Funding Source Memo
You are to locate a funding source (e.g. a foundation, government agency, etc.) that is suitable for your research project, that is, a real source that could fund your research because it funds research similar to yours. To locate a funding source, go to the web site of OGRD (Office of Grants Research and Development at www.ogrd.wsu.edu), click on the Funding link in the left menu. Explore the options under “Quick Click Funding Searches” or “How to Find Funding (which provides you with a list of “Other Funding Links.” You can also explore options available through Grants.gov.
Note: You are not looking to get into OGRD’s database–they will not let you.
If you have trouble, try a “Google” search for grants + your subject area, or e-mail OGRD and ask if they can assist you in finding a suitable database that can be accessed from off-campus.
Note: You are just to look for a viable match; you do not need to find a precise grant being offered (although that makes your work easier). Once you have found a match, research the funding source sufficiently to explain to me in your memo who it is and why it is a good match. Consider, for example, what types of research they have supported in the past, what kind of organization or agency it is, what their philosophy is, and how their operation works.
–In the funding memo, you have options. I am going to allow you to request funds that are not necessarily from an RFP; this simply does not work for all of your projects! The assignment gives you lots of options for how to go about looking for funds. However, for some of your projects, this wouldn’t necessarily be feasible and I am going to allow you to request funds from another source if necessary. Before doing so, I would like you to EMAIL ME about it, explaining your research process into a hypothetical funding source and how/why you haven’t been able to find a source. For instance, if it works with your project, you can request funds from your workplace to do research. Ultimately, this means that your funding memos do not necessarily need to be ‘finding funds’ but can rather be explaining to a specific audience why you need funds for your research project in the first place. This will most likely work for many of your projects since many of you have a specific audience in mind–a company of sorts that is invested in your project because it in some way benefits them. Fewer of you will actually be able to find RFP’s and grants suitable for your projects, and that’s perfectly fine. For instance, last year a student attempted to ask the Navy for funds to research a generator at WSU. While his idea kinda fit with the Navy’s offered grant, he was asking the Navy to fund research that would really only benefit WSU–as well asking them to fund a project that WSU would really need to approve first. The better route here would be to send the appropriate department at WSU a letter requesting funds. Keep in mind that for the purposes of this project, you’re working under the assumptiong that your request for hypothetical funds will be granted. What’s more important is fashioning a well-constructed letter to request funds.
–The letter can be rather brief (1-2 pages), but you just want to make it clear why you need funds, what sorts of funds you would like, and what these funds would be helping to accomplish. Remember to BE SPECIFIC, particularly in terms of what the funds would be helping you accomplish. You are asking for money, so you really need to make sure you can describe what this money will go towards in detail. For instance, the Lesson gives the example of asking for $5,000, and that’s appropriate. However, I once had a student ask for $100,000 just to do research, and that was rather excessive; ultimately, that student couldn’t justify how that money would be appropriated in the memo.
–I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here, but in one of the later Lessons for the final report, the lesson says that the audience for final report (and Proposal) is the same source as your funding source. This isn’t necessarily true, and so I always tell students to ignore that part of the instructions. For instance, if your entire project involves a grant and a proposal to a grant source, then your audience would stay the same for your projects. However, if you’re doing work within your company, or within a specific company, then you will ask THEM for funds and then later send them your proposal and your final report. If you have questions about the audience for your funding memo or your later projects, email me directly and we’ll get it figured out in no time. I put that part in bold because that’s important! It’s better to email me first than write the paper and then have to re-work your ideas.
–There is one other thing I would like to make a bit more explicit. Remember, you are not implementing anything but rather asking for funds to do research. However, remember that your research needs to have a specific purpose–something that I’ve been mentioning in the discussion boards and Written Assignment #1 and #2. Just like any research, you are not simply finding information, but researching toward a specific purpose, toward a specific possible solution, or to test a theory. So, although you don’t need to worry about implementing anything or the logistics of that, you will want to research and consider information about a potential solution that you have in mind. That’s why you also don’t need to tackle the entire huge problem, but rather one aspect of it.
I believe that most of you will have individual questions about this assignment, so please email me directly!