INSIDE Chico State
0 October 21, 1999
Volume 30 Number 6
  A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico







Sponsored Programs




Sponsored Programs

Out the Door! The final moments of one grant application

Diane M. Johnson and LeRita Ringel, Sponsored Programs (photo KM)
Diane M. Johnson and LeRita Ringel, Sponsored Programs (photo KM)


It's 11 o'clock on Friday morning, the first Friday of summer hours, and Office of Sponsored Programs staff are preparing to file out for a three-day weekend. We can hear them wishing each other fun and relaxation, but we're not leaving. Instead, LeRita Ringel, Dr. Sherry Fox, Dr. Julia Shovein, and I are huddled around LeRita's computer putting the finishing touches on a grant proposal to the Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The proposal must go out the door by 4 p.m., and we estimate it will be on its way by one o'clock, or two at the very latest. We re-check budget figures, narrative consistency, spacing, and formatting.

The proposal, "Rural California RN to BSN Distance Education Project," will support efforts to increase the number of baccalaureate-prepared nurses in rural counties of Northern California increase the number of minority healthcare workers in rural areas in an effort to address the unique needs of emerging minority populations prepare professional registered nurses for careers in rural health care agencies, particularly public health services.

To accomplish these goals, nursing faculty are requesting nearly $1 million for five years to redesign multiple on-campus and satellite required courses for RN-BSN students to a computer format. The classes will be accessible to distance students who will also have opportunities for limited, but high-quality, on-campus experiences. We think it's a winner.

Noon comes around, and we're still at it. Sometimes charts and graphs become unreadable when transferred from one computer to another. Some have arrived in landscape format and others in portrait. LeRita works calmly but intensely resizing the charts to fit on the pages.

Now it's one o'clock, and we call significant others to say we will be later than we thought. The guidelines tell us that every page has to be numbered. Easy to do on a computer; however, some of our materials are only in hard copy, and we can't type the numbers on them until everything is completed and we know where they go. LeRita creates blank numbered pages onto which we will copy other pages of information. Then we discover that something has been left out, and we begin again.

Now it's 2 p.m. We continue checking for discrepancies. I offer to go out for sandwiches, but no one is interested. Finishing this proposal is all anyone wants. There is a page limitation, and we're over it. However, we're not sure if attachments are included in the limit. We read and re-read the proposal guidelines and decide we can add the attachments. Finally, we decide to cut out some support letters but to include a colorful description of programs in the School of Nursing.

Three o'clock! We have one hour to pull the entire proposal together, make the required copies, and get it to a FedEx box. We're getting a little giddy, either from the looming deadline or the lack of food, but we're close, and we think this one could be a winner. Finally, when the proposal is as good as we can make it and still meet the deadline, we package it up and take it to the drop-box. It's a bit like letting go of a child and crossing your fingers that others will appreciate him or her as much as you do.

Several weeks later, Sherry receives a call from the program director at HRSA telling us we're over the page limit and we have 36 hours to remove the excess pages. We do that. Then we all get on to other things.

It's August when we receive a letter saying the proposal has been recommended for approval. I get so excited that I tell people in the office that the proposal has been funded. However, that's not true. We still have a ways to go. We have to make budget changes and provide a more complete budget explanation. I make the necessary budget changes, Sherry rewrites the justification, and the waiting begins again.

We finally hear from HRSA that the project has been fully approved and funded. Proposal reviewers noted the "dismal lack of BSN-prepared nurses" as well as state, regional, and specific area health care needs documented in the application. They were impressed with CSU, Chico's long-standing satellite network, and they noted that School of Nursing faculty have been involved in distance education since 1995.

It seems a long time since we sat around the computer in LeRita's office on that Friday afternoon, and even longer when we consider that School of Nursing faculty started working on the proposal well before the deadline. Their hard work will lead to more hard work as they begin the tasks they set for themselves in the proposal, but North State residents will benefit from the professional training of its rural nurses. Our congratulations to Sherry Fox, Julia Shovein, Carol Huston, Becky Damazo, Kathy Fernandez, and LeRita Ringel. I'm proud too. Together we created a winner!}Diane M. Johnson, Office of Sponsored Programs

Note: As a result of the increased workload in the Office of Sponsored Programs, we request that you notify the office as soon as you decide to write a proposal. To ensure the widest range of OSP help, you must have the budget and a draft of the narrative to the office no later than five days prior to the program deadline.


  CSU, Chico | Admissions | Bookstore | Catalog | Schedule | Library | Help

University Publications
California State University, Chico
400 West First Street
Chico, CA 95929-0040