TEA Banner
TEA Navbar


Grant Proposal

Grade Level




This activity is designed to help students experience the creativity, anticipation, and peer review of obtaining a grant for scientific research at the poles by guiding them through the process in a step-by-step manner.

Having scientific research funded can be long and involved. Obtaining a grant requires the filling out of many forms and satisfying the funding organizations desire to have worthwhile, original research done safely and accurately.

While studying the dynamics of polar regions, I have my students working in cooperative learning groups that consist of different types of scientists. The different scientists then work together at times to design original research proposals. I start them on it early in the study time-frame so they have time to establish that their reserach is indeed original. Projecs funded by NSF are posted on the Internet at: www.nsf.gov

Grade Level/Discipline
High School


  • Propose a original research project to be carried out at one of the poles
  • Appraise peer research proposals
National Standards
Content Standard: Science Inquiry

Teacher Preparation for Activity
Pre-activity set-up

Student Masters: Grant Proposal Application Form; Evaluation Rubric

Time Frame
Flexible, depending upon the depth of knowledge and amount of background search you will require them to have before selecting a topic. Can be as little as one day or over the course of two or more seeks as they work on other aspects of polar study. Peer review will take an other day.

Teaching Sequence
Engagement and Exploration (Student Inquiry Activity)
Have students look over previous grant proposals on the web. Then they should design a grant proposal using the form and questions as guides.

Explanation (Discussing)

Elaboration (Polar Applications)

Exchange (Students Draw Conclusions)
Students present their proposal and rationale for the research to their peers and teacher.

Evaluation (Assessing Student Performance)
Students listen to the research proposals of their peers and come to a consensus about which one should be funded. Rubrics have been designed to facilitate this process. Grade is based upon the evaluations by students as well as the teacher.

Besse Dawson
Pearland High School
3775 S. Main Street
Pearland, Texas 77581



Student Reproducible Masters

Grant Proposal Application Form

1. Science Category:
Biology Geology Oceanography Meteorology Glaciology

2. Names of Researchers

3. Educational Institution

4. Objective or Problem to be Researched

5. Rationale

6. Methods (Procedure) and Materials Needed

7. Impact on Natural Resources or Protected Species

Will this be harmful to the environment or to an animal in any way?

What measures will be taken to ensure the safety of the protected species or the integrity of the natural resouces?


Will this procedure in any way be a danger to the researcher?

What safety precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of all involved?

8. Anticipated Results:

Project Evaluation:

Grant Proposal Form Questions

1. Under what science discipline would you put your research (ex: Geology)

2. What researchers will be going on your study?

3. What is your school name and address?

4. What are you going to study specifically? This should be in the form of a question, such as: What is the impact of _______ on ___________? Look over actual grant proposals at the National Science Foundation site for a springboard of ideas and question format.

5. Tell us why we should let you do the project. Be sure to include how the rest of the world would benefit from the knowledge you would gain.

6. List at least 5 materials required for your work. Also give an overview of how you would collect your data (procedure).Where in Antarctica or the arctic will you be doing your research? When will you go (time of year). How long will you need to stay there to study? How many times would you need to return to get enough data to be meaningful? How many people will you need to take with you to do the research?

7. With whom or what will you be interacting while in Antarctica or the arctic? Will this impact anyone or anything in anyway? Be clear. (Sometimes the research is worth some inconveience to a population.) Give at least 3 problems that you could encounter during your research.

8. What do think will happen and why do you think it will happen in that manner? (Usually based upon what has happened in the past to similiar studies to similiar organisms or objects.)

Grading Rubric for Grant Proposals

Student Names:

Form Completion Comments Points
Science Discipline
Problem/Objective 10
Rationale 10
Procedure Overview 15
Safety Concerns Met 10
Anticipated Results With
Sufficient Background

Presentation Comments Points
Clarity of Objective 10
Do-able 5
Visual Aids 10
Clarity of Methods 10
Professional Dress 5
Manner of Presentation 5


We look forward to hearing from you! Please review this activity.

Return to top of page

Back to: TEA Activities Page