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Concept Development

Grants and Contracts Development can provide feedback on ideas and concepts that faculty and staff bring forward in relation to a specific opportunity or as a stated need for which funding is needed. Please feel free to reach out to any one of us to schedule a consultation. 

Some Tips for Success in Seeking and Receiving External Support

The following are some of the strategies we recommend for the proposal development process.

  1. Serve as a Reviewer – Volunteering to serve as a reviewer for the sponsor you plan to approach, is the ideal way to learn about the review process, to learn about the sponsor’s priorities, to see what makes winning proposals strong. (eventually add links)
  2. Allow for Plenty of Time – Concept and proposal development takes months. It also takes time to solicit and incorporate feedback from colleagues, mentors, and others who may read your proposal in advance.
  3. Speak with a Program Officer – The role of Program Officers in the review and award process varies by sponsor. Program Officers can have a significant influence on the likelihood of your proposal receiving funding.  We advise developing a one-page document according to the format recommended by the sponsor and to share that along with a request for a brief phone conversation about the strength of the fit of your idea and the funding mechanism. There are additional tips on speaking to program officers in some of these articles, and we are happy to provide further input and direction.
  4. Collaborate – Many times the path to external funds comes through incremental steps, including being a co-PI or senior personnel on a project led by another institution or another faculty member at CSUSM. Additionally, reviewers consider whether the proposed idea is backed by a team with necessary expertise.
  5. Solicit and Integrate Feedback – Don’t let the reviewers be the first to read your proposal. The input of colleagues can save you time, especially if they ask questions your reviewers are likely to have. We advise allowing at least two weeks for someone to review your proposal and at least 10 days for you to integrate their feedback. 
  6. Revise and Resubmit – It’s often the case that it is second or third submission that is funded.  We encourage PIs/PDs to make grant writing on ongoing pursuit.