Initial Publication Date: May 14, 2021

2021 C3X Workshop on Internal & External Funding

Thursday May 27 and June 10

8-9:30 Hawaii / 11-12:30 Pacific / 12-1:30 Mountain / 1-2:30 Central / 2-3:30 Eastern

Conveners: Eric Baer, Laura Guertin, Heather Macdonald


  • Provide examples and insights about successful proposals
  • Learn about a variety of funding resources available to 2YC STEM faculty
  • Exchange ideas of projects or work that would be enhanced by additional external or internal support
  • Hone ideas with the input and support of other participants
  • Provide resources to support you in preparing a proposal for funding


Pre-Workshop Assignment:

Read/scan the summaries of each of the following successful grant proposals to get a sense of the focus of each and fill out the survey by Monday May 24th. This will be used to select breakout rooms based on your interest in specific proposal(s). Note that this list also includes links to a few project narratives/full proposals.

Day 1 - May 27 8-9:30 Hawaii / 11-12:30 Pacific / 12-1:30 Mountain / 1-2:30 Central / 2-3:30 Eastern

Recording of first session: [file 442047]

Pre-Day 2 Assignment:

  1. Scan a proposal narrative/description from either the [file 439082 'Student Produced Audio Narratives (SPAN) project (Acrobat (PDF) 1009kB May20 21) OR the GETSI - GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues project. Think about one or two or more elements that made this a successful proposal.
  2. If you are interested in getting some feedback about your ideas in the crafting your ideas breakout session, briefly describe what you would like to do if you had funding support. This could be a few sentences, bullet points, or a short paragraph. Include the goal(s), the need that you are addressing.  Laura and Heather would like to see those ahead of time to help guide us in the breakout session, so please send as a file or link to a google doc to Heather by Wednesday at 5 eastern time if possible.

Day 2 - June 10 - 8-9:30 Hawaii / 11-12:30 Pacific / 12-1:30 Mountain / 1-2:30 Central / 2-3:30 Eastern

Successful proposals and sharing your ideas 

  • Elements of successful proposals and tips on writing proposals
  • Two sessions of break-outs (anticipate ~20-minute breakouts). Specific topics will be determined by participant selection. Possibilities include:
    • Crafting your ideas and framing them into a possible proposal  (either starting with the kernel of an idea or building from a current program into a new direction or something in between)  (Laura Guertin & Heather Macdonald)
    • NSF nuts and bolts Q&A - Fastlane/, supporting literature/lit review, finding the right program (Eric Baer)
    • Budgets - What are you going to spend your money on? (Deron Carter)
    • Sustainability (Becca Walker)
    • Evaluation (Kristin O'Connell, Education/Evaluation Specialist at SERC)
  • Report back and Questions


NSF resources:

  • The National Science Foundation Website is the starting point that provides a wide variety of resources including solicitations and the Grant Proposal Guide.
  • At NSF Award Search you can read abstracts and other information about proposals that have received funding. This is also a good way to find someone who has received funding to see if they would be willing to share their proposal.
  • On the Cutting Edge has resources that can help you get started including Funding Your Research which has information on funding sources, grant writing, and other useful tips, including some from Steve Semkens specifically for 2-year college faculty and a collection of proposals that several PIs have volunteered to have (usually without the budget) included on the Cutting Edge website (be aware that some are from quite a few years ago).
  • MentorLinks is part of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program. It provides technical assistance and networking opportunities to improve community college programs that prepare technicians in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The website and newsletter offer summaries and contact information from nine institutions with ATE funding that are willing to mentor and help others.
  • You can request an NSF project director to come to your campus to do a funding opportunities and proposal writing workshop.
  • Finally, "Contact your program director" is one of the most repeated pieces of advice given by NSF program officers.

Here are several resources specific to the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, the single largest funder of 2YCs at NSF. The ATE program "focuses on the education of technicians for high-technology fields."

  • EvaluATE is a website and center that can support folks looking for ATE funding in "all things evaluation"
  • Teaching Technicians has a wide variety of resources for ATE PIs - both before submission and after funding.
  • ATE Central is an online portal and collection of materials and services that highlight the work of NSF ATE projects and centers.