Research and sponsored projects are vital components of Texas Woman's University's commitment to academic excellence. According to TWU's Research Mission Statement, it is the special research mission of the Texas Woman's University:
- to support faculty and student efforts to expand the domain of human knowledge, imagination, and forms of expression, particularly in those disciplines in which the University awards the doctoral degree;
- to contribute to improvements in professional practice through dissemination of knowledge and through research, particularly in those disciplines and professions in which the University awards graduate degrees;
- to serve as a resource and depository for information and knowledge about women, their cultural diversity, and their particular contributions to the history and progress of the State of Texas, the nation, and the world;
- to collaborate with public and private agencies and corporations in research directed toward improvements in the quality of their products and services.
The mission statement calls for the development of basic or theoretical knowledge in those programs in which the University offers doctoral degrees. The test of whether faculty or students succeed in this kind of research is the extent to which their claims to have expanded the domain are accepted by the community of scholars through the peer review process, as it happens both on campus and in the larger community.
In its master's degree programs, it is the mission of the University to engage in research to contribute to development of the arts and sciences, professional practice, and technology, where technology is broadly conceived to embrace not only physical tools but also social arrangements and intellectual devices. Improvements and innovations in the services offered by institutions, such as hospitals, schools, and libraries, are often products of research in social technology. The test of success in this kind of research is the extent to which practitioners of professions, arts, and technologies recognize the contributions of faculty and students.
Sponsored programs support research and scholarly activity by the faculty as well as training for graduate and undergraduate students. This brochure describes the proposal process at TWU through the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs. The staff will assist you in the phases of submitting an external funding proposal: proposal development, institutional approval, and post-award notification.
- Define the Project. Tell us in 2-3 pages what the problem or project is and what you wish to do about it. How will you proceed? Who will be involved? When and where will the project take place?
- Prepare a preliminary budget. How much will this cost? Think of salaries, wages for students, equipment, travel, consultants. Will another institution be doing part of the work? Let Research & Sponsored Programs calculate the estimates for fringe benefits and indirect costs.
- Contact Research & Sponsored Programs. Discuss with the staff the preliminary outline and budget. We will discuss with you possible sources of funding, procedures for internal approval, and proposal submission.
- Obtain Agency Information. We have several resources for helping you locate a potential sponsor: (1) access via Internet to national databases of research funding opportunities; (2) a funding reference library of publications listing federal agencies, foundations, and corporations and tools giving tips of how to write a successful proposal; (3) our office website (funding databases); and (4) direct mailing of items from periodicals which specifically match your interests. We have the guidelines for many sponsors on file and can request material for those we do not.
- Contact the Program Director at the Agency. The Program Director can tell you if your proposal is one the agency would likely fund and may give you information on proposal preparation and the review process. Need a phone number or the name of the right program director? Research & Sponsored Programs can find it for you.
- Approvals. Obtain approval for the proposed project from your unit administrator and individuals or committees responsible for space allocation, human subjects, animal care, matching funds, etc. For research involving human subjects, contact us for information regarding the approval process. If the proposal is to a foundation, contact the Office of Institutional Development for clearance before contacting the foundation.
Allow at least 10 working days to complete the process.
The Principal Investigator (PI) should sign the form when the proposal is in final form, and submit the original copy of the proposal and the form for review to the unit administrator.
If the unit administrator concurs with commitments of departmental resources mentioned in the proposal, then the unit administrator signs the transmittal form.
The PI next submits the proposal and transmittal form to the dean of the school or college, who reviews the proposal noting and approving any commitments on behalf of the college. If all is in order, then the PI brings the proposal and transmittal to the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs.
Research & Sponsored Programs rechecks the budget and reviews the sponsor guidelines to make sure the proposal conforms to specifications such as type size, number of pages, forms and assurances. If time permits, we will proofread the proposal.
Research & Sponsored Programs obtains the signature of the authorized institutional official, usually the Vice President for Academic Affairs, on the proposal cover page and any other pages that may require approval (including the internal routing form). The Vice President's office returns the proposal to Research & Sponsored Programs.
Unless the PI prefers to handle mailing arrangements, Research & Sponsored Programs photocopies the proposal and mails the appropriate number of copies to the sponsor by the deadline.
A copy of the proposal and of the proposal review and routing form is sent to you for your files. Research & Sponsored Programs retains a copy in the office files.
REVIEW AND NOTIFICATION OF DECISION
Federal agencies usually notify you of action on proposals in about six to nine months. Foundations normally take about two months for review. Be sure to inform Research & Sponsored Programs about the outcome of your submission.
Funded proposals are kept on file for 5 years after the conclusion of the grant. Denied proposals are retained for 2 years.
If your proposal is funded, the P.I. and the university will receive a notice of grant award. Only with this document can a grant account be set up. Research & Sponsored Programs will arrange for a post-award conference involving the PI, staff or such offices as Purchasing, Finance & Administration, Personnel Services, Controller, and Research & Sponsored Programs. This conference will give you assistance in learning how university resources will help you manage your grant.
If a peer-reviewed proposal is denied, we encourage you to study the reviewers' comments, to call the program director and discuss the review, and to rewrite the proposal and resubmit it. While it is common practice to resubmit proposals, statistics show that rewritten proposals incorporating the reviewers' comments have a much higher success rate than first-time submissions.
A good project concept and creative project design are necessary, but may not be sufficient. Competition for available funds is such that many good proposals are not funded. The winning proposal must go beyond merely conforming to agency guidelines for format, organization and length. It must be clearly and concisely written (and sometimes rewritten).
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The preparation of a proposal for external funding, as well as the administration of a grant award, is a shared responsibility at Texas Woman's University. Good grant administration requires a team knowledgeable in the conditions imposed by the sponsor (the external funding source) and savvy in the internal procedures of the university--all working together to enhance TWU's tripartite mission of research, teaching, and service.
page last updated 2/24/2014 11:00 AM