Grant Writing @ CUNY

At FFPP’s April 12th Professional Development Day, John Tsapogas from the Research Foundation led a workshop on STEM grant writing at CUNY. While we asked John to gear his presentation toward investigators in STEM fields, he offered valuable advice for all CUNY faculty, including in the humanities and social sciences. We encourage all Fellows to make use of the list of TIPS FOR WRITING COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS below. For the full grant writing presentation, see Grant Writing @ CUNY.  All Fellows engaged in quantitative research should familiarize themselves with the CUNY Graduate Center Quantitative Research Consulting Center.

 

TIPS FOR WRITING COMPETITIVE PROPOSALS

–Sponsors want to know the size and scope of intellectual payoff

–Proposal should use plain, simple English-avoid technical language as much as possible

–This is not a journal article presenting research results it is a proposal to conduct research

–Identify what you will study (research questions, theories, hypotheses, methods), your research plan, your team, and your budget, your project evaluation

–Do not include more information than requested in the announcement

–Use tables, figures, and flow charts to save words if you need more space

–Adhere to all formatting rules (page limitations, font sizes, style of biosketches of key personnel, bibliography) and make it visually appealing and easy on reviewers

–Include sufficient budget justification, current and pending support, institutional facilities and equipment to be used in the research, a data management plan, and postdoctoral mentoring plan, IRB, and letters of commitment if needed

–Get your proposals peer reviewed by RF APPS prior to submission. If heavily data oriented use the CUNY Graduate Center Quantitative Research Consulting Center

on academic publishing

In our conversations about academic publishing at our Professional Development Day on April 12, we received some great advice from the book and journal editors who came as our special guests.  Much of their advice is included in your FFPP Tool Kit.

We also received news of the current call for papers from WSQ, and several opportunities to publish with the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.

And the CFP database hosted by the Department of English at University of Pennsylvania lists a broad range of journal publishing opportunities.

This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education by Steven Pinker, Why Academic writing stinks is available here.

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year, everyone!  Since January is a month when we can energize our commitment to our research and writing goals, its worthwhile to think about how we can chart a course toward success.

 

Former FFPP Mentor Carrie Hintz has offered some timeless advice in her post “On Distraction and Tomatoes,” that is worth revisiting.  She describes the Pomodoro Method that offers three important tips that can help you stay on track with your goals:

 

  • Conceiving of your writing as taking place in small increments of time [25 minutes] rather than enormous, unbroken blocks of time–and progress is absolutely possible within those smaller blocks.
  • Resisting distractions from those 25 minute blocks of time–especially the urge to check email or the news. Often this resistance to distraction takes place 15 or 20 minutes into the writing session, where I can tell myself “only 5 or 10 minutes to go,” so no interruptions allowed.
  • Taking regular breaks, which clears the mind and feels healthier physically and mentally.

It seems so simple, right?  Achieving your goals requires that we establish a plan for our work despite all of the other demands of our personal and professional lives.  Here are a few more tips:

  • Be realistic.  Set goals you can achieve.
  • Make a plan that includes how you can be accountable for your goals–this might include scheduling an hour a day into your calendar, practicing positive self-talk, and trusting your working group peers for encouragement.
  • Tell people about your goals so you can build a community of support.
  • Make note of your small successes.  Every step counts toward your larger goal–be sure to acknowledge every little milestone of your journey.
  • Take it one day at a time.  When you experience a setback don’t beat yourself up.  Get back to your plan and keep moving.

You are part of an amazing community of scholars.  You have already achieved so much–don’t forget you earned a tenure track job in an incredibly competitive market.  Yay you!  You have everything you need to achieve your goals, so go ahead and get to work.  You got this.

 

 

 

Happy New Year! Now, Let’s Get Some Work Done

As a new semester begins, I often feel myself renewed, eager, and sometimes nervous, about getting work done.  For me, that “work” is writing–writing a new article, book chapter, or revising something that I believe deserves an audience.  In the spirit of our community of scholars, I’ve got some tips and announcements that might help you execute your plans and alleviate your fears.

If you are writing your first book, please attend the talk, “From Dissertation to First Book:  A Practical Guide” that will take place at the Graduate Center on February 6, at 6:30PM , by Ken Wissoker, Editorial Director,Duke University Press and Director, Intellectuals Publics (CUNY).  Some of you might remember he spoke to our community during one of our Publishing Workshops–Ken is an awesome speaker whose humor and practical advice continues to inspire me as I continue my writing projects.

This article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, “The Habits of Highly Productive Writers”  offers some useful gems and reminders.  Former FFPP Mentor Carrie Hintz’s advice on distractions and carving out time to write really makes sense for those of us who feel like the demands of  teaching and everyday life diminish our productivity.  Her discussion of  “the pomodoro” method is a welcome solution, especially when we are trying to write while we teach.  And, Vilna Bashi-Treitler’s suggestion that we should all form a “No Committee” is a novel way to navigate the extra work of department and college service demands.

My earlier post about online citation tools can help you find the right technology to organize your notes, create works cited lists, and bibliographies.  Using Zotero, for example, has made my ability to collect articles, organize my notes, and integrate citations into my original texts so much easier.

Of course, the work gets done when we commit to doing the work.  This commitment requires that we organize our goals, establish priorities, and schedule regular, inviolable times to write–those times could be 30 minutes a day or 2 hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  The important thing is to keep at it.

Cheers to your productive 2018!

Shelly Eversley

 

 

 

Fellowship Application Tips

Now is the time of year when fellowship application deadlines are fast approaching.  Since you have already completed the FFPP, here is a short list of opportunities and advice that can support your continued research and writing:

Your scholarly production is absolutely essential to CUNY’s mission of access, equity, and opportunity–we wish you all the best!

On Writing a Book Proposal

On Writing a Book Proposal

After our recent Professional Development sessions, we thought it would be great to follow up with some additional advice on writing a book proposal.  This interview with University of Illinois Press’ Dawn Durante on her best practices for book proposals and the scholarly publishing process, is another excellent resource.

As you know, Ilene Kalish (NYU Press) and Kimbery Guinta (Rutgers UP) shared some useful advice that you can use,  and former FFPP Fellow Keridian Chez generously shared her successful book proposal in this year’s Tool Kit.

We learned that its crucial to remember that your book project is different from your dissertation; that its important to showcase your clear articulation of project’s argument as it organizes the chapters in your book.  Your proposal should also include a discussion of your anticipated audience, recent and groundbreaking books that it engages, a table of contents (sometimes with BRIEF descriptions of each chapter’s argument), your estimation of the book’s length (80-100K words), and sample chapters.

Kim Guinta from Rutgers reminded us that sometimes a proposal gets rejected because the project is not a good fit for a particular press.  She advised that if you are unsure which presses might be a good fit for your manuscript, you should peruse the titles on your book shelf–whose is publishing the books you engage in your research?

One obvious and important point the editors reminded us is that you should take care to personalize your proposal and your query:  Be sure to include specifics from the press you correspond with.  If you are writing NYU Press, for instance, include references to titles published by NYU.  Explain for instance, why is NYU a good fit for your project.  And, if you chose to send multiple queries at the same time, it is ethical to disclose this detail in all of your correspondences.

Online Bibliography and Citation Tools

Online Bibliography and Citation Tools

There are some really great digital tools that can help you organize sources and assemble bibliography and works cited lists in the most common research formats.  These tools are easy to use, (mostly) free, and they save so much time:

Zotero is your personal research assistant.  It is a free browser based plug-in that allows you to collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.  And it stores anything–PDFs, images, audio, articles, and websites–all in your personal “library.”  Don’t let the term “plug-in” scare you.  Once you download the tool, it lives in your browser, freeing up valuable time to focus on writing.  Zotero allows you to create footnotes, end notes, in-text citations, and bibliographies in every academic format.

Docear is a open source reference manager that offers PDF metadata retrieval, free online back up, and a monitoring function for new files (images, PDFs, etc.).  It also has an MS word add-0n.  You have full control over your data, and there is no registration requirement.

Bib Me is a fully automatic bibliography maker that auto-fills.  It provides an easy way to build a works cited page in MLA, APA, and Chicago formats.  A professional account allows you to save every bibliography.

Cite This For Me allow you to automatically create website citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard formats.  It also comes with a Google Chrome extension.