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Explore the grant process before beginning a proposal
The Office of Sponsored Research and Programs (OSRP) is currently re-examining its PI eligibility guidelines and more information will be posted soon. Presently, faculty should request an approval from their department Chair, or contact the OSRP Director for further instructions. Staff should contact OSRP directly.
The downloadable Project Development Form is a tool designed to walk you through some key considerations prior to searching for a funding opportunity. Below are questions from the form to ask and answer as you develop your grant project concept.
A program? Faculty/Staff Development? A capital project, ie: construction? Funding basic operating costs? Research? Something else?
What is the issue or opportunity facing the target population or MSU Denver community that your project seeks to address? This might be a significant problem that needs to be addressed or an opportunity to build upon existing strengths or momentum in your area of interest. Consider these questions: Can MSU Denver impact this issue in some way? Does MSU Denver have experience in impacting this issue? Why have you chosen this population and this issue to address? If your project is a research project, what is your specific hypothesis or research question/s?
What are the characteristics of the target population? The OSRP can provide institutional data on our student population but if your target population is more specific than that, what are their characteristics?
What strategies or methods are you proposing to implement that would impact the specific issue or respond to the opportunity? Can you provide a basic timeline of what will happen when? Can you indicate when the start-up, implementation, and evaluation phases begin and end, or when other key benchmarks specific to your program or project will occur?
Have you documented what has already been done to address the specific problem? Where does current literature leave off, and where does this project pick up? How are you building on existing practice and research, and how are you adding something innovative to that body of knowledge?
Who are the key personnel carrying out the proposed activities, and who is doing what? How much time does each personnel need to commit to the project? What are their qualifications for their role?
What partners do you have, or would you need to recruit, to carry out the project successfully?
What are your outputs? That is, what are the activities, efforts, and/or work products you propose to produce or provide during the project period to support your goal? This is often expressed in terms of number of participants, number of workshops held, number of people served, number of partnerships established, etc.
What are your outcomes? Outcomes are the results, effects, or consequences that will occur as a result of the activities or outputs that are supportive of the program’s goals. Consider your project’s short-term, medium-term and long-term outcomes.
Methods of evaluation are the tools used to determine whether or not outcomes have been met. Are the outcomes you have described measurable? What tools can you use to measure those outcomes? Does the funder list any mandated outcomes you must measure? Consider ways to measure outputs and outcomes both quantitatively and qualitatively, and include both formative (measures the extent to which the program is operating as intended) and summative (measures the extent to which the program is resulting in the proposed outcomes) measures. Are there methods of evaluation that are considered “best practices” for this type of project? Will you need to use an external evaluator? How will the evaluation results be used and/or disseminated?
How will this project beneficially or adversely impact MSU Denver? Is this project new or ongoing? How will this promote the University, and to what audience?
How does this project support the mission, strategic plan or vision of MSU Denver and/or your department/program/center? Can you give specific examples?
How does this project align with and address the priorities and goals set forth by the funder/sponsor as described in the RFP, on their website, and/or as evidenced through projects they have previously funded?
What are the expected expenses for this project? If cost sharing is required, what is your plan for matching funds?
How will MSU Denver continue to pay for this project once the grant funds are depleted? Are there any other committed sources of funding for this project? What is the three-year plan? What is the five-year plan?
Supporting faculty and staff fundraising goals