Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM
MAPPING YOUR WAY TO FUNDING: LINKING PARTNERSHIPS AND GOALS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS
This paper is devoted to an analysis of two significant pitfalls in grant writing, and presentation of a strategy that can be of great assistance in successful proposal preparation. In all grant-writing endeavors, one must clearly define goals and partnership opportunities well in advance of writing any proposal text. The former should seem obvious, but the fact exists that many proposals lack a central thesis or set of attainable goals. The latter is particularly important in the current funding climate that emphasizes "leveraging resources" and maximizing the impact of funded programs. Unfortunately, many proposal writers seek out partners after most of the proposal has been written, thus missing the opportunity to use the proposal writing process itself as a community-building activity with a key partner. Also, trying to engage partners very late in the proposal process often is viewed negatively by potential partners, as it may imply that the latter are "add-ons" to proposal activities, or "window dressing". One critical strategy to employ before sitting down to write is to draft a concept map of how goals and partnerships link together, and how grant activities and elements clearly connect to goals and partnerships. We might call this "mapping your way to funding" - an exercise that should appeal to geologists as visual learners and heavy users of graphical input. Several examples are presented of successful models for grant preparation involving the concept mapping strategy.