Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 9:10 AM


HUNTOON, Jacqueline E. and BLUTH, Gregg J.S., Department of Geological Engineering and Sciences, Michigan Technological Univ, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931,

Successful proposals to NSF education-oriented programs share several common characteristics. Based on experiences as proposers and reviewers, we suggest that successful proposals effectively address five key aspects of the proposed project: concept, team, execution, assessment, and dissemination. Reviewers tend to either make their decision after reading the first few pages of the proposal, or they critically review the entire document to determine how well it addresses the granting agency's guidelines. The best proposals address all guidelines, and generate enthusiasm by clearly describing the innovative and exciting aspects of the project.

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.