2021 Proposal Writing Retreat – May 17-21

All Clarkson faculty are invited to participate in the third annual week-long Proposal Writing Retreat May 17-21, 2021, hosted by the Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) and Sponsored Research Services (SRS). If you are interested in the retreat, please register and answer a few brief questions here


What is it? The retreat is a week-long workshop that allows you to work without distraction and to obtain advice and feedback from experts and peers on components of your application to a federal or non-federal sponsor. The objective is that participants will have a near-submission-ready application upon completion of the retreat. 

Where is it? This year, we will once again hold the retreat in person in the ERC Innovation Hub (second floor of the Educational Resource Center). The individual meeting rooms will be reserved for the week; and, if possible, we will provide coffee and lunch service. You may also join the retreat remotely via Zoom.

Who is it for? The retreat is for all Clarkson faculty who are preparing a proposal for any federal or non-federal sponsor. During registration, we will ask a few details on your intended proposal to plan the retreat content accordingly. Two relevant NSF programs for early-career faculty are:

  • NSF Early Career Development Program (CAREER, Solicitation  20-525, due July 26, 2021) 
  • NSF Engineering Research Initiation (ERI, Solicitation 21-574, due June 18, 2021). This is a new program for new academic investigators who have yet to receive research funding from Federal Agencies.

What is the daily schedule? Each day there will be a brief morning check in with small writing groups (3-4 members), a lunch-time or afternoon “Ask the Experts” seminar, and a scheduled opportunity to obtain direct feedback on your ideas or draft. 

What are the “Ask the Experts” seminars? The “Ask the Experts” seminars are 1 to 1.5 hour meetings to dive in on topics such as:

  • What makes a compelling application from a reviewer’s perspective? 
  • What are common ‘weaknesses’ in the research plan/approach?
  • What Clarkson resources are available to you for broader impacts?
  • How do you put together a budget and budget narrative?

The speakers are experienced Clarkson researchers and proposal writing experts. The “Ask the Experts” workshops are targeted for early-career faculty who are building their research programs, but all are welcome to join. 

What are the expectations? Participants are asked to come prepared with drafts of all components for their applications “in progress”. We suggest that you dedicate yourself to the full retreat, but understand that you may have other commitments. If you cannot make the full week, please let us know your schedule ahead of time for planning purposes. 

If you have questions on the content or format of the retreat, please contact either Andrea Ferro, Professor, CEE and Assoc. Director for Research, Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE), aferro@clarkson.edu or Trish Lowney, Consultant, Sponsored Research Services (SRS), tlowney@aol.com

If you have any questions on the retreat logistics, please email Dona Eggleston, Administrative Coordinator, SRS, degglest@clarkson.edu

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