Posts Tagged grants

Government Shutdown May Mean Postponing Your Degree

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Government Shutdown is getting out of control.

In the words of a new UT Arlington Office of Graduate Studies intern, “Usually it is all talk, but it actually happened; the government shut down.”

In a recent article, Field, Thomason, and Howard indicated that, “Research projects have been interrupted, academic meetings have been postponed or canceled, and some students are being urged to put off their educations until the federal-budget impasse ends.”

The Chronicle documents issues that continue to worsen as the government remains closed for business, including:

  • Veteran’s GI Bill is only funded through October
  • Federal Financial aid is only funded through June
  • Peer-review panels have stopped convening, resulting in delays in the reviews of new grant proposals
  • Grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services may not be dispensed (sorry humanities)
  • Public, primary resources such as the Library of Congress are offline

Ellis writes, “Richard A. Williams, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, told students to light a candle in the university’s grotto.” “University of North Carolina students studying unexamined parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s history…[no longer] have access to the documents, like maps and letters, that they need to do their work.”

You know it is getting pretty bad when the candles come out.  Some advice from professors- use BOOKS!

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A Foolproof Grant Template

In Dr. Karen Kelsky’s Foolproof Grant Template from The Professor Is In (a great blog so check it out!), the outline is as straight forward as you are going to get.  I have read several of the instruction manuals for applying to NSF along with humanities grants, and while very VERY helpful, they are also very VERY long.  Not exactly documents you can start with at the beginning of your brainstorming session.

In additional posts, Dr. Kelsky also addresses several common errors including using the words “I need to…” as in “I need to fill this research gap” rather than describing in plain, formal language how you can (and will!) fill the gap.  Also, do NOT sign the document like a letter – it isn’t a letter!

Be sure to emphasize why you are applying in the first place.  Some helpful language:

“However, none of these works have addressed the central question of ___________.”

“This should be YOUR view of what is most essential to an accurate understanding of the big topic, but which  has never to date been studied by anyone else.”

If you are going to be asking for the big bucks, be sure to address the point of it all, the reason you should get the money, and why this research needs to be done.  Some more helpful language:

“I expect this research to contribute to debates on _______ and play an important role in________.”

Check out the post on the template from The Professor Is In.  Perhaps you can get a grant – and you should at least give the application process a try if the opportunity and funds are available.

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