Friday @ the Center
February 19, 2010
Grant Writing at SPU
During the last three years, grant writing at SPU has grown exponentially, as more faculty and departments have applied for and received external funds for research, scholarship, creative production, and curriculum or program development. Consequently, we’ve needed to develop a number of policies to facilitate better support for faculty grant writing, internal campus communication, and external compliances. The amount of funds we now receive from federal government grants puts us into an A133 audit status, which means we will now be regularly audited and necessitates several new compliance policies.
To meet these rapidly evolving demands, the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, the Deans’ Cabinet, and the Office of Advancement have developed a new system for external grant application. Many of its elements will be familiar to those who have applied for external grants in the past, but the new system attempts to streamline some parts of the process, clarify other parts, increase internal communication, and better meet compliance demands. We hope that we have finally consolidated all our policies into one document that will assist you, as a faculty member, in your grant writing efforts.The Center’s webpage for Faculty Grants now features three areas: Internal SPU Grants, External Grant Writing, and Forms and Policies. The first includes information and application forms for all internal SPU grants; the second describes—both in a narrative and in a flowchart—how to go about applying for an External Grant; and the third includes copies of all pertinent policies. Over the next several weeks, F@C will be highlighting various aspects of the external grant writing process explained in more detail in these documents. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies, please direct them to me, and I will attempt to clarify issues of mutual concern in subsequent F@C postings.
Developing Independent Learning: Writing Reports & Papers
The fourth of a series on eight skills for independent learning that professors should be developing in their students, based on Terry Doyle’s Helping Students Learn in a Learner-Center Environment:
Skill 1: Finding and evaluating quality sources of information.
Skill 2: Identifying important information.
Skill 3: Organizing information.
Skill 4: Writing reports & papers.
Different disciplines and different objectives involve different kinds of writing skills. Once again, providing a model is essential. Do you want students to assert and defend a thesis? Draw various sources together into a report? Explain methodically how to do something? Summarize someone else’s position? Summarize and reflect? Summarize and apply? Summarize and critique? Provide them with a model of the specific kind of writing you are assigning and acknowledge that they will not be writing the same kind of paper or report in every class. What does YOUR class require and expect?
From a discussion on The Chronicle of Higher Education blog regarding advising: “The most important point I would add . . . is that we should think of the advisor . . . as another teacher, specifically one who helps the student make a coherent whole out of a potentially fragmented curriculum by helping to identify connections, similarities and differences among methods of knowing, ways in which the entire experience can hang together. This is much more important than checking off boxes, which will become increasingly unnecessary as electronic degree audits become more widely used and more user-friendly.”