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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Examples of Project Plans
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Examples of Successful Plans

 

OSQR regularly receives requests for examples of plans which received high review scores. Because plans often contain proprietary information and were written for the confidential review of a select panel, OSQR does not take responsibility for distribution of plans as examples. This does not mean that such are not available but that researchers seeking them need to seek such examples from others. The below are a series of sources we recommend researchers consult for examples of high-scoring plans.

 

A caution: Plan examples are NOT templates. Above all, what makes a plan strong is a clear, coherent, message. Simply including paragraphs similar to another plan without careful construction and editing to assure a logical, smooth narrative can lead to a poor result. What you should see in well crafted plans are clear descriptions of the plan that flow from an initial overview in the Project Summary, additional detail in the Need for Research, clear direction in the Objectives, and well crafted backgrounds and approaches that demonstrate a clear understanding and command of the work. This is not obtained by simply adjusting the words of another project.

 

A second caution: The single best test of whether you have achieved a result likely to score well is if it has been critically and carefully read by colleagues who are examining it as if they were your peer reviewers. While it is often difficult to accept their critical comments, it is preferable that you address such when they are raised before formal peer review. This is not the time to look for nice words…seek those not hesitant to be critical.

 

Sources of Examples.

The Area Office: Each area has examples of plans that received excellent peer review scores and your Area Office may have some that they can distribute.

 

The Area PA: These individuals have likely received such inquiries in the past and could either provide an example of direct you to someone who could provide one.

 

Research Leaders: Your RL knows your work and also functions as a “mentor” to help you through the review process. They may well have good examples of plans. Look to them also when you are seeking others to provide a critical review.

 

National Program Leader: Often an NPL may know of individuals, perhaps even outside your Area with plans that are closely allied to yours and who could provide useful guidance and advice as you prepare a plan. They may well be able to direct you.

 

The OSQR Office: As noted above, OSQR does not provide examples. You are free to call us for suggestions but reading this should provide you with the substance of what we will tell you. If, however, you have exhausted likely sources without success feel free to contact us and we’ll see if we can help.

 


Last Modified: 3/5/2014
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