Chris Uggen's Blog: example of recently funded grant application

Sunday, November 06, 2005

example of recently funded grant application

usually i'm begging for money rather than doling it out, but i had the chance to fund a proposal this weekend. the applicant has a solid history of funded projects, though she had gone way over budget on at least one. i reprint her entire proposal below, in hopes that the successful grant application will be useful to others.

I WANT A CELL PHONE BECAUSE:

- If I get lost I could call someone.
- If I need a ride somewhere I could call someone.
- I am responsible. I would not overuse my minutes.
- I would be careful that the phone would not get stolen or broken.
- If I am ever out shopping and need to show you something before I buy it I could send you a picture.

I HAVE DONE MY RESEARCH:

I found two phones that I think would be best. Starting with the Motorola V710. The Motorola V710 costs $150 or $100 online. This phone works on the Verizon Wireless Network. It would cost $80 monthly for the family.

The second phone is the Sprint PCS Vision Picture Phone. The Sprint PCS Vision Picture Phone costs $220 or $50 online. This phone works on the Sprint network. It would cost $90 monthly for the family.

PLEASE LET ME GET A PHONE!!!

good proposal, eh? i'm convinced that i should tighten up my grant proposals by organizing them around the applicant's two straight-to-the-point main headings. something like this:

I WANT AN NSF GRANT BECAUSE:

- I am responsible. I would not overuse my nsf grant.
- I would be careful that the data would not get stolen or
broken.
- If I get lost I will call someone.
- If I am ever submitting an article and need to show you
something I could send you a picture.

I HAVE DONE MY RESEARCH:
- I know the current state of knowledge.
- The first grant costs $1.5 million and involves primary data collection. The second grant costs $125,000 and would use secondary data.

PLEASE LET ME GET AN NSF GRANT!!!




11 Comments:

At 7:54 PM, Blogger Tololy said...

That was interesting to read. I think I might try to organize myself like that, but I fear it would transform me into some sort of a robot. Don't you think it too "mechanical"?

 
At 10:50 PM, Anonymous chris said...

maybe so, tololy. as kids know, however, the simplest and most direct approach is sometimes best. :)

 
At 8:58 AM, Anonymous sarah said...

So, Chris, was the phone proposal actually funded? You are obviously dealing with a very shrewd applicant. The appeals to common parental concerns such as safety and frugality seem almost insurmountable. You'd have to come up with some kind of "higher ground" reason not to fund it (i.e. we were not made to be slaves to technology, your grandmother never had a cell phone and she survived, cell phones are the devil's tool, etc).

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous sarah said...

I guess I could actually read the title to realize that you did fund it. In any case, as a parent, I'm interested in your process...

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous chris said...

yeah, sarah, the proposal was fully funded. i don't usually ask for grant applications (i'm not that much of a social science dork), but in this case i wanted her to do a little research. my kids don't ask for much, but they know they can almost always get what they want if it develops (1) the mind with educational value (e.g., books); (2) the body with health or exercise (e.g., sports stuff); or, (3) the creative spirit (e.g., musical instruments).

 
At 10:54 AM, Anonymous sarah said...

Cool. Which phone was agreed to? We've had some "issues" with our Verizon service - i.e. we can't get reception at our house (which is in the middle of a major metropolitan area, mind you). Just curious...

I am shamelessly using your blog as a distraction from the work I should be doing. It's been a long semester!

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous chris said...

oh no, sarah. i don't want to distract you. five more weeks to go, right? i can't give an official endorsement, but we went with sprint because it was compatible with my treo.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Woz said...

You see, this is exactly the problem with today's nepotistic grant reviewal culture. If this had been sent out to an independent reviewer, they surely would have noted the fact that one can find a public phone nearly anywhere one is, and that if that was not an option, the applicant's cohort would almost undoubtedly be in possession of several cell phones, thus making her need for one unecessary. They further would have questioned the motives behind the grant proposal, noting that safety concerns are probably not truely what drives the proposal, but rather "looking cool" or being "with it," both of which are prime examples of projects that go unfunded.

See? A simple, truly independent review panel would have saved you nearly $100 a month.

 
At 9:17 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

No worries, Chris, you're in no way responsible for my distractability. Only five weeks left is precisely my problem! Somehow, I will manage to come up with a "publishable" paper on an historical topic, a (hypothetical) research proposal in the manner of the Public Health Service Grant Application Packet (NIH), a "treatment plan" paper for a non-existent client with undisclosed mental health problems (for a MSW class on intervention methods), not to mention a couple of stats assignments, stats take-home final and in-class exams. I know, I know, strike up the violins. I guess this is what I get for taking 12 friggin credits (as I will continue to do so I can get this PhD done before, well, before I'm your age - ha ha!)

 
At 9:32 PM, Anonymous chris said...

woz, you make some good points, but payphones are a thing of the past, right? plus, i'm not much into borrowing either. i mean, my kids are already severely tv-deprived. the big upside, however, is that i can use the phone for surveillance purposes.

ouch, sarah. pretty soon you'll be done with classes and onto dissertatin.' the deadlines keep on coming though...

 
At 9:59 PM, Anonymous sarah said...

I know...but I do look forward to the actual application of this knowledge I am (presumably) accumulating into something actually resembling research. Really, I'm just trying to elicit your sympathy so that you might go easy on me next semester. Just kidding. Show no mercy!

 

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