Grant Writing Tools

Writing and Proposal Development Resources: The following resources may be especially valuable for those who are new to grant writing. Combined, these resources give a broad overview of grant writing basics. Though every grant is different, a review of the following resources should provide a basic understanding of the general form and structure of a proposal and answer many common questions.

Logic Models: It is not uncommon that funding agencies will require the inclusion of a Logic Model in a proposal. However, whether required or not, Logic Models can be an extremely useful aid in the conceptualization and development of a proposal.

A Logic Model is a “flow-chart,” which provides a visual means of representing project resources needed to engage in project activities which will produce measurable outputs or products which then also result in desired outcomes and impacts. In short, the Logic Model can be very useful both in helping in the initial conceptualization and planning of a project and in communicating to readers of a proposal exactly what it will take to make a project successful and how those resources will be utilized to produce specific results.

Many guides and resources for Logic Models are freely available by conducting a quick internet search. However, one of the best and most comprehensive guides which describe both simple and complex logic models is the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide.

Gantt Charts: A Gantt chart is another commonly used tool in grant writing. Gantt Charts, in their simplest forms, are graphic depictions of the various project activities along a time-line. Gantt Charts are quite useful both in the development of a project plan and in communicating to others exactly how and when various activities associated with the project will be executed.

Many guides and resources regarding Gantt Charts are freely available by conducting a quick internet search. Except for very complex projects, the easiest way to create a Gantt chart is typically to make your own using an Excel spreadsheet. However, below are links to two web-based Gantt chart programs which are free of charge.

Other Tools & Assistance: Please contact ORSP should you have questions or need assistance with the conceptualization and development of a proposal or writing a proposal.

New in Reasearch

Dr. Ryan Jessup, Assistant Professor of Marketing

Dr. Jessup is interested in decisions.  What causes people to choose poorly?  How do learning and contextual factors influence choice?  In seeking to answer these questions, his research uses psychological models of motivation to distill the computational properties of decision making.  Computational modeling enhances research by requiring precision in theory formulation and constraining predictions.

One of Dr. Jessup’s primary streams of research concerns the behavioral differences between decisions when options are completely described vs. decisions when options must be learned about via experience.  Prior research found that individuals choose quite differently between the two paradigms but the reasons underlying the difference are poorly understood.  One of Dr. Jessup’s studies demonstrated that the reception of feedback overwhelms descriptive information, driving the behavioral differences between paradigms.  This work has led him and his colleagues (including Dr. John Homer and undergraduate researcher Allison Phillips) to build a new model that merges sophisticated decision making mechanisms with reinforcement learning in order to successfully predict behavior in both paradigms better than existing models. Dr. Jessup has previously received Cullen awards for this work and is currently seeking external funding to continue this fascinating line of research.

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