Penn State University

External Grant Collaborations

Schreyer Institute faculty consultants can assist faculty members with proposals for external grants to funding agencies such as NSF, HHMI, NIH, NIMH, or the USDA that have a curricular or pedagogical focus. We can provide support to overall project design, faculty development, or project assessment and evaluation. The level of support depends on a number of factors. We are happy to consult with you as you explore opportunities. Please contact us as early as possible.

Factors we consider when making decisions about collaborating on external grant applications:

  • Project relevance to undergraduate education at Penn State
  • Alignment with the Schreyer Institute mission
  • Availability of an Institute consultant to contribute to the proposal draft and project activities should the project win support
  • Level of support needed, from a letter of support to serving as senior personnel or co-PI.

Questions for External Grant Principal Investigators (PIs)

Consider the following questions as you prepare your proposal. Don’t worry if you can’t answer all these before you speak with a consultant.

  1. What is the granting organization? (e.g. NSF, HHMI, NIH, DoE.)
  2. What is the URL for the Request for Proposals?
  3. What is the deadline for the proposal?
  4. Do you have a draft available for the consultant to see? Please do not worry about sharing an early draft. The earlier we see the draft proposal, the more we can help.
  5. What role do you have in mind for the Institute or faculty consultant (e.g., supporter, activity/assessment designer, evaluator)? If this is your first educational research proposal, talk to us early to discuss how the process works and your options. Please see examples of support below.
  6. Are there any expectations for personnel, such as a “qualified external reviewer”? (this information is typically specified in the RFP)

Examples of Institute Consultant Collaborations on External Grants

  • Institute faculty consultant helps the PI write a statement for the proposal that the Institute has agreed to provide consultation on the specific activities as part of formative assessment. We can provide a letter for the proposal stating that we have agreed to do so.
  • Consultant serves as an external reviewer, senior personnel, or co-PI. Granting agencies typically expect to see 10% of the total budget (direct costs) dedicated to evaluation and assessment as a demonstration of commitment to the assessment process.
  • Institute consultant provides a negotiated number of hours as project personnel to advise the evaluation team, which may include working with a graduate student. Consultant time may by via a salary “buy out”.
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