The Final Project intervention which I have identified is about intervention in health issues of Native American community. The success of this project require heavy financial investment and I do not have sufficient funds to implement on my own. I have been looking for external funding from public and private organizations. To date, I have identified two sources of funding. One of them is First Nations Development Institute (FNDI) while the other is the National Institute for Health (NIH). FNDI is RFP while the National Institute for Health is FOA.
The NIH is American public research agency involved with medical research. In the past, its research discoveries have been used to save lives and improve health of the people. The organization is a department in the US Department of Health and Human Services (NIH, 2016). NIH, through the Department of Health and Human Services is offering a funding opportunity for projects aimed at providing intervention measures such as disease prevention and health promotions among the Native Americans (NIH, 2014). On the other hand, FNDI is an organization whose mission is to support health among Native American communities. Their support comes in form of financial grants, advocacy and policy, and training and technical assistance. Among their five key areas of focus, they offer grants in areas such as health and nourishing native foods (FNDI, 2016).
My Final Project has to do with health issues among the Native American community particularly young children from poor families and old members of the community who might require nutritional support. The two institutions, NIH and FNDI, offer funding for health related projects. They are therefore appropriate for the intervention measures I selected for my project. Having knowledge of the funding organizations is not enough. These organizations are likely to be receiving many applications and the quality of an application plays a key role in securing funding. Being a first time applicant, I am not conversant with application of grants. Scheming through websites of some organizations, I realized that there are activities which applicants need to know such as reviewing of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), determination of the eligibility and submission dates, completion of the required forms and registrations, and development and submission of application (CDC, 2015). Guidelines and tips will help me much on how to develop a convincing flaw free application for grant. Jelinski (n.d) pointed out that one of the most important requirement when applying for a grant is to put one self in the reviewer’s frame of mind. He also suggested that an applicant should match the application with the RFP/FOA. After going through some of the application forms, I found out that there are key fundamental issues in project management which I need to be conversant with. These are quality, budget/cost, and time (Newton, 2013). I have little knowledge about budgeting and scheduling of activities using project management software. These are areas I need to invest more time and resources learning about them. Centre for Rural Health (n.d) highlighted many issues regarding the application of funding. For example, they suggested that an applicant for a grant should read the directions carefully, help the financier to get an idea that the funding would benefit many people, and get further assistance from those who have applied and were successful in the past. They also added that an applicant ought to know his/her strengths and weakness, program/project they are applying for, and environments.
Besides understanding what makes a good funding application, I believe it is equally important to know mistakes that can result in a poor quality application. A brief look at common mistakes made by applicants seeking funding from NIH shows that most mistakes revolve around significance of the project, specific aims, approach adopted, applicant’s capability/competency, and environment such as lack of institutional support (NINDS, 2011). These tips are very important because it help me to be aware of what to avoid when making applications. While seeking guidance and tips online is easy, there is a challenge meeting and event getting contacts of those who have applied and succeeded in the past. There is also a likelihood that those who have been successful in the past may not be willing to share what they know because they would think that I am giving them competition. The solutions might be to meet the funding agency’s representatives who usually participate in reviewing of proposals.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). Key Pre-Award Activities for Applicants. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/grants/interestedinapplying/index.html
Centre for Rural Health. (n.d). Center for Rural Health: Grant Writing Tips. Retrieved from: https://ruralhealth.und.edu/projects/flex/pdf/grantwriting_tips.pdf
First Nation Development Institute (FNDI). (2016). about us: Our Mission. Retrieved from: http://www.firstnations.org/about
Jelinski, L.W. (n.d). Fundamentals of Grant Writing Seminar: How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal. Retrieved from: http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/documents/filelibrary/for_researchers/how_to_write_a_winning_grant/fundamentals_of_grant_writing_semin_b21f0abc42e54.pdf
National Institute of Health (NIH). (2016). NIH at a Glance. Retrieved from: http://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are
National Institute of Health (NIH). (2014). Grants and Funding: Interventions for Health Promotion and Disease prevention in Native American Populations. Retrieved from: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-260.html
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and stroke (NINDS). (2011). Common Mistakes in NIH Applications. Retrieved from: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/grantwriting_mistakes.htm
Newton, R. (2013). The Project Manager: Mastering the art of delivery. London: Prentice Hall.