Field of Science

Are we strategic yet?

We're going to apply for a one-year grant from Genome BC's Strategic Opportunities Fund (application due Nov. 3, which, I fear, is next Tuesday). The basic research proposal isn't that daunting (5 pages, plus five more of references, figures, appendices etc.), but it's accompanied by many pages of stuff we don't have much experience with, such as:
  • A Swot analysis (should it be SWOT?): This is a matrix whose four boxes describe the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S W O T, get it?) associated with our proposal. Strengths and weaknesses are 'internal' factors, and Opportunities and Threats are external. I Googled this, and Wikipedia says that these are to be defined in the light of the goal of the work.
  • A GANTT chart (pause while I Google this too): This appears to be a bar chart showing the how the different stages of the proposed work will overlap. Unlike SWOT analyses, this should be Gantt, not GANTT, as this is the name of the person who first popularized such charts, about 100 years ago. Here's one from Wikipedia.
  • Up to three pages of 'Co-Funding Strategy' (plus an Appendix with no page limit): These Genome BC grants require matching funds (see this post). The proposal forms provide a table to list details of the source or sources of this funding, with space under each to explain how the matching funds will directly support the objectives of the project. Oh dear, we're supposed to have a letter from the agency agreeing to our use of their funds to match Genome BC's grant... I think I'd better call Genome BC in the morning.
  • A page of 'strategic outcomes', also explaining why these are of 'strategic importance' to British Columbia: I only recently realized that people distinguish between strategy and tactics, so I asked my colleagues what strategic might mean in this context (Google wasn't much help). Several didn't know any more than me, one recommended looking up the goals of the funding agency (sensible in any case), and one said he thought this just meant explaining the outcomes in the larger context of our long-term research goals.
p.s. Via Wikipedia, here's a LONG thread on the Tufte discussion boards about Gantt charts.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS