Grantwriting: Sustainability

Instructor Name: 
Tracy Dillon
Course Description: 

You will be writing real-world grants (or coming as close to that goal as possible given our short 10-weeks together) in order to enhance your professional development.  You may a) choose a grant writing project/partner from the list provided in your "Partners" panel (right-hand column), b) bring your own community partner into the course and work on a grant for project you already are passionate about, or c) seek out a faculty member (prefemrably someone you admire and would like to work with) in your major discipline and help out on a grant that he/she is pursuing.

Once you pick a project/partner, I will list your name under the corresponding heading.

Do you have to work in a team?  NO! Although I encourage team work as part of your University Studies experience, oftentimes the logistics make teaming up more difficult than its worth.  Individual projects should suggest where teams are necessary: e.g., the Portland Russian Media Center needs help with four separate initiatives, suggesting that four individual could team up, each with his/her own piece of the project.

And, to emphasize an earlier point, remember[ProfD1]  that I encourage you to:

1. Bring your own partner into the course.  This term, The Foundation for the Healing Force of the Amazon is an example.

2. Seek out a Professor or faculty member in your major and help him/her work on a grant.  This is a great way to bring your own partner into the course while also networking within and learning about the culture of your own professional discipline. This term, the CUPA project is an example. 

The main course assignment, therefore, is working toward completion of a grant.  (Because of the short time frame, however, you might be able to produce only a portion of a final grant.  This is perfectly acceptable as long as you are checking in with me, your Kindly Old Professor.)

Other assignments include a) a Book Review of a book that is relevant to the topic of sustainability, b) a series of three reflections on critical thinking, and c) periodic updates on your progress on the grant as needed.  These tasks are explained elsewhere in the Course Content modules.

Here's a quick overview of first steps:

1. Read over the Course Content modules.  You can access the modules from the lowest panel, left-hand column on the home page, or from the “Course Content” link available in the navigation bar above (second from the left, next to “Course Home”) or by clicking here.

The module on Fundamentals of Grant Writing provides a linear discussion of what happens in the grant writing process, as well as reviewing basic rhetorical strategies.

The module on Funding Sources provides just that: a comprehensive list of funding sources. This information is for your general use; remember that your partner's needs may require some extra digging.

The module on the Book Review gives specifications for the assignment.

The module on Staying on Task: A Checklist provides a timeline of goals that should encourage you to stay focused on your grant writing so that a mountain of work does not pile up at the end of the term.  (It's happened before; don't let it happen to you!)

Miscellaneous modules provide information that you may or may not be interested in: an overview of the grant writing profession by an honest-to-goodness working grant writer, and a panel presentation that takes you through the steps of starting your own non-profit in case you ever want to.

2. Familiarize yourself with partner/ projects by accessing descriptions provided in the Course Content area. You can access these from the home page, top panel, right-hand column.

Contact me immediately if you’d like to pitch a different partner of your own choice.  I encourage you to bring in your own interests and experience, but remember that our partners identified in the modules are eagerly looking forward to our help.

3. Post a self-introduction during week 1 in the Introducing Yourself Discussion Topic. Tell us a little about yourself: your major, why you are interested in the class, and other relevant information including a self-assessment of your preparation for the work of grant writing.  Most helpful, though, would be a statement about which of the project/partners you are most drawn to.

4. Read your colleagues' self-introductions and begin thinking about rallying a team if you find that someone else shares your interest in a partner/project.  We'll go with a "first-come, first served" policy.  If I hear from you first about your preference for a partner, you get that partner.  Wait...and you get one of the leftovers. Remember also that you can bring your own partner into the course.  Already we have two colleagues who have done that: the Foundation for the Healing Force of the Amazon represents a student who came into the class with a partner already in place, while the CUPA project represents a student who is partnering with one of her professors on a grant project that he is pursuing.  Either of these options works. If you are stumped on finding a grant of interest, approaching your faculty advisor within your major about helping on a grant is a great way to go.  You'd be surprised how many Professors are working on grants that you might not even know about.

5. Work with me to solidify teams and topics in week 1, if possible, or early in week 2 at the latest.

6. When you decide on a project and get the go ahead from me, send a message to your contact and start communications. Use the "Capstone Grant Writing Progress Check List" to stay on task.  You can access it by clicking here.

7. Start working on grants and individual book reviews. Post status reports in the Discussion Topic as requested. I'll give you plenty of advanced warning about these (and I can be flexible about due dates).

8. Contribute to a great grant for your professional development portfolio and a thoughtful book review by Friday of finals week. You may choose any book you wish on the topic of sustainability. Just check in with me to clear the title. (Note that a title is suggested in the Course Content description.)

9. Check "Capstone" off your TO-DO list and come ever closer to graduation!