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.
Director, Grants & Research
University of Wisconsin-River Falls