Tips and Hints for Talking with (or Meeting) your Program Officer

In winter 2013, a research development listserv took up the question of how to prepare for talking with a program officer.  We have collected three articles and a document with comments that were embedded in four emails, some from former program officers.  Opinions are somewhat mixed about whether it is worthwhile to travel to D.C. for face-to-face meetings, but even those who counsel against it, recommend trying to take advantage of PO presence at professional meetings--so face-to-face meetings get strong recommendations over all.

The articles and comments are all pretty direct (and give converging advice), so we'll just give you the materials--and invite questions (to the Office of Research Development proposal specialists at this website).

Note that this article by Robert Porter of the University of Tennessee includes a model "pre-abstract" that most people recommend you send in advance of your conversation or meeting.

PORTER, Robert. (2009).  Can we talk? Contacting grant program officers.  Research Management Review, 17 (1), 8 pp. (pdf)

SPIRES, Michael J. (2012, Mar. 28).  What to say--and not say--to program officers. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Accessed from:  http://chronicle.com/article/what-to-say-and-not-say-to/131282 

Nader, Richard. (n.d.) Advice for Meeting Directors at NSF. (pdf)

BAUER, David G. (2003, 2011).  “How To” Grants Manual (5th Edition)  Praeger American Council of Education Series. 2011 (7th edition, ebook), access through DuBois Library catalog.

Collected emails (pdf)

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