Letter of Intent

To prepare you for a lifetime of grant-writing whether as a policymaker, community organizer, or researcher, the signature assignment in this course will be to write a letter of intent for a grant from “CHRIS EDUCATION POLICY FOUNDATION”. The purpose of this assignment (as opposed to a full paper) is to observe and evaluate your ability to discern which research design might be appropriate for the research questions you are asking. This assignment will allow you to reflect on all designs presented in this course and discuss which of the designs (there might be more than 1) might best fit your research needs. Please note: in the “real world”, proposals are written by more than 1 person. It is super rare to see a grant proposal written alone. The format of the back pages of an NIH proposal: • 4 pages single spaced maximum (this is a hard maximum, funders often don’t read past this limit) • Font: Times New Roman 12 • 0.5 inch margins on all sides as the minimum

You will be writing ONLY the back half of an actual 7-page NIH grant. In other words, you are writing the data and methods section of the proposal. You will not be writing the introduction or theory sections.

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The following is a rubric: 1. Research questions and hypotheses (1/2-ish page). • What are the 3 research questions pertaining to your topic? • What hypotheses guide these research questions? 2. Source of data (1.5-ish pages) • Describe your dataset. How was it collected? What grades of students are represented? How many schools or colleges? Is it nationally representative? Is it a district? Tell me everything! o Note that this dataset can be “made up.” You can make up a school district or state and pretend to have gotten all of the data from their district staff members. o Or, you can rely on real data. o Point: you are not actually doing the analyses for this proposal. Just pitching what you would do. So you don’t need to have the data! • Sample. Describe the number of students. Any demographic info you can gather. • Outcomes. What are the outcomes you are looking at? • Key “treatment” variable. • Other contextual or control variables you might consider using. 3. Analysis (2-ish pages) • Describe separately how you will analyze each research question. • Think about what methods make the most sense for each question. • Note that you can describe using more than 1 method.

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