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Published on August 21, 2007

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Conducting Advising Research and Constructing a Winning NACADA Grant Proposal:  Conducting Advising Research and Constructing a Winning NACADA Grant Proposal NACADA Research Committee PART 1Advising Research:A Primer:  PART 1 Advising Research: A Primer NACADA Research Committee Starting Research:  Starting Research Why do research on academic advising? 'Hot' topics on your campus Turning topics into research questions Research versus Program Evaluation Developing a Research Project:  Developing a Research Project Identify five topics related to advising on your campus that are currently 'hot' topics. What are you or others most curious about or most concerned about? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Developing a Research Project:  Developing a Research Project Given the above identified 'hot' topics, put into question form at least three of these topics 1. 2. 3. Research vs. Program Evaluation:  Research vs. Program Evaluation Goals of Research Creation of new knowledge Testing hypotheses Documenting a novel phenomenon Goals of Program Evaluation Program accountability Program management Decision-making/budgeting Research vs. Program Evaluation:  Research vs. Program Evaluation Methods Similarities May be substantially similar as both use objective and systematic methods to assess the event in question. These methods may range from the subjective (e.g., field observation) to the objective (experimental method) Research vs. Program Evaluation:  Research vs. Program Evaluation Methods Differences Research manipulates an experimental variable and typically uses random sampling, while program evaluation is non-experimental (but may employ a non-random control or comparison groups) Research vs. Program Evaluation:  Research vs. Program Evaluation Measures May be substantially similar, such as questionnaires, observation, interviews, content analysis (to be delineated shortly) Research vs. Program Evaluation:  Research vs. Program Evaluation Research Results Generalizable to others Contribute new knowledge to field Generate new hypotheses/questions Program Evaluation Results Specific to site Improve program delivery Make individuals/program more responsive to client needs Answer questions Audience Research results reported to other professionals (publications, conferences) Program evaluation results reported to the administration The Basics:  The Basics Core skills in conducting research Characteristics of good research Methods of research – qualitative vs. quantitative Selecting a method for a particular topic Selecting subjects and Human Subjects Review Conducting a literature review Analyzing data: descriptive versus inferential statistics Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Identify the problem Review the information Formulate the question Collect data Analyze data Draw Conclusions Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Identify the problem What did you identify as your 'hot' topic? Can you 'guess' the likely factors at play? Review the information Review the existing literature on the question/topic What have others said about the topic? Is there a theory or model that is used to explain the problem? Does it make sense from your own observations and your reading of the literature? Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Conducting a literature review Why? - to improve your knowledge base - to build upon previous research efforts - to generate ideas for research - to look for role models of good methodology - to become familiarized with formats for research publication - to find a basis for justifying and supporting your research (and advising) efforts Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Conducting a literature review How? - identify sources - books, journals, bibliographies (of articles and in articles), indices, conferences presentations and proceedings, database searches (ERIC, Social Science Citation Index, Education Abstracts, Psych Abstracts, etc.) - take notes Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Conducting a literature review What? - previous research on same topics - previous research on related topics ('parallel') - research population (subjects) - research techniques (methods) - research materials (surveys, tests) - theoretical frameworks - trends that motivate interest in the topic Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Conducting a literature review When? - at the start - throughout the research process - immediately prior to submission - during revision process (if necessary) - nearing final publication Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Formulate the question Summarize your thoughts and clarify relationships. What explicit question emerges? What is your hypothesis? Collect the data After reviewing the methods used to test this or similar questions in the past, select the method (or develop an improved one), recruit your subjects, and collect your data. Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Qualitative methods result in data being described in words, such as responses to open-ended questions Quantitative methods result in data being described in numbers (statistics, such as percentages, ratings) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Use Qualitative methods when: little is known about the topic being assessed closed-ended items (e.g., multiple-choice, scaled responses) cannot yet be determined Use Quantitative methods when: potential subjects are not available for extensive interactions or observations time and funds are limited your audience requires 'hard numbers' Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Qualitative methodology – develop a new theory Identify a topic Choose a qualitative method Select appropriate sample Collect data Analyze data Categorize data Discover, expand, revise, operationalize theoretical relationships Formulate new mini or grand theory Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Quantitative methodology – test an existing theory Identify a topic Develop a hypothesis Choose a quantitative method Select appropriate sample Select/develop appropriate measure Collect data Analyze data Interpret results Discover, expand, revise, operationalize theoretical relationships Formulate new mini or grand theory Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Quantitative versus Qualitative Research Designs Qualitative designs: Ethnographic Grounded theory Case study Phenomenological Quantitative designs: Experimental Quasi-experimental Ex-post facto Descriptive Time series (longitudinal) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Collection Most Common Methods Used in Advising Research Experimental Ex-Post Facto Survey Historical Ethnographic Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Characteristics of Good Advising Research Validity – accuracy of methodology Are you measuring what you think you are measuring? (Internal Validity) Can the results be generalized to any other group? (External Validity) Reliability – replicability of methodology How reliable were your methods and measures (e.g., inter-rater reliability)? (Internal Reliability) Can your work be replicated elsewhere? (External Reliability) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Selecting Subjects Identify your total population (Ideally) randomly select your sample from that population If conducting empirical research, (ideally) randomly assign your subjects to a control group and at least one experimental group If conducting Ex-Post Facto or Historical research, identify an existing group to use as a comparison/control group If conducting empirical research, try to control for as many confounding and random variables as possible Conduct the research (e.g., manipulate the independent variable, identify the existing difference between the groups, etc.) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Human Subjects Review Virtually every institution of post-secondary education has a person or committee that reviews proposed research and supports or rejects the use of humans as subjects. These may be termed: - Human Subjects Committee - Institutional Review Board - other similar titles Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Human Subjects Review You must obtain clearance from your respective review entity in order to conduct your research All federally funded research requires approval at both the institutional level and the federal level Note: NACADA requires institutional support to be considered for a NACADA Research Grant Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Human Subjects Review If you are utilizing a group affiliated with any other institution (e.g., hospital, local public school district, national, state, or local association, etc.) you will need clearance from that group as well Plan on submitting your proposal to any required group well ahead of when you wish to conduct your research – these groups have specific criteria to meet and deadlines for research proposals – it may take weeks to months to hear back from some of them Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Analyze the data Codify your data so that you can look at significant patterns of answers. Test your explanation, revise if necessary and reanalyze Statistics: the science of collecting, classifying, presenting, and interpreting data Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Analysis Descriptive versus Inferential Statistics Descriptive: A picture is worth a thousand words - techniques, both analytical and graphical, that are used to simply describe or paint a picture of a data set (e.g., mean, median, mode, standard deviation, range, percentages; pie charts, other graphs) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Data Analysis Descriptive versus Inferential Statistics Inferential: A number is worth a thousand pictures - techniques that are used to draw conclusions or make inferences about a large group of objects based on the observation of only a portion of the group (e.g., ANOVA, MANOVA, multiple regression, chi-square, other methods to generalize from the sample to the overall population) Core Skills in Conducting Research:  Core Skills in Conducting Research Draw Conclusions Consider the observed facts and the way in which you arrived at those facts, and then draw conclusions from your results - may serve to support your hypothesis (or not) - may serve to justify or prove the effectiveness of your program - may result in refinement of existing theory - may result in development of a new theory Developing a Research Project:  Developing a Research Project Select one of your questions. Which common research method would most effectively provide you with valid answers to your question(s)? Method: Given the method selected, identify the group or groups, phenomena, or records to be evaluated or assessed. Do you need a comparison sample to make a valid comparison? Subject Sample: Comparison Sample: Developing a Research Project:  Developing a Research Project Did you review the existing information on the topic? Which form of data analysis will you utilize? Method of analysis: Given the results of your analysis, what conclusions can be drawn? Conclusion:  Conclusion Conducting research requires a commitment of time and resources Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to collaborate with others Follow sound research methodology from the start Advising Research Reference List:  Advising Research Reference List Research Design: Overall Denzin, N. K. (1978). The Research Act: A Theoretical Introduction to Sociological Methods. New York: McGraw-Hill. (A very significant introduction to research methods from a sociological perspective) Firestone, W. A. (1987). Meaning in method: The rhetoric of quantitative and qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 16, 16-21. (From an educational perspective, a good comparison of qualitative versus quantitative methods) Sommer, R., andamp; Sommer, B. B. (1986). A Practical Guide to Behavioral Research: Tools and Techniques. New York: Oxford University Press. (Recommended as the single best book to start research from scratch) Advising Research Reference List:  Advising Research Reference List Research Design: Qualitative Methods Altheide, D. L. (1987). Ethnographic content analysis. Qualitative Sociology, 10, 65-77. Atkinson, P., andamp; Hammersley, M. (1989). Ethnography Principles in Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press. Spradley, J. P. (1980). Participant Observation. New York: Holt, Rinehart, andamp; Winston. Strauss, A. L., andamp; Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Weber, R. P. (1990). Basic Content Analysis (2nd edition). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. Yin, R. K. (1989). Case Study Research: Design and Methods (2nd edition). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. Advising Research Reference List:  Advising Research Reference List Research Design: Quantitative Methods Babbie, E. (1973). Survey Research Methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Kerlinger, F. N. (1973). Foundations of Behavioral Research. New York: Holt, Rinehart, andamp; Winston. Mahoney, M. (1978). Experimental methods and outcome evaluation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46, 660-672. Advising Research Reference List:  Advising Research Reference List Instruments/Questionnaires Bonjean, C. M., Hill, R. J., andamp; McLemore, S. D. (1967). Sociological Measurement: An Inventory of Scales and Indices. San Francisco, CA: Chandler. (A solid source of sociological measures) Buro’s Mental Measurement Yearbook (The classic guide which lays out all published measures of psychological concern, their validation, reliability, and critical studies) Chun, K., Cobb, S., andamp; French, J. R. P., Jr. (1975). Measures for Psychological Assessment: A Guide to 3000 Original Sources and Their Applications. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research. (A good source of less frequently used measures, as well as the well-established measures for a variety of psychological issues) Advising Research Reference List:  Advising Research Reference List Statistics Huberman, M., andamp; Miles, M. (1994). Data management and analysis methods. In N. K. Denzin andamp; Y. S. Lincoln (eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 428-444). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. (Good start on data management) Huff, D. (1954). How to Lie With Statistics. New York: W. W. Norton. (A classic which is still important; short and easy; how data can be manipulated and how to stay clean) Rowntree, D. (1981). Statistics Without Tears: A Primer for Non-Mathematicians. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. (A good overview of statistics, quick and easy) Siegel, S., andamp; Castellan, N. J. (1988). Non-Parametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (2nd edition). New York: McGraw Hill. (Most research in higher education does not lend itself to parametric design (which assumes conditions such as all sub-groups being independent of one another); however, most social scientists use them anyway…for those who wish to 'do the right thing' (understanding percentages, etc.), non-parametric statistics is the best path to success) PART 2Writing a NACADA Research Grant Proposal:  PART 2 Writing a NACADA Research Grant Proposal NACADA Research Committee Grant Writing Questions to Ask Yourself:  Grant Writing Questions to Ask Yourself Is this research or project something that I could do without outside funding? If this research or project is not funded, will I still be able to do at least part of the research or project? Is this a project or research that I am truly interested in doing? Tips for Beginning Grant Writers:  Tips for Beginning Grant Writers Have a positive attitude. If you approach grant writing with the expectation of failure, you will probably not be successful. Be enthusiastic about what you are proposing. Reviewers want to give money to those who are confident of their ability to do work. Read the guidelines. Most unsuccessful grant proposals have been written with little attention to the constraints of the funding agency. Be sure to follow the applicant guidelines and any outlines or examples provided, and to use the funding agency’s preferred method of notation (e.g., APA, MLA, etc.). Be sure to give yourself enough time to review, revise, and review again to ensure that your proposal meets the required guidelines of the funding agency. Adapted from Hurwitz, D. (1997). Developing Grant Proposals. Public Policy and Urban Research Conference Slide45:  NACADA Research Grant Proposal Guidelines see handouts re: - research topics - items covered by grant - specific proposal guidelines - submission deadlines Web Sites: Call for Proposals: www.nacada.ksu.edu/Awards/Grants.htm Applications: accessible from Call for Proposals link above Past Winners: www.nacada.ksu.edu/Awards/Grant_Winners.htm Grant Proposal Committee Review Form see handout re: - factors evaluated - rating scale Higher Education Grant Websites:  Higher Education Grant Websites Guides to Grant Writing and Grant Proposal Writing http://www.lab.brown.edu/public/ocsc/collaboration.guide/ http://www2.njstatelib.org/njlib/grants/index.htm National Science Foundation http://www.nsf.gov National Education Association http://www.nfie.org/grants.htm American Educational Research Association http://www.aera.net Higher Education Grant Websites:  Higher Education Grant Websites Society of Research Administrators International http://www.srainternational.org/newweb/grantsweb/index.cfm Higher Education Meta-Index http://www.irp.panam.edu/more_html/utpa_erlist.html The Foundation Center http://fdcenter.org/funders/grantmaker/gws_priv/priv1.html GrantsNet www.grantsnet.org/ Higher Education Grant Websites:  Higher Education Grant Websites InfoEd International-SPIN http://www.infoed.org/new_spin/spinmain.asp Other Funding Websites http://ocga2.ucsd.edu/funding_opps.html http://dir.yahoo.com/Education/financial_aid/grants/ http://www-tcall.tamu.edu/bibs/funding.htm Chronicle of Philanthropy http://philanthropy.com/free/resources.new.htm NACADA Website:  NACADA Website Additional grant writing resources can be found on the NACADA website at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/Research_Related/grantwriting.htm Additional grant search strategies can be found on the NACADA website at: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/Research_Related/grantSearch.htm Other Funding Websites:  Other Funding Websites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/funding.htm Department of Commerce http://www.commerce.gov/ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) www.epa.gov/epahome/program2.htm Other Funding Websites:  Other Funding Websites National Academy of Sciences (NAS) http://www4.nationalacademies.org/nas/nashome.nsf National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) http://genesis.gsfc.nasa.gov/grants/grant.htm National Association of Broadcasters http://www.nab.org/research/grants/grants.asp National Cancer Institute http://epi.grants.cancer.gov Other Funding Websites:  Other Funding Websites National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) http://arts.endow.gov/guide National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) http://www.neh.fed.us/grants/index.html National Institute of Health (NIH) http://www.nih.gov/grants/ National Institute of Justice http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/funding.htm National Research Council (NRC) http://www.nationalacademies.org/nrc/ Other Funding Websites:  Other Funding Websites Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) http://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grants.html U.S. Department of Education (DOE) www.ed.gov/funding.html U.S. Department of Energy www.doe.gov/ More specific information at http://www.doe.gov/engine/content.do?BT_CODE=RS_SUBSECTION2 U.S. Information Agency (USIA) http://e.usia.gov/education/rfps/ Other Grant Information:  Other Grant Information Books Directory of Research Grants by Oryx Press Free Government Money by Unique Finance Software Federal Money Retriever – a CD guide to all U.S. Government Grants and Loans Free Government Money – information at www.freegovmoney.net/?source=goto Review of “Dummy” Proposals:  Review of 'Dummy' Proposals Evaluation based on NACADA Research Grant Proposal Review Form Assessment regarding adherence to the NACADA Research Grant Proposal Guidelines Thank You!:  Thank You! NACADA Research Committee

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