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PlatformTutorialSummary


How to Get Funding for Instrumentation When Budgets Are Tight Christine A. Brantner, Moderator


George Washington University, 800 22nd Street, NW, Suite B2800, Washington, D.C. 20052 chrisbrantner@email.gwu.edu


Tis is a summary of highlights from presentations given in Tutorial X45 at the Baltimore M&M meeting August 7, 2018. Tis session was a two-part tutorial with grantees invited to share their grant writing experiences and representatives from granting agencies invited to share tips on how to successfully secure money for instrumentation. Most of our institutions can- not go out and spend millions of dollars on instrumentation just because we think that we need it. So here are some strategies that might help us to procure funding for instrumentation.


Grantees


Development of an Acquisition Instrumentation Program L. Amelia Dempere, Director, Research Services Centers, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, University of Florida Dr. Dempere first suggested that it is helpful to seek par-


ticipation on a panel evaluating grant proposals to any of the major funding agencies. Tis can be done by communicating with the Program Manager of a program in an agency that you are interested in learning more about. Secondly, she advises to propose something unique because it is not sufficiently persua- sive to just request the replacement of an old instrument for one newer. A good path is to use a combination of techniques in an instrument that will enable research approaches that the PIs and your institution want to become known for. Be sure to clearly state who will benefit from the new instrument: will it be only internal users and collaborators or will users from other institutions benefit. Tird, Dr. Dempere reminds us that having suitable space for the instruments and a strong broader impact plan are important in the proposal. Use your 15 pages wisely by showing strategic figures and visuals that reduce lengthy descriptions and explanations.


Acquisition of a Microscope for In Situ Studies of Hard and Soft Matter James M. LeBeau, Associate Director, Analytical Instrumenta- tion Facility, North Carolina State University Dr. LeBeau started by telling us that we should have a


broad range of capabilities that our institution is interested in covering with the instrument we are requesting money for and that we need to be sure to explain each in detail in our pro- posal. Make a statement about the proposed new capabilities versus the old ones. It is best if you can be unique in your area for capabilities. One secret that he shared is that the instrument


36 doi:10.1017/S1551929519000452


that you request does not have to be state-of-the-art, it simply needs to cover your requirements. Dr. LeBeau recommends a primary focus on three to five key ideas with a core group of researchers. Be sure to include the grant numbers that the instrument will impact. Preliminary data is another big item that you want to be sure to add to your proposal where possible. Further suggestions are: plan your submission early so that you can include your researchers and their data; determine if your institution has an internal competition that you must partici- pate in before actual submission to the granting agency; and make a plan to integrate the requested instrument into the Core Facility on your campus.


A New Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy Facility with STEM and EDS Capabilities for Interdisciplinary Research and Education at Towson University Vonnie D. Shields, Associate Dean and Professor of Biology, Towson University Dr. Shields spoke to the audience about five interdisci-


plinary female faculty members from Towson University who were awarded an NSF MRI award. Among her recommenda- tions were: know your institution’s classification and its limits for applications so you can choose the NSF Division that best suits the needs of your researchers as well as your institution. It is important to negotiate the cost sharing upfront with your administration so that your proposal meets this requirement. She recommends doing homework on which instrument will best suit your needs by creating a rapport with the vendors, dis- cussing your needs, visiting sites for demonstrations, and send- ing samples to obtain a data set for your projects to show what is possible if you receive the award. Teir proposal discussed the research of each member and included letters of support from other colleges and collaborators to show a broader impact for the instrument. Also discussed were the teaching and out- reach activities that would be impacted by the instrument. Be sure to include all the people and groups who will benefit from the instrument.


A Guide to Submitting a Successful NIH S10 Shared Instrumentation Grant Application Frank P. Macaluso, Director, Electron Microscopy Analytical Imaging Facility, Albert Einstein College of Medicine Mr. Macaluso provided listeners with many good tips on writing a successful instrumentation grant, drawing on


www.microscopy-today.com • 2019 May


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