Group Title: Office of Educational Research bulletin.
Title: Office of Educational Research bulletin. June 2007.
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 Material Information
Title: Office of Educational Research bulletin. June 2007.
Uniform Title: Office of Educational Research bulletin.
Physical Description: Newspaper
Creator: Office of Educational Research, University of Florida
Publisher: Office of Educational Research, University of Florida
Publication Date: June 2007
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Bibliographic ID: UF00088878
Volume ID: VID00010
Source Institution: University of Florida
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College of Education

News & Notes

We recently stumbled on an interesting article:
The Art of Writing Proposals in the Social Sci-
ence Research Council website (httlpL Although written for SRCC
fellowship applicants, we thought many sug-
gestions apply across the board; here are some

Capture the Reviewer's Attention
* While the form and the organization of a
proposal are matters of taste, you should
choose your form bearing in mind that
every proposal reader constantly scans for
clear answers to three questions: (1) What
are we going to learn as the result of the
proposed project that we do not know
now? (2) Why is it worth knowing? (3)
How will we know that the conclusions are
* Working through a tall stack of proposals
on voluntarily-donated time, a committee
member rarely has time to comb proposals
for hidden answers. So, say what you have
to say immediately, crisply, and forcefully.
* The opening paragraph or the first page at
most, is your chance to grab the reviewer's
attention. Use it.
* Clearly posed questions are an excellent
way to begin a proposal. Stating your cen-
tral point, hypothesis, or interpretation is
also a good way to begin.

* Do not fail to leave the reviewer with some-
thing to remember: some message that will
remain after reading many other proposals
and discussing them for hours and hours.

Aim for Clarity
* Remember that most proposals are re-
viewed by multidisciplinary committees. A
reviewer studying a proposal from another
field expects the proposer to meet her half-
* You should avoid jargon as much as you
can, and when technical language is truly
needed, restrict yourself to those new
words and technical terms that lack equiva-
lents in common language.
* Keep the spotlight on ideas.

Establish the Context
* It is essential that the proposal summarize
the current state of knowledge and provide
an up-to-date, comprehensive bibliography.
Both should be precise and succinct.
* Committees often treat bibliographies as a
sign of seriousness on the part of the appli-
cant, and some members will put consider-
able effort into evaluating them.
* Many proposals fail because the references
are incomplete or outdated. Missing even a
single reference can be very costly if it
shows failure to connect with research di-
rectly relevant to one's own.

SCollege of Education

What's the Payoff?
* Help your reader understand where the
problem intersects the main theoretical de-
bates in your field and show how this in-
quiry puts established ideas to the test or
offers new ones.
* Good proposals demonstrate awareness of
alternative viewpoints and argue the au-
thor's position in such a way as to address
the field broadly, rather than developing a
single sectarian tendency indifferent to al-

Use a Fresh Approach
* It pays to remember that topics of current
salience, both theoretical and real world are
likely to attract a crowded field of appli-
* Unless you have something original to say,
you may be well advised to avoid topics
typically styled of central interest to the dis-
cipline. Usually these are topics about
which everyone is writing, and in all likeli-
hood somebody else has already made the
decisive and exciting contribution.
* If your instinct leads you to a problem far
from the course that the pack is running,
follow it, not the pack: Nothing is more
valuable than a really fresh beginning.

Describe Your Methodology
* Two things can safely be said about meth-
odological appeal. First, the proposal must
specify the research operations you will un
* dertake and the way you will interpret the
results of these operations in terms of your
central problem. Second, a methodology is
not just a list of research tasks but an argu-
ment as to why these tasks add up to the
best attack on the problem.
* Be as specific as you possibly can be about
the activities you plan to undertake. Most
proposals fail because they leave reviewers
wondering what the applicant will actually
do. Tell them!
* The proposal should prove that the re-
searcher either possesses, or cooperates
with people who possess, mastery of all the
technical matters the project entails.

Specify Your Objectives
* A well-composed proposal, like a sonata,
usually ends by alluding to the original
theme. How will research procedures and
their products finally connect with the cen-
tral question? How will you know if your
idea was wrong or right?
* While planning and drafting your proposal,
you should keep in mind the program
guidelines and application procedures out-
lined in the brochure specific to the pro-
gram to which you are applying.

SCollege of Education

Final Notes
* Start early! Write a first draft at least three
months in advance, revise it, show it to col-
leagues. Let it gather a little dust, collect
colleagues' comments, revise it again.
* If you have a chance, share it with a semi-
nar or similar group; the debate should
help you anticipate what reviewers will
eventually think.
* Resharpen your opening paragraph or first
page so that it drives home exactly what
you mean as effectively as possible.

For a copy of the full article go to:
art of writing proposals/

OER Happenings

The lazy days of summer are upon us. Wait a
minute, did we say lazy...? Nah! The OER is
buzzing with activity. Summer is planning
time here and we are getting ready for a busy
AY 2007-2008 filled with faculty brown bags,
professional development panels, and in-depth

Faculty training will feature panel experts on
Survey Research Methods and Narrative
Analysis. Half-day training will focus on Hi-
erarchical Linear Modeling and Discourse
Analyses. Faculty brown bags will feature cut-
ting-edge research by COE colleagues and col-
laborators and an overview of the Fulbright

Program competitions.

Also in the works beginning this fall is
the kick-off for Monday Morning Coffees to
be held in the Terrace Room's Faculty
Commons. Stay tuned for this and other
exciting OER-sponsored events...

Ana & Paul

May Awards & Submissions

Although there were no new awards to report
for May, we had several submissions. Best
wishes go to Linda Hayes and Nancy Wal-
dron for their proposal to Florida Depart-
ment of Education; to Theresa Vernetson
and Michael Bowie for their proposals to
Alachua County Board of County Commis-
sioners and the State Community Colleges,
David Quinn and Linda Hagedorn for their
Coca-Cola Foundation proposal; to Ken O and
David Miller for their proposal to the National
Science Foundation; to Tom Dana for his pro-
posal to the Panhandle Area Educational Con-
sortium; to Linda Lamme for her proposal to
the Target Corporation-Local Store Grants; and
to Kara Dawson and Catherine Cavanaugh
for their proposal to the Union County District.

For more details about these submissions,
see the tables on the next page.

College of Education Funded Projects May 2007

No new projects were funded during the month of May.

College of Education Submitted Proposals -May 2007

Principal Investigator: Lynda Hayes Co-PI: Nancy Waldron

Funding Agency: Florida Department of Education

Proposal Title: Project CHOICE! Creating High School Options in Comprehension and Engagement
Requested Amount: $268,712

Principal Investigator: Theresa Vernetson Co-PI: Michael Bowie
Funding Agency: Alachua County Board of County Commissioners

Proposal Title: Community Agency Partnership Program (CAPP)

Requested Amount: $103,784

Principal Investigator: David Quinn Co-PI: Linda Hagedorn

Funding Agency: The Coca-Cola Foundation

Proposal Title: C.A.M.P. (Collegiate Athlete Mentoring Program) Gator

Requested Amount: $1,126,683

Principal Investigator: Ken O Co-PI: David Miller

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Proposal Title: Terahertz Integrated Electronic Systems Research Center

Requested Amount: $363,638

College of Education Submitted Proposals -May 2007

Principal Investigator: Tom Dana Co-PI: N/A

Funding Agency: Panhandle Area Educational Consortium

Proposal Title: Project SOAR: Science Optimizing Academic Returns

Requested Amount: $164,908

Principal Investigator: Linda Lamme Co-PI: N/A

Funding Agency: Target Corporation-Local Store Grants

Proposal Title: The Prairie View Elementary School Home Reading Program

Requested Amount: $3,000

Principal Investigator: Kara Dawson Co-PI: Catherine Cavanaugh

Funding Agency: Union County School District

Proposal Title: Exploring Science content: Digital Strategies for Science Teaching and Learning

Requested Amount: $262,651

Principal Investigator: Theresa Vernetson Co-PI: Michael Bowie

Funding Agency: State Community Colleges

Proposal Title: College Reach-Out Program (CROP)

Requested Amount: $118,466

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