CHARACTERISTICS OF SUCCESSFUL EARTH SCIENCE EDUCATION PROPOSALS TO THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
The first aspect of a successful proposal, the concept, requires identification and articulation of the project's purpose and goals. After initial formulation of a concept, a team qualified to complete the project should be assembled. Education-oriented projects typically require a team-based approach because a single investigator rarely has the expertise necessary to address all aspects of the project. Many education projects include personnel with expertise in geoscience, education, graphic design, and assessment. Such teams are able to develop technical material, present it in a pedagogically sound and engaging way, and assess its impact on the target audience.
As the team begins to assemble the proposal, it typically becomes necessary and prudent to modify the concept to meet the funding agency's guidelines. The proposal should demonstrate that the team consists of members who will contribute unique and relevant skills to the project. Assessment is a critical component of any education project, and the proposal must identify how assessment will be integrated throughout the project. The proposal must also identify a plan for dissemination of the project's results. This should include professional presentations and publications, and in some cases additional mechanisms for dissemination should be employed. The completed proposal must give a realistic perspective of how the project will be executed and identify the project's deliverables. Successful proposals are helpful after the funding is received because they provide the project's team with a plan that guides work from start to finish.