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Grant Unit Day 1:


Statement of Need
Dr. Will Kurlinkus
University of Oklahoma
+ Types of Problems You Might
Address (pg 5.)
n  A problem of public outreach from your field to the general
populous: the public thinks this about my area of work, but really
this is true.

n  A problem of user-centered design in your field: the national


weather center needs to redesign their tornado warning/watch
communication.

n  A problem of recruitment to your field: these people (women/


students in general) are missing in my area of study.

n  An area of research/project that needs to be addressed and can


be studied locally: I want to study how rainwater drainage works
in Norman’s lakes.

n  You can also address a more local social or humanistic problem:


our club needs funding to do this, on campus there’s not enough
of this, etc., as long as you highlight why how this problem/
solution is transferable to other places.
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What are some problems in your


field you could write a grant for?
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STEM Calls

n  National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/

n  NSF for undergraduates:


https://www.nsf.gov/funding/education.jsp?fund_type=1

n  Find a call that interests you.


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Problem: Lack of Women in STEM
https://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/educational-funding-and-
awards/community-action-grants/

What can technical communicators do to solve this problem?


•  Specific Problem/How do I know it’s a problem?
•  Specific Audience/Population: Who is affected and/or needs
to be persuaded? Why study this here and not elsewhere,
first?
•  Specific Funder: Who cares enough and has money?
•  Solution: What things/programs can be created?
•  Purpose: What will this thing/program do and how?

Analyze this Call. What do we need to apply to this grant?


+ Statement of Need: Show Me The
Problem
The statement of need specifies the conditions you
n 
wish to change. It should quickly summarize the
n  What is the problem?
problem, show your familiarity with prior research
or work on the problem, reinforce your credibility n  Who does the problem effect?
for investigating the problem, and justify why this
problem should be investigated.
n  Demonstrate a precise understanding of the n  Why does the problem matter to
problem or need that you are attempting to the granting institution?
solve. Show me this is actually a problem and
why it’s worth solving.
n  What are the benefits of solving
Has someone else attempted to solve this
n 
problem (the answer is always yes)? How does this problem?
your problem differ? And why does it still need
solving? (They Say/I Say)
n  Clearly convey the focus of your project early in n  Statistics
the narrative (you need to solve something very
specific).
n  Indicate the relationship of your project to a n  Quotes from experts
larger set of problems or issues and justify your
scope. Why has your particular focus has been
chosen? n  Personal narratives
n  Establish the importance and significance of the
problem.
n  Justify why your problem should be of special
interest to the sponsor.
n  Statement of Need=Argument
Demonstrate that your problem is feasible to
n 
solve. of Need
n  Make the reviewer want to read further.
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Who is the audience for a


statement of need?
Technical? Non-Technical? Expert in a
parallel field?
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Sample Statements of Need
n  Analyze 3 Examples
1.  What’s the specific scope and population that has the problem? Is the problem too
broad or narrow? Is their an explanation of why this population and scope and not
another? Why do this project here and not elsewhere?

2.  Does this statement of need highlight kairos/timeliness? Does it explain, “Why
Now?”

3.  Does this statement of need address people’s solutions? Is there a They Say/I Say
statement?

4.  How are ethos, pathos, and logos used?

5.  How is pre-existing research addressed? Does this person feel well-versed in the
area? How/why?

6.  Is there any information missing? Or questions you have? Does this statement of
need make assumptions or leaps in evidence that need to proved?

7.  Can you tell that this statement is geared toward a funding institution? What do you
think that institution’s purpose/goals/mission is?

8.  What audience does this writer assume?