External Grant Collaborations
Schreyer Institute consultants can assist faculty members with applications for external grants (NIH, NIMH, NSF, FIPSE, etc.) that have a curricular or pedagogical focus and that inform undergraduate education practices at Penn State. We can provide support to overall project design, but our particular areas of expertise are project assessment and evaluation. The level of support we can give depends on a number of factors, which are outlined below as a general guide. We would be happy to provide an initial consultation to explore opportunities to collaborate, so please do not hesitate to contact us with external grant questions.
Factors we consider when making decisions about collaborating on external grant applications:
- Project relevance to undergraduate education at Penn State and alignment with the Schreyer Institute mission
- Availability of an Institute consultant to contribute to the proposal draft and follow up should the project win support
- Level of support needed, from a simple letter of endorsement to serving as co-PI.
Examples of Institute Common Consultant Collaboration on External Grants
- Institute consultant provides a negotiated number of hours as project personnel to advise the evaluation team, which usually includes a qualified graduate student and his/her supervisor. The graduate student, whom we may be able to help identify, applies for IRB approval and collects/stores/summarizes data, which the team analyzes for decision-making and reporting. The consultant is usually paid via a “buy out” from the Institute at an hourly rate based on the particular consultant’s salary. This is the more common model of Institute support for external grants.
- Consultant serves as an external reviewer and co-investigator or co-PI at a cost that is 10% of the total budget of the project (direct costs). Because of limited time consultants have for such work over what is often a multi-year period, this is the less common alternative.
- Consultant helps the PI write a statement into the proposal that indicates the Institute has agreed to provide consultation for the assessment of the project on a limited basis. We can write a letter for the proposal stating that we have agreed to do so.
Questions for External Grant Proposers
If you are interested in support from the Schreyer Institute for an external grant, please either answer the following questions and forward them to the consultant or be prepared to answer them at your initial meeting. Answer as many questions as you can but don’t worry if you can’t answer all of them. Providing as much information as possible prior to meeting will help prepare the consultant for the meeting.
- What is the granting organization? (e.g. NSF, NIH, Dept. of Ed.)
- What is the funding type? (e.g. TUES)
- How will the project benefit undergraduates at Penn State?
- What specific questions/expectations do you have of the Institute? Proposers often don’t know what to expect, or how the process works. They look to us to provide the expertise in the area of assessment. In this case, we need to provide suggestions such as those listed under the conditions for support (Options 1, 2 and 3).
- What is the url for the “Request for Proposal” (RFP)?
- What are the guidelines for selecting personnel, particularly any kind of “qualified external reviewer” (this information is in the RFP)?
- What is the deadline for the proposal?
- Do you have a draft available for the consultant to see?