by H. Gregory
As most of you grant seekers are aware, the deadline to apply for a Leakey Foundation Research Grant in our fall 2017 cycle is July 15th. Because this date falls on a weekend, the deadline will shift to end of day on the 17th.
Our grants department is already receiving plenty of inquiries and quite a few letters of recommendation for our PhD candidate applicants, so I know there is a lot of grant writing going on around the world right now. While you get those proposals submitted, I thought I would share with you a few pointers.
- Yes, something has changed this year. We now have a two page limit for appendices, supplemental attachments, and figures and tables combined. We began strictly enforcing the limit during our spring 2017 cycle. I highly recommend abiding by this limit. There are reviewers who may disregard extra pages if submitted.
- Pay close attention to your budget. As the instructions state, we do not fund things such as equipment, trips to conferences, publishing fees, or salaries for senior project personnel. My advice on the budget is to move items that might be questionable to the budget column of other funding agencies to which you are applying. We do not outright reject budgets that have items we do not fund, but we will exclude those items if need be.
- Please make sure you provide the correct financial contact and your organization’s “legal name” (who the check would be made out to if you are awarded). Errors in this information can and will delay payment, which can be problematic if your project start date is sooner rather than later. Also, please inquire if your institution uses a foundation to administer awards.
- Letters of recommendation are typically late. If you are having a problem getting the letter in on time (for whatever reason), please do not worry. We will accept them for the coming weeks.
- If after submitting you believe you made an error in your proposal and would like to correct it, please contact us. We understand that can happen!
- We rarely grant extensions to the deadline; however, we always consider proposals to be on time if they are in the system when we press “retrieve.” This always occurs the next business day after the deadline, which is Tuesday morning California time…
- Some interesting news about how we will begin ranking proposals this cycle. As you may be aware, our decision making process is a little different from say Wenner-Gren or NSF. We utilize peer reviewers (Thank you reviewers!), but all final decisions are made by our Scientific Executive Committee. Starting this cycle, we will be changing our grading system. This change is in hopes that we can better communicate to our applicants whether a resubmission is advised or if the topic of study is simply not a priority for our foundation. Our purview is somewhat specific, and we would prefer to not waste applicants time if the proposal is simply not fundable by us.
- Just a reminder, Paddy Moore and I do not have any say in who gets funded. We are here to help you and make sure the cycle goes smoothly.
- We have been expanding our grantee engagement program, and we plan on continuing to do so. Currently, grantees are expected to participate in our outreach efforts by submitting content. You may read about these requirements by clicking here. So please keep in mind that if you are awarded, you will be asked to carve out a few hours to help us in our outreach endeavors. This is a great way for us to share with our donors the amazing research we fund. This also gives our younger grantees an opportunity to practice sharing their work with a general audience. This program has been quite a success, and we have some great ideas in store for the future.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish all of you the best of success!