Note: This material has moved to ""Research Resources"" in the Center for Faculty Excellence in order to sustain the program. Please update your bookmarks.

Through the Research Capacity and Opportunity Initiative, the Grant Submission Training Coordinator provides comprehensive grant proposal services to the faculty community. These services include:

  • Training and technical assistance on grant writing and proposal submissions

  • Conducting funding searches based on research background and publications

  • Direct assistance with budget and project development

  • Workshops on developing narratives and other proposal elements

  • Coordinating with collaborators, mentors, and funding agency contacts

  • Guidance before, during, and after the submission of the proposal to satisfy university and funding agency criteria

Collage of images showing grant writing at the computer, MSU students and professors, hands holding a growing plant and students and faculty out in the field.

Grant Services 

The Grant Submission Training Coordinator began reaching out to the MSU community in January of 2013 in order to familiarize faculty and staff with the goals, initiatives, and resources of ADVANCE Project TRACS, and to assess faculty needs in one-on-one meetings. Departments may contact the Grant Submission Training Coordinator to learn about the ways ADVANCE can increase research capacity and opportunity for their faculty based on their needs and research interests. The Grant Submission Training Coordinator can work with faculty in groups or on an individual basis to provide targeted training opportunities, or to conduct custom workshops.

Created by past Grant Submission Training Coordinator, Micaela Young

Measuring Impact

Proposal Submissions and Award Status

The Grant Submission Training Coordinator has made significant progress in carrying out the objectives of the Research Capacity and Opportunity Initiative, therefore building research capacity and opportunity at Montana State University. As of August 8, 2014, 

  • 90 faculty requested direct technical assistance for grant proposal submissions which has led to submission of 109 grant proposals to federal, state, and internal funding mechanisms. 
  • 60 of these submissions were from women in STEM, 13% of their proposals have been funded, with 65% still pending. 28 women in SETM were assisted with grant submission, some with two or as many as 5 separate proposals. 
  • While the data is still in the reconciliation process, we do know that 10 proposals have been awarded funding, 7 pre-proposals were accepted for the fall submission process. The remaining proposals are pending. 
  • The 22% that were submitted and returned, received positive review scores and were considered overall "good," "very good," or "excellent." 100% of those with returned proposals stated that they would revise and resubmit to the initial agency and to other sources of funding. 
  • 31 STEM women were assisted with proposal consultation, training, and/or Grant Facilitator Network connections relevant to their proposals in progress. 

Training and Events 

The impact of the Research Capacity Initiative was broadened through the provision of training and technical assistance through ADVANCE Project TRACS events and workshops. 

  • The MSU faculty community engaged in 17 major research capacity events including a Grant Writing Boot Camp, NIH Mock Review Panel, and a number of NSF Web-based Workshops.
  • Through these events, 88 faculty received direct training related to the grant submission process.  
  • 32 women in STEM engaged in these events and received training on the grant submission process and went on to submit, in most cases, at least two grant proposals after the event.
  • Our internal evaluation shows that the Grant Writing Boot Camp, in particular, has positively impacted the competence of women faculty participants with participants reporting that they felt more equipped to express their ideas, felt more confident in their grant writing and felt more likely to apply for external funds.
  • To date, all 17 women in STEM/SBS who participated in the Boot Camp went on to submit at least two new proposals after the event commenced; some submitted as many as four or five.
  • The Grant Writing Boot Camp Facilitator Guide is now finished and available here

Grant Facilitator Network

Grant-seeking faculty can connect with a network of grant-successful faculty to assist with submission and revision of grant applications. Facilitators will review grant applications and provide constructive feedback or share samples of successful grant proposal and abstracts. The Grant Facilitator Network is a continually growing mechanism that connects faculty with synergistic research agendas into collaborative teams seeking external funding. As of August 8, 2014: 

  • 92 faculty have registered to utilize the Grant Facilitator Network in the capacity of facilitator, submitter, collaborator, or a combination of these roles.
  • 81+ pairs or research partnerships have formed out of these connections, and 24 of these pairs or collaborative groups have submitted proposals for external funding which make up a portion of the total 109 proposals submitted.
  • 30 women in STEM are actively utilizing the GFN as facilitators, submitters, and/or collaborators, some engaged dynamically in one or two roles.
  • Plans to expand the Grant Facilitator Network include the development of a social networking database, social network mapping, and an increase in facilitated events to discuss ideas and plans for external funding.

Other Impacts

  • A number of large faculty groups such as the Early Stage Investigators, Women’s Faculty Caucus, and a newly formed Interdisciplinary Research Group receive direct support from the Grant Submission Training Coordinator.
  • 9 women faculty were awarded a diversification mini-grant. Results of our ethnography including a subset of these winners showed the importance of the three needs of: autonomy (as intuition and risk taking), relatedness (as support from others that promotes success) and competence (as gaining clarity on the moving bar of promotion performance) in facilitating research success. 

Future Work

Enhancing research capacity requires so much more than one or two people working on grant submissions. In order to develop a strong and sustainable research support infrastructure, the MSU community must work together to share ideas and leverage their talents. Aside from developing a Grant Facilitator Network and providing funding opportunities through ADVANCE: Project TRACS, a number of key goals have been identified in order to achieve the level of research support requisite for faculty and student success. These goals are to:

(1). Leverage resources and energies of ADVANCE with other groups on campus that show strong interest in facilitating interdisciplinary exchange in order to create a highly collaborative and creative research environment at MSU.

(2). Collect input from grant successful faculty and develop a year-round grant submission training program to prepare faculty to submit successful proposals independently and on teams.

(3). Create a consistent research support presence on campus that includes pre-submission processes that ensure proposals are ready to submit.

(4). Host roundtable discussions between programs on campus with synergistic goals and develop a team of passionate, invested faculty that will create an interdisciplinary-Joint Appointment Toolkit. This toolkit aims to establish policies and procedures for reviewing interdisciplinary faculty research and teaching at retention, tenure, and promotion evaluations, and establishes policies and procedures to support, facilitate, and reward interdisciplinary teaching.

(5). Identify partnership opportunities to merge efforts with groups on and off campus that are striving for enhanced research capacity in the university environment.

Additional Resources

Office of Sponsored Programs

Extended University

Technology Transfer Office

Faculty Excellence at MSU