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Contributed by Maria Russell on 08/01/2014
Mike Haaf (Chemistry) gave a talk entitled “A Grant Proposal Writing Exercise for Undergraduate Science Courses” at the 2014 International Conference on Chemistry Education (ICCE), held in Toronto this July. The talk was based in part on a recent publication in the Journal for Chemical Education, co-authored by Kathryn Cole (Chemistry), Mike Haaf (Chemistry), Andy Smith (Biology) and Maki Inada (Biology).
Writing is an essential part of a successful career in science. As such, many undergraduate science courses have begun to implement writing assignments that reflect “real-world” applications and focus on a critical analysis of current literature; these assignments are often in the form of a review or a research proposal. The semester-long project described herein is a unique marriage of these two ideas: students first select a topic and conduct a literature review, and then choose an area of that same topic to investigate further in a peer-reviewed grant proposal. A modified version of this project, which incorporates peer-reviewed oral presentations, is also discussed. This project is designed for an upper-level undergraduate course, typically having 15–20 students, and the approach (or parts of the approach) has been successfully incorporated in an advanced organic chemistry course, a biochemistry capstone course, and courses in endocrinology, as well as ecophysiology.
J. Chem. Educ., 2013, 90 (10), pp 1316–1319