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它山之石,可以攻玉 ——国外自然科学基金的撰写及借鉴 精选

已有 6811 次阅读 2014-2-4 12:19 |个人分类:科研|系统分类:科研笔记| 自然科学基金, 国外, 借鉴

它山之石,可以攻玉

——国外自然科学基金的撰写及借鉴

2014的国家自然科学基金申请季又来了,把春节过完,估计又到了青椒们和小牛们开始忙活的时候了。

自从到加拿大做博士后以来,在科研方面补充了很多的新鲜的血液,比如先进实验室的管理方式、新的科研思路、创新的合作研究关系等等。但是,收获最大的应该是了解和学习了一些项目申请写作和项目思路方面的知识。因为老板在加拿大是机械及车辆动力学领域的专家(加拿大国家讲席教授,Canada Research Chair),在这期间,跟着老板看了很多别人的项目申请书,并且在实验室项目讨论的时候,在了解项目思路的同时,也根据自己的申请经历给正在申请项目的同事们提出了一些建议,这些科研和学习经历对于一名青椒来说受益匪浅。

看过一些国外的项目申请书之后就会发现,其实,不管是哪个国家的项目申请书,都有一个共同点:要通过有限的文字和材料说服基金委员会或者企业,让他们相信你在这个领域有了一些创新的想法,已经具备了实现这些想法的能力和基础,并且你就是完成这个项目最理想的人选。但是,这句话说起来简单,具体做起来就需要漫长而且细心地组织及撰写项目申请书,而且在完成项目申请书的过程中又需要很多技巧和经验,这些技巧和经验也许要通过一次一次地项目实践才能获得。为了方便国外年轻学者尽快地掌握项目申请的技巧,很多大学撰写了一些申请手册,上面的相关内容也许对我们国内的学者也会有一些借鉴,我找了一些申请书撰写相关资料,希望它山之石,可以攻玉,与大家共勉。

 

How to write a research proposal

Whatis a proposal?

A proposal is a request for support ofsponsored research, instruction, or extension projects. Good proposals quicklyand easily answer the following questions:

      What do you want to do,how much will it cost, and how much time will it take?

      How does the proposedproject relate to the sponsor's interests?

      What difference will theproject make to: your university, your students, your discipline, the state,the nation, the world, or whatever the appropriate categories are?

      What has already beendone in the area of your project?

      How do you plan to doit?

      How will the results beevaluated?

      Why should you, ratherthan someone else, do this project?

These questions will be answered indifferent ways and receive different emphases depending on the nature of theproposed project and on the agency to which the proposal is being submitted.Most agencies provide detailed instructions or guidelines concerning thepreparation of proposals (and, in some cases, forms on which proposals are tobe typed); obviously, such guidelines should be studied carefully before youbegin writing the draft.

Partsof a proposal

Proposals for sponsored activitiesgenerally follow a similar format, although there are variations depending uponwhether the proposer is seeking support for a research grant, a training grant,or a conference or curriculum development project. The following outline coversthe primary components of a research proposal. Your proposal will be avariation on this basic theme.

1.Title Page: Mostsponsoring agencies specify the format for the title page, and some providespecial forms to summarize basic administrative and fiscal data for theproject. Titles should be comprehensive enough to indicate the nature of theproposed work, but also be brief.

2.Abstract: Thefunder may use the abstract to make preliminary decisions about the proposal.An effective summary states the problem addressed by the applicant, identifiesthe solution, and specifies the objectives and methods of the project. Thissummary should also outline funding requirements and describe the applicant’sexpertise.

3.Table of Contents: Very brief proposals with few sections ordinarily do not need atable of contents; the guiding consideration in this is the reader'sconvenience. Long and detailed proposals may require, in addition to a table ofcontents, a list of illustrations (or figures) and a list of tables. If all ofthese are included, they should follow the order mentioned, and each should benumbered with lower-case Roman numerals. The table of contents should list allmajor parts and divisions (including the abstract, even though it precedes thetable of contents).

4.Introduction (including Statement ofProblem, Purpose of Research, and Significance of Research): The introduction of a proposal should begin with a capsule statementof what is being proposed and then should proceed to introduce the subject to astranger. It should give enough background to enable an informed layman toplace your particular research problem in a context of common knowledge andshould show how its solution will advance the field or be important for someother work. The statement describes the significance of the problem(s),referring to appropriate studies or statistics.

5.Background (including Literature Survey): Be sure to (1) make clear what the research problem is and exactlywhat has been accomplished; (2) to give evidence of your own competence in thefield; and (3) to show why the previous work needs to be continued. Theliterature review should be selective and critical. Discussions of work done byothers should therefore lead the reader to a clear impression of how you willbe building upon what has already been done and how your work differs fromtheirs.

6.Description of Proposed Research (includingMethod or Approach): The comprehensive explanationof the proposed research is addressed not to laymen but to other specialists inyour field. This section is the heart of the proposal and is the primaryconcern of the technical reviewers. Remember as you lay out the research designto (1) be realistic about what can be accomplished. (2) be explicit about anyassumptions or hypotheses the research method rests upon. (3) be clear aboutthe focus of the research. (4) be as detailed as possible about the schedule ofthe proposed work. (5) Be specific about the means of evaluating the data orthe conclusions. (6) be certain that the connection between the researchobjectives and the research method is evident. (7) spell out preliminary workdeveloping an analytical method or laying groundwork as Phase 1. At the end ofthat phase you will be able to report that you have accomplished something andare ready to undertake Phase 2.

7.Description of Relevant InstitutionalResources: In general this section details theresources available to the proposed project and, if possible, shows why thesponsor should select this University and this investigator for this particularresearch. Some relevant points may be the institution's demonstrated competencein the pertinent research area, its abundance of experts in related areas thatmay indirectly benefit the project, its supportive services that will directlybenefit the project, and its unique or unusual research facilities orinstruments available to the project.

8.List of References: The style of the bibliographical item itself depends on thedisciplinary field. The main consideration is consistency; whatever style ischosen should be followed scrupulously throughout.

9.Personnel: Thissection usually consists of two parts: an explanation of the proposed personnelarrangements and the biographical data sheets for each of the main contributorsto the project. The explanation should specify how many persons at whatpercentage of time and in what academic categories will be participating in theproject. If the program is complex and involves people from other departmentsor colleges, the organization of the staff and the lines of responsibilityshould be made clear. Any student participation, paid or unpaid, should bementioned, and the nature of the proposed contribution detailed. If any personsmust be hired for the project, say so, and explain why, unless the need forpersons not already available within the University is self-evident.

10.Budget: Sponsorscustomarily specify how budgets should be presented and what costs areallowable. The budget delineates the costs to be met by the funding source,including personnel, non-personnel, administrative, and overhead expenses. Thebudget also specifies items paid for by other funding sources.

Writing/presentationstyle:

1.Verifythat the title, the abstract and the content of your proposal clearlycorrespond to each other!

2.Maintaina clear structure, an intuitive navigational style throughout the document withheadings and summaries, enabling the reader to quickly reference where they arefor future commenting; (Have a reader skim your document to verify)

3.Summarizesignificant issues and make no assumptions where possible.

4.Keepa reasonable, clear, declarative writing style (active verbs!) throughout thedocument;

5.Breakupthe narrative with bulleted lists, visuals, etc. demonstrating a command ofabstract concepts and relationships, Use white space to highlight and emphasizeimportant sections

6.Makesure your proposal does not contain any grammatical/spelling mistakes or typos;engage a proofreader;

7.Requestan experienced academic to proofread your proposal in order to ensure theproposal conforms to institutional and international academic standards. Partiallyadapted with permission from

参考资料:

Olk, Dr. Harald. (October 2009). How toWrite a Research Proposal. In Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Dienst(DAAD). Retrieved January 28, 2011

University ofIllinois Graduate College’Conducts proposal writing workshops,offers one-on-one reviews and critiques, and provides guidance in all areas ofstudy.

Center forWriting StudiesOffers proposal writing tips as well as general writing assistancein all disciplines and at all stages of the writing process.

Guidelines on Writing a ResearchProposal’Matthew McGranaghan, University of Hawai'i

The Art of Writing Proposals’AdamPrzeworski and Frank Salomon, Social Science Research Council

Dissertation Proposal Workshop(Online)’Institute of International Studies, University ofCalifornia, Berkeley




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