Research That Matters (January 17 - 20, 2008)

Sunday, January 20, 2008: 8:45 AM-10:15 AM
Blue Prefunction (Omni Shoreham)
[OTH] Making Time for Dissertation Grant Submissions: a Review of Strategies for Doctoral Students and Educators
Speakers/Presenters:Leslie Hasche, MSW, Washington University in Saint Louis
Brian Perron, PhD, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Enola Proctor, PhD, Washington University in Saint Louis
Abstract Text:
Grant writing is a necessary skill for becoming an independent researcher. Competition for research funding is increasing, which underscores the importance of acquiring knowledge and experience with grants early in one's career. Successful dissertation grants can also provide important financial resources to doctoral students that will augment their education with contacts to external consultants, protected time to complete dissertation work, and funding for more extensive data collection or data analysis. Students can still reap many benefits by preparing and submitting a grant, even if their grants are not funded. Specifically, they provide an opportunity for developing skills and experiences that are important to potential employers and provide a basis for future work. The years of doctoral training are rigorous, time limited, and replete with competing demands. Thus, it is important to know how and where dissertation grant opportunities can fit in the process. Social work dissertation grants are a relatively new phenomenon, with recent successes being somewhat confined to a handful of institutions and funding sources. Traditionally, other SSWR workshops and panels familiarize doctoral students with funding opportunities and the survival of doctoral education. Thus, this workshop that describes logistics and strategies for pursuing dissertation grants, is a needed addition. In order to help build the capacity of social work research among junior investigators, this workshop provides an overview on dissertation grants for both doctoral students and social work faculty members. This workshop includes a panel of three researchers: a doctoral candidate with a current dissertation grant sponsoring her data collection, an assistant professor that was supported by a dissertation grant to conduct secondary data analysis, and a senior researcher with extensive experience mentoring doctoral students. Panelists will provide a structured discussion on the following topics: 1) Overview of grant mechanisms for doctoral students, including grants administered by governmental offices and private foundations. This overview will also include opportunities for international students and students with disabilities. Panelists will highlight means for identifying grant mechanisms that match the doctoral student's planned work substantively and methodologically (i.e., secondary data analysis vs. primary data collection). 2) Strategies for preparing a grant, with a focus on developing a timeline, balancing the time line with program milestones, and involving key individuals to support the grant. Working with one's dissertation committee to meet program milestones amongst the uncertainty of award notification, resubmission, and rejection will be discussed. 3) Building an infrastructure to support doctoral students. Aspects of an infrastructure include structured peer review with faculty and other doctoral students, institutionalizing knowledge and experience that is transferred across doctoral cohorts, and educating students early in their doctoral education. During this ninety-minute session, panelists will discuss their unique experiences and strategies regarding the three topics listed above. They will offer suggestions that are relevant to both doctoral students and social work faculty. Panelists will dedicate time for audience questions and discussion.

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