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Grants writer -Reply William Campbell 03 Dec 1998 09:55 EST

Theresa, I think you should look for three major qualifications:

--Ability to work collaboratively  with faculty/staff at Radford.  This
probably means a well-controlled ego; the writer must be able to  submerge
his/her own ego and defer, at least some of the time, to others.  Previous
faculty experience, at Radford or elsewhere, might help.  (But can also lead to
other problems; former faculty sometimes prefer to think that they are present
faculty, not staff.)

--Ability to write sound, coherent, persuasive proposals, using the ideas and
data of others.

--Ability to meet deadlines.  Some good writers can't do this--fatal, of
course, in the grants business.

These abilities are hard to assess by looking at credentials.  I suggest you
request samples of proposals, speak to former/current co-workers, and impose a
6 or 12 month trial period.

I think you'll attract two sorts of candidates: writers who can adapt to higher
education projects and educators who can write.  Your faculty are more likely
to accept educators, I suspect.  If the proposals this person will write are
research proposals or highly discipline-specific, that's an important
criterion.  If, on the other hand, they are institution-wide (TRIO or Title
III, for instance), it's not so important.

Good luck!

Bill Campbell
Director, Grants & Research
University of Wisconsin-River Falls