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Proposal Development Workshops - End of FY23 Wrap Up

Faye Farmer
June 23, 2023

Proposal Development Workshops (PDWs) are 30 – 60-minute webinars on key milestones along the funding journey. The series covers identification of a sponsor, development of a concept, and preparation of a proposal for submission.

Presenters provide best practice and ASU-specific insight across all facets of proposal development. Starting with understanding the funding landscape, going through finding a solicitation, developing a proposal, and preparing a budget, each webinar is a quick look at best practice. These webinars are appropriate to all stages of researcher from any discipline for any sponsor.

PDW’s are held approximately every other week at 10am AZ. Presentations are posted on and distributed to attendees.

This year, the PDW expanded to include four new workshops: collaboration for beginners, crafting evaluation plans, working with ASU Foundation, and Department of Defense Proposals. This brought the total offerings to 12.

We had over 700 registrations and 342 attended. There were 235 unique registrations. The workshops had an average of almost 60 registrations each.

The series starts again in fall 2023! We hope to see you there.

We would like to formally acknowledge the presenters, without whom, there would be no series! Presented alphabetically by first name.

Andrew Nelson, Catherine Chen, Daniel Froid, Diana Bowman, Faye Farmer, Gary Moore, Howard Bergman, Jamie Winterton, JulieAnna Carsen, Karen Walker, Kaushik Balakrishnan, Keith Aspinall, Melinda Marino, Mikayla Majidi, Nicole Thompson, Quyen Wickham , Raghu Santanam, Roslynn Runia, Suzanne Rinker, Traci Quinn, Vincent Alrich, Wendy Barnard

Fall 2022 & Spring 2023 Workshops


In this session, Research Development will detail how faculty can develop a strategic approach to pursuing research funding. Attendees will gain an understanding of: (1) strategic intelligence and how it can assist them in understanding their sponsor, program, and competition and (2) proposal review, which offers insight into how to navigate the proposal review process strategically. With a refined understanding of these concepts, faculty will be able to craft a research strategy that puts them one step ahead of their competition!
Workshop Date: September 13, 2022.

Do you have a great idea, but need funding to make your idea a reality? Look no further than our finding funding opportunities workshop. We will explore different resources that are available to research open opportunities for funding by both federal and philanthropic granting agency. Funding searches can be conducted in a variety of way, so we will talk about some tips and tricks to help maximize your time searching for funding. During this workshop, we will take a live tour of both Foundation Directory Online as well as the Pivot Funding Search Tool. Both can help make what may seem like a daunting task of shifting through potential funders and endless open opportunities much more manageable.
Workshop Date: September 27, 2022


Learn how to pitch your research or scholarship idea to a funder’s program officer, a potential collaborator, or just focusing an abstract or executive summary for your proposal. Participants will walk through three tools for creating and presenting proposal messages: the Heilmeier Catechism, the Proposal Quad Chart, and Logic Models. They will learn how to convert these tools into a brief pitch you can use as a template for future conversations. Guest speakers will provide tips on presenting your proposal ideas to various funding agencies with help on pivoting your ideas to match the needs of the funder.
Workshop Date: October 11, 2022

A program you’ve been waiting for has just released a call for proposals and the due date is in three months–now what? Don’t let a blank page deter you from getting organized and ready to craft your response! With the sponsor’s call for proposals, you already have the answers to many of the questions you are being asked to address.

This webinar is aimed at new and junior-level faculty looking to gain tips and tricks to help smooth out the proposal writing process. In this session, you will learn how to read a solicitation (also known as a Call for Proposals, a solicitation, a Request for Proposals, or a Funding Opportunity Announcement) section by section to better understand what it is your sponsor is actually looking for in a proposed project. We will also discuss ways to review your proposal draft to check if you’ve included all of the appropriate content. And we will do all of this before you even write a word!

Do you want to write faster, with sharper focus, and increase your chances of being funded? If so, then join as we 1) discuss a proposal construction technique that will help you better understand what the sponsor wants, 2) learn how to increase responsiveness in your written submission,3) make it easier for reviewers to navigate and assess your proposal, and 4) reduce the chances of proposal rejection due to non-compliance.
Workshop Date: October 25, 2022

Staring at a blank page can be overwhelming and intimidating. Reading text that is dry and not engaging is worse! Proposals are designed to convince the reviewer that what you are proposing is reasonable, achievable, and incredibly compelling. The world must fund your work!! Reviewers want to believe in the promised impact of your research project. You want them to believe so strongly that they recommend you for funding above and beyond those other proposals in the pile they are slogging through.

There are a host of small tweaks to our writing that can change dry text to more persuasive text. There are also some major structural text changes you can make so that the reader is instantly engaged and encouraged to read on, specifically, the concepts of “benefit statements” and “win themes”. This webinar will introduce you to both the easy and the more complicated approaches to persuasive text. Attend this webinar if you are interested in learning more about how to frame your proposal narrative, if you’ve never written a proposal before, or are interested in revising your existing proposal text to make it more persuasive.
Workshop Date: November 8, 2022


You’ve finished writing your proposal, but before you submit, there is one more crucial step – editing. Don’t let editorial errors distract your reviewers from the quality of your proposed idea. Attend this workshop to learn some simple tools, beyond a cursory spell check, that will help you submit a well-polished proposal.

In this presentation, you will learn common editing mistakes and simple ways to avoid or correct them. You will learn practical steps to edit your work from the document level down to the word and grammar level. You will learn how to use tools like Styles in Microsoft Word and readability statistics to edit your work quickly and easily. Give your reviewers a document that is pleasant to look at and enjoyable to read by employing the editing techniques taught in this presentation.
Workshop Date: January 17, 2023

Are you intimidated by graphics? Do you lack creative flair? Let’s learn the importance of leveraging graphics for impactful proposals. Graphics are one of the most effective ways to persuade the audience to select your solution. Graphics convey both facts and emotion, equally important aspects of effective persuasion. Proposals can be very text-heavy and data-driven which can overwhelm the audience. To keep the audience engaged and strengthen research, it is essential to adhere to data visualization best practices. This will help determine the best way to present data visually. Data visualization should be useful, visually appealing, and never misleading. Applying some basic principles of design which are balance, contrast, hierarchy, and color will result in a cohesive visually appealing proposal.

Although there may be challenges and certain rules that may restrict design abilities, learning these in advance will save time and meet the requirements for success. Rather it's a chart, graph, infographic, or map, innovative client-focused graphics with layout techniques are often the difference between average and excellent proposals. Attend this webinar if you’re interested in learning more about how to successfully execute a proposal with layout technique and clean-cut innovative graphics.
Workshop Date: January 31, 2023

Submitting a budget mismatched to your proposed project may be disastrous and significantly impact your award probability. This session provides strategies for creating a budget that aligns with your project whether with a single or multiple investigators. Session participants will learn who to turn to for assistance, the common federal budget categories, factoring hidden costs, creating a budget planning timeline, how to write a budget justification, and how a milestones table can create a solid budget and increase your award probability.
Workshop Date: February 14, 2023

Teaming and collaboration are fundamental to success for faculty. The pursuit of federal sponsored awards via proposals is no different. Collaboration in these cases reflects existing relationships and often includes the addition of partnerships. Proposals have accelerated timelines, requirements for participation, and other specific demands which may force relationships. Creating credible collaborations is essential in securing an award. Join this presentation to learn best practices around structural and personal features of successful collaboration as a team member and a leader of a team.
Workshop Date: February 28, 2023

How do you know what you are doing is successful? You measure it! Integrating evaluation across proposals increases the strength of your plan and provides the sponsor assurances that you know what you are doing. While program evaluation activities are very specific, this session can introduce you to fundamentals of evaluation plans. Examples of best practices and sponsor specific requirements will be reviewed. Participants will feel empowered to identify ways to evaluate their proposed efforts.
Workshop Date: March 28, 2023

Begin to demystify philanthropic funding by understanding the who, what, where, how, and why of their funding process and expectations. Representatives from the ASU Foundation will provide clear and effective best practices for navigating the process of identifying and working with philanthropic sponsors.

Participants will learn effective strategies to identify and approach private philanthropic organizations, how to effectively navigate interpersonal relationships, and improve understanding of, and assimilate, ASU policy for application to private foundations. At the end of the session, participants will be able to identify prospective private philanthropic organizations in alignment with their funding needs, discuss the role of interpersonal relationships in private philanthropic grantmaking, and understand the role of the ASU Foundation in outreach to private philanthropic organizations.

Workshop Date: April 11, 2023

Working with the Department of Defense can be incredibly rewarding – but how does one get started? Please join the Global Security Initiative for an informative webinar on how to align your research with DoD priorities, make “first contact” with a program manager, write a winning proposal, and of course, how to manage a big program once you win. We’ll discuss the different facets of the DoD - “who’s who in the zoo” – and how to create a strategy to advance your research interests within the DoD’s mission space. Bring your questions for Q&A after the presentation!
Workshop Date: April 25, 2023