A Cross-Section of participants at the AMREC In-house Workshop, held at the PR Boardroom
The Agricultural Media Resources and Extension Centre (AMREC) of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, recently organized an In-house Workshop on Writing Money-Grant Proposals for Development Projects.
The Workshop, organized by the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation/Information and Communication Technology Programme arm of the Centre, was with the sole aim of equipping researchers on the rudiments of writing grant-winning proposals.
Delivering his lecture, titled Development Writing: Important Issues for Consideration, Dr. Adebayo Shittu of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, noted that taking cognizance of Concept Notes in proposal writing was the first and most crucial step to take in winning Competitive Research Grants (CRGs).
According to him, “the Concept Note is a short version of a project proposal that is developed with a view to communicating the main ideas of a project, including the objectives, methodology, expected outcomes, time frame and the project execution team”.
Dr. Shittu pointed out that for a Concept Note to successfully scale through, researchers must avoid over-whelming their readers with too much details, take into consideration the peculiarities of the audience as well as making good use of language. He also cautioned that information on budgets should only be provided on request.
Speaking on the theme, Tips on Writing Research and Development Project Proposals, Dr. (Mrs.) O. Irekhore, pointed out that proposal writing is the next stage after providing the Concept Note. She stressed that for a proposal to stand out and catch the interest of the reviewer, it must be coherent, clear, compelling and possess the ability to state its importance. She highlighted the ‘A-E Points’ in proposal writing to include; having the elements of accuracy, brevity, clarity, details and effective grammar usage.
She stated that a good proposal must be able to answer questions like ‘what it plans to accomplish or achieve (goals and objectives), ‘why it is important to carry out the research’, and ‘how the research is to be accomplished (Research strategy)’.
Dr. Irekhore stressed that proposal writing required perseverance, commitment, passion, determination, doggedness and therefore counseled that researchers should never get discouraged, as only one in four proposals get funded.
Dr. (Mrs.) Grace Sokoya, in her lecture, Grant-seeking Tips and Experience in Grant Management, explained that an important consideration to take in winning research funding is to abide by the institution’s mandate areas, as it helps convince donors of its sustainability.
According to her, “funding depends not only on the quality of the proposal, but also on the funder’s knowledge and understanding of the track record and mandate of the prospective grantee (individual or institution), as well as the ability to successfully implement the proposed project”.
Earlier in his keynote address, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, commended the initiative by AMREC in organizing the workshop.
The Vice-Chancellor noted that the workshop would “serve as a means of acquiring skills for the development and enhancement of the extension personnel’s abilities towards achieving measurable and sustainable results in extension service delivery”.
The Director of AMREC, Professor Carolyn Afolami, pointed out that the workshop would among others, address the problems militating against the country’s economy, occasioned by shortage of skilled manpower and weak institutional environment in ensuring proper utilization of existing capacities and training facilities, for national development.
Professor Afolami lauded the University Management’s ingenuity at developing effective capacity building among its workforce while observing that the effort had started yielding positive dividends for the University.