Valuable library staff time and resources are poured into the grant-application process, which is an increasingly critical element of their researchers’ work. This roundtable discussion will bring together information professionals to talk about the challenges they face, the tools and resources that are available, and the trends they see in this context.
Speakers: Gillian Harrison Cain, Director of Member Programs, Atla; Bess de Farber, Author of Creating Fundable Grant Proposals; Mitch Fraas, Senior Curator, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania; and Carly Strasser, Program Manager for Open Science, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The discussion by participants touched on the following:
What should libraries or other organizations know about the current funding and about those who fund projects? What is the current landscape and how has it changed over the past 5-10 years? From the funder’s perspective, what is the fundamental challenge in determining how funds will be or should be allocated?
To properly orient our audience, can you lay out what the various elements and/or phases of a grant application process might be? (Developing the concept, project planning, proposal planning, final submission etc. – what might I have left out from that very short, likely incomplete list?) How do you explain that process to those new to this activity?
What institutional resources are needed when engaging with an application process?
What skills are necessary to the grant application process? Where does the process most often go wrong?
In an ideal world, what are the things that a grant applicant (whether faculty or information professional) will have thought about before approaching a grants support librarian or a funder’s program officer? What should they have included in their very early mental preparation? What kind of resources do they need? (Getting a grant takes more than an idea, it requires advance thought of how you’d actually put the idea into action. Where would a sensible grant applicant begin? How do they identify a good match in a funding body?)
Once you’ve identified a potential funding source, how do you get to know the priorities, the people? How do you establish the necessary relationships? (It’s one thing if you are a non-profit association and can travel, but most librarians won’t be traveling to conferences. What can they do instead?)
What’s the right thing to do (in terms of follow-up) when an application has been rejected? Can an applicant learn why their proposal might have not have received funding this particular year?
What are the best information resources for working through the grant process?
What are the best tips for success? Is there a formula?
Shared by featured speaker, Mitch Fraas
Links to projects at the University of Pennsylvania:
Why many funding schemes harm rather than support research by Martin Dresler, Eva Buddeberg, Ulrike Endesfelder, Jan Haaker, Christian Hof, Robert Kretschmer, Dirk Pflüger & Fabian Schmidt (January 2022)
Shared by featured speaker, Bess de Farber
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