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From the Northeastern Section of the ACS, focusing on career management and development
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01/07/12
Research Proposals for Academic Packages
Filed under: Interviewing, Position Searching, Public Relations docs
Posted by: site admin @ 9:36 am

One of the topics only briefly covered in career management
offerings for academic positions is what to include in your
research proposals.  It is part of every academic employment
application package for research-intensive and principally-
undergraduate institutions.  I have even seen it referred to
in community colleges, in relation to technical education
methods and experiments.

Recently I have been working on a proposal that is shaping
up nicely.  The author has identified a high interest area
of cutting edge research for a research intensive institution.
(note:  it will be challenging to conduct cutting edge
research at a PUI.)  She has provided a good background
and short and medium term research plans and a longer
range view where she sees her research moving.

Not all proposals are the same or need to be cut from the
same pattern.  Some additional considerations could be offered
(A colleague and friend, Rich Bretz, shared his insight
which he uses in academic job search workshops.)

  1.  resources needed to begin and conduct the research
[personnel, facilities, institutional support, other support]
 
  2.  potential funding sources [if you have written drafts,
consider including them.]

  3.  start up equipment and funding [office and laboratory
space, computers, software, equipment, furniture and facilities,
supplies;  range $0 - 1.5M]

  4.  make your proposal case with a sense of urgency,
indicating you are the best qualified to conduct the work
and have working collaborations with leaders

  5.  point out how the research will train both undergraduate
and graduate students as independent and productive
researchers;  how will the group be organized [it does not
self organize]

  6.  demonstrate your originality, differentiate your
approaches from competitors

  7.  identify your first experiments;  what is the ultimate
research group size, agency for first proposal, publication
journal?

  8.  share the proposal with your references, seeking their
input and advice

  9.  seek the fit of your research with other members of
the  faculty;  potential collaborations

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