Saint Louis University

What is GDO?

To do a project you love, you may have to do one you dread: Finding the necessary funds.
The Grants Development Office is a new way SLU aims to ease that burden, enabling more research, instruction, and community service.

What we do (and don't do)

In short, we are specialists offering FREE consultations on grant preparation and research/statistical methods. We don't design or write entire proposals, but are ready to offer feedback on your concept or draft before it is submitted for a funding decision.

Our services are just an email away. However, to save everyone time, we request that before contacting us to discuss your project, you explore the chart below. It better details our vision of the grant application process, our role in it, and how we can work together for maximum impact.

Click on your stage of the grant process to see what we can offer.

I need
a project
idea.

>

I have
an idea,
but need
a funder.

>

I have a
potential funder, but wonder what they want to see in my proposal.

>

I have
a proposal,
but want
to make
it better.

>

I'm ready
to submit
my proposal.

 Although we would prefer to start this chart with a more helpful response, GDO can't help you here.
We aim to refine your concept, not generate it.  A review of literature in your field, conversations with colleagues, attending a symposium or serving as a peer reviewer might stimulate a project.

  We would ask that before contacting GDO, you explore SLU's other resources to help you find a funder. Most can be quickly accessed through links on this page.
 
Contacting the Research Division representative for your department or school is the recommended way to start a funding search and learn about SLU's requirements for your application.
 
The Office of Research and Development Services (ORDS) also has a Find Funding page explaining SLU's Research Network, the monthly "Funding Bla$t" summary of current funding opportunities, and training on grant databases such as the Foundation Center Directory, grants.gov and Proposal Central.
   
For medical and scientific research in particular, ORDS has also assembled a National Institute of Health resource page and a National Science Foundation resource page. Each has links to the agency's official funding search page.
 
These collections are quite thorough, but if they don't meet your needs, GDO staff may be aware of other programs or have recommendations relevant to your search.

  GDO would like to enter the picture almost as soon as you reach this stage. However, to prevent misunderstandings and wasted effort, we ask that you read funder instructions before requesting a full GDO consultation. If you don't have the instructions for your program, our Resources page may be able to point you in the right direction.
 
Once you understand the funder's priorities, our specialists in design, measurement, statistics and the language of grants can help you develop a strategy to respond to them. Here are a few examples of how GDO may assist you:
 
 •  Performing statistical power analyses to select the optimal sample size for your hypotheses;
 •  Suggesting a design or analysis that enhances your ability to answer your research questions;
 •  Editing and restructuring your application to maximize logic, flow, and readability;
 •  Tipping you off to additional measurements that enhance your arguments;
 •  Clarifying your specific aims;
 •  Suggesting partners who could fill gaps in required services or expertise;
 •  "Reading between the lines" of funder instructions to put your proposal in the best light.
 
We urge you to be proactive and deliberate in preparing your proposal, avoiding a frenzy right before a deadline. GDO reserves the right to focus on other projects if we are not contacted at least three weeks before your proposal is due.
 
While GDO focuses on maximizing competitiveness in terms of funder requirements, SLU has requirements, too. Therefore, you should also make early contact with the Research Division representative for your department or school to ensure that you comply with SLU policies in areas such as human subjects research, animal use, conflict of interest, export controls, and biosafety.

 The Division of Research Administration created GDO for this stage.  Time constraints had forced a focus on ensuring that proposals were merely compliant.  By adding GDO, we aim to make them more competitive.
 
We suspect our impact will be greater if a discussion begins as soon as you identify your target program (see previous stage). However, we also aim to improve more fully developed concepts, drafts, or previously denied proposals. Our specialists in research design, measurement, statistics and the language and strategy of grantsmanship can help in a variety of ways, including:
 
 •  Performing statistical power analyses to select the optimal sample size for your hypotheses;
 •  Suggesting a design or analysis that enhances your ability to answer your research questions;
 •  Editing and restructuring your application to maximize logic, flow, and readability;
 •  Alerting you to additional measurements that enhance your arguments;
 •  Suggesting partners who could fill gaps in required services or expertise;
 •  "Reading between the lines" of instructions or reviewer comments to best position you for an award;
 •  Catching logic, grammar, math or formatting errors before they go to proposal reviewers;
 •  Tightening your narrative to stay within funder page/word requirements;
 •  Expanding your narrative to better address the funder's criteria;
 •  Designing or polishing charts or graphics to illustrate a point.
 
The above list is not exhaustive, and if your need calls for expertise our core staff lacks, we will attempt to find a partner with the appropriate knowledge.
 
No matter how complete you think your proposal is, you will be better served to contact us early. We reserve the right to work on other projects if not contacted at least three weeks before your proposal is due.
 
You should also contact the Research Division representative for your department or school early to ensure that you comply with SLU policies in areas such as human subjects research, animal use, conflict of interest, export controls, and biosafety.

  Your Research Division representative should be contacted early in the grant process to make sure you get to this stage. Depending on your project, it may be submitted to the funder by the Research Division, your department or you. Should your project be funded, the Research Division will also help you administer it.
 
GDO doesn't have a role here other than to hope any input we provide pays off, and to wish you good luck.

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