Research Coordinator Corner
College of Education Offers Best Practices Series for External Funding
In January 2019, the College of Education Research Office (COERO) began piloting a year-long professional development series to boost faculty knowledge and skills in all aspects of seeking and securing external research funding. The Grant Development Scholars Program (GDSP) covers topics that range from understanding how external funding supports research to locating funding and then crafting and submitting a proposal. We would like to share some best practices here on creating this type of program for faculty that may help other units across the university offer similar programs.
The GDSP workshop series is held monthly and led by university faculty, COERO staff, and ORSP experts for College of Education (COE) faculty. Participants choose between two tracks: Information Seekers and Proposal Developers. Information Seekers want guidance on how to position themselves for external funding and learn about grant-seeking strategies and processes. Proposal Developers are ready to develop their research ideas into a fundable project and commit to submitting a proposal within one year of completing the program.
Throughout the series, participants identify and encourage each other’s potential as fundable researchers. They develop research plans, write concept papers, create project timelines and budgets, and identify funding opportunities. During the workshop sessions, faculty work in small groups to offer peer feedback and support. The COERO staff also provides feedback and encouragement throughout the process, in the monthly workshops, one-on-one, and throughout the year.
This summer, participants developed elevator pitches, concept papers, and workplans. At the September session, faculty presented elevator pitches in small groups of representatives from each COE department. Everyone worked together to provide feedback and improve the pitches. In October, faculty will identify how to navigate the university’s pre-award process, learn how to read and dissect an RFP, and work together to develop project management plans to put their research ideas into action. Throughout this process, GDSP participant scholars become better positioned to develop their research ideas into competitive, successful proposals to support their research.
GDSP involves over thirty faculty from all three College of Education departments: Curriculum and Instruction; Health and Human Performance; and Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology. The research agendas of participating faculty cover a wide range of expertise, including teaching and learning methods, reading education, counseling, bilingual teacher preparation, school psychology, recreation administration, athletic training, development education, and educator and school improvement. Because of the diverse research interests within the college, encouraging cross-departmental collaboration is key to GDSP’s success.
The GDSP program is bringing people together by providing time and resources to promote collaboration and innovation. This effort upholds the college’s dedication, “to enhancing human potential through excellent teaching, relevant scholarship, and community engagement.” With engaged and energetic faculty, COERO looks forward to busy, proposal-filled years ahead.
You can follow the COERO office on Twitter @txst_coero and learn more about the GDSP program on our website.