The Importance of Institutional Facts in a Winning Proposal

SHSU Research

For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that I am a broken record when talking about how important our institutional profile is in grant applications. You have undoubtedly heard me speak of the importance of SHSU’s demographics and our geographic location. Although 71% of our students meet the U.S. Dept. of Education definition of “at-risk,” we have been ranked seventh in the U.S. by the Education Trust in closing the gap for African American students. Our counseling center (SAM Center) is ranked in the top 8 in the country by NACADA. Furthermore, our ELITE program was chosen by the Lumina Foundation as a national finalist for its “What Works for Latino Students in Higher Education.”

This matters because we are at the front lines of education. We are helping our students cross the educational barrier and, for most of them, reach a better life than their parents have had by providing them with marketable skills and opportunities. Our state sponsors, as well as NSF, NIH, NIJ, and other federal agencies are looking for institutions like SHSU to help achieve their education mission alongside the basic/applied research project in the grant proposal. Our office always asks if you will be supporting students in the grant because we strive to offer research opportunities to both our undergraduate and graduate students.

So do not forget in your grant proposal to describe that:

We are located in a rural area but within driving distance of the fourth largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Why it matters: your grant can use rural/inner city comparisons, statistics and outreach.

We have a high number of: (a) first-generation students; (b) rural residents; (c) minority students; (d) Pell grant recipients; in fact, with over 50% of our students receiving Pell grants, SHSU is now classified as a Title III school by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Why it matters: all these categories are deemed to be a national priority for educational outreach by federal agencies.

My door is always open if you want to talk. . . .