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martes, julio 05, 2005

Reading about Grant Readers@ Technology and Learning 

I found an article (Kerney, 2005) that attracted my attention after spending two weeks last month being a reader myself for a federal competition. The Department of Education in the USA has a system in which a panel of 3 readers reads 10 proposals and gives a score according to the guidelines offered in the request for proposals (rfp). What I found imperative was to have a working knowledge of the priorities set by the particular federal program and also to follow the guidelines without departure. Yes, it is not creative writing… and it is amazing how hard it is to witness the difficulty shown in most proposals in following clear and specifically the guidelines.

In the case of my last reading there was importance placed on issues of performance outcome and the evaluation process to ascertain that objective where met. Hence, a very straight forward system of enumerating objectives was required as well as an operationalization (quantification) of what was going to be done, and by whom to meet the objective (leading to a management plan) which was then the basis for evaluation. Straight forward. But no, most proposals were vague, disjointed and the content at times insensitive to the established objectives.

I agree FULLY with the article’s following statement:

"Follow the rules. The grant readers’ main job will be to determine how well you responded to the Request for Proposal. Therefore, ensure that you have responded to the RFP thoroughly and clearly. Make it easy for the grant reader to see that you’ve included all the requested information. To do that, organize your proposal by the subtopics outlined in the RFP. Use the same words and the same numbering system…". (Kerney, 2005; p. 64)

The article focuses on a proposal aiming at the reader and using designing publishing styles suited to easing the reading. I don’t really think that is the priority…. although I did notice that proposals written by professional writers were definitely superior. Superiority in proposals where directly related to the scoring guidelines and adherence to them. So in essence, study the rfp and submit the information required in it and according to the scoring presented in the selection criteria … a no brainer!

Kerney, C. (2005). Inside the mind of a grant reader. Technology and Learning, 25(11), 62-66.

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