Farmers Union Conference Center-Jamestown, ND
Co-hosted by ND Farmers Union, this annual summit covers the state of precision agriculture, emerging trends, technological applications and demonstrations for successful implementation. Attendees can expect hands-on demonstrations of precision agriculture technologies, applications, procedures and tools designed to reduce producer cost and to increase farm efficiency. Co-organizers for the summit are the Dakota Precision Ag Center at Lake Region State College and NDSU’s Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. See more information >>

North Dakota State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a U.S. veteran. Direct inquiries to the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, 701.231.7708.

Office of Research and Creative Activity
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
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Fargo, ND 58108-6050


Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098