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Help writing a research proposal
Gordon
#1 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2011 10:10
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Location: Lake Kerkini, Greece
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Hi Folks,
For the Thai project (thread below) the University I am trying to collaborate with rtequires a full proposal I have never written or really seen such a research proposal. This is to put some malaise traps on their (the Uni's) property - I'm not going to be allowed anywhere near a National Park sadly. Could somebody have a look at what I have already wqritten - below - (which they want turned into a full proposal) and tell me how to do this.

______________________________________________________________________
Proposal to conduct a preliminary Biodiversity Survey of the various habitats of Northern Thailand.

A country’s biodiversity is a large part of its natural wealth, as well as its inevitable responsibility. In order for any authority to adequately plan to protect its biodiversity it must have some idea of what that biodiversity entails.

In terms of numbers of species, and in terms of ecological, if not human, importance, the invertebrates, particularly the insects, make up the bulk of any habitats biodiversity. Sadly they are usually the last group of organisms to be well studied and often little is known of them.

The insect fauna of Northern Thailand has been little studied, aside from the charismatic species such as the Lepidoptera and the Odonata and the larger Coleoptera and some disease carrying species such as mosquitos.

We propose to make a preliminary study of smaller insects of Northern Thailand, focusing mostly on the Coleoptera, Diptera and Hymenopter. These three groups normally comprise more than 70% of the biodiversity of any habitat.

The work would involve using two permanently placed flight interception traps (Malaise Traps) supplied by the Natural History Museum in London. These traps would be sited on the hills behind Mae Fah Luang University. These traps would be serviced once a week for a year, thus giving us the opportunity to collect many species with short, seasonally dictated, flight periods.

This material would be augmented by regular point sampling using Yellow Pan Traps, small portable traps that are particularly useful for sampling Diptera and Hymenoptera. In this way a vast range of habitats can be sampled over the year.

The material will be sorted to the level of family or superfamily and shipped out to a selection of participating taxonomic specialists for identification.

This survey will be being carried out on a voluntary basis, and as such must be small in its scope. However while it will be small it will undoubtedly add greatly to the existing knowledge of the fauna of Northern Thailand and it would serve as a basis for planning a more complete biodiversity in the future.
________________________________________________________________________

List of Collaborators willing to Participate in Biodiversity Lanna


Dr Lucian Fusu - "Al. I. Cuza" University, Iasi Romania : Hymenoptera; Chalcidoidea, & Scelionidae

Dr Ovidiu Popovici - "Al. I. Cuza" University, Iasi Romania : Hymenoptera; Proctotrupoidea & Platygastridae

Libor Dvorak - Municipal Museum Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) The Czech Republic: Hymenoptera: Vespidae

Dr Max Barclay - Natural History Museum, London UK; Coleoptera

Gerard Pennards - Dutch Entomological society and Nederlands Centrum Biodiversiteit (NCB- Naturalis) Leiden; Diptera Syrphidae

Dr Paul L.Th. Beuk Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, The Netherlands: Diptera Empidoidea (excepting Dolichopodidae)

Dr Marc Pollet - Diensthoofd Informatie- en Datacentrum Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek (INBO): Diptera; Dolichopodidae

Dr. A. J. Woznica - Institute of Biology, Wroclaw University of Environmental & Life Sciences Poland: Diptera Heleomyzidae, Piophilidae & Pseudopomyzidae.

Dr Valery A. Korneyev, Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: Diptera; Pyrgotidae, Tephritidae, Ulidiidae/Otitidae & Platystomatidae.

Dr. Stephen D. Gaimari - California State Collection of Arthropods, USA: Diptera; Lauxaniidae, Chamaemyiidae, Celyphidae, Odiniidae, Therevidae & Scenopinidae.

Dr. Christian Kehlmaier- Senckenberg Natural History Collections Dresden, Museum of Zoology
Dresden, Germany: Diptera; Pipunculidae & Vermileonidae

Iain MacGowan - Scottish Natural Heritage, Perth, Scotland: Diptera; Lonchaeidae.

Dr Phil Withers - Sainte Euphemie, France: Diptera; Psychodidae

Dr Joke van Erkelens - Dutch Enthomological Society, The Netherlands: Diptera; Anthomyiidae

Dr Nikita Vikhrev - Zoological Museum of Moscow University, Russia: Diptera Muscidae.

Dr Olavi Kurina - Inst. of Agri. & Enviro. Sciences Estonian University of Life Sciences, - Diptera: Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, Keroplatidae & Mycetophilidae.
_____________________________________________________________________

My thanks to whomever can turn this into the required image.Smile
Get your Diptera Mug etc at
The Thinking Man Shop http://www.cafepr...om/TTMshop

Gordon
 
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Dieter S
#2 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2011 12:58
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Location: Belgium
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You could use this book: http://www.amazon...0120884240
Chapter 5 deals with how to write a proposal.
Edited by Dieter S on 10-05-2011 12:58
 
Cesa
#3 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2011 14:13
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Following addresses will be useful for northern Thailand Lepidoptera published by the Cesa.
http://www.cesa-tr.org/cmubutt.htm
http://www.archive.org/details/CentreForEntomologicalStudiesAnkaraCesaNewsNr.60
 
http://www.cesa-tr.org/
Gordon
#4 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2011 14:39
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Location: Lake Kerkini, Greece
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Dieter Slos wrote:
You could use this book: http://www.amazon...0120884240
Chapter 5 deals with how to write a proposal.


Thanks Dieter,

but this is a small piece of voluntary collecting on my part to help a few taxonomist friends, it has already become a nightmare. I am not spending money on a book when I have no interest in the contents of the book at all - but then I don't approve of animal circus acts either If this can't be solved by some-one giving me a few tips, then it doesn't happen.
Get your Diptera Mug etc at
The Thinking Man Shop http://www.cafepr...om/TTMshop

Gordon
 
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Gordon
#5 Print Post
Posted on 10-05-2011 14:41
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Location: Lake Kerkini, Greece
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Cesa wrote:
Following addresses will be useful for northern Thailand Lepidoptera published by the Cesa.
http://www.cesa-tr.org/cmubutt.htm
http://www.archive.org/details/CentreForEntomologicalStudiesAnkaraCesaNewsNr.60


Thanks CESA - but I will be just throwing the Lepidoptera away.Smile if it ever happens.
Get your Diptera Mug etc at
The Thinking Man Shop http://www.cafepr...om/TTMshop

Gordon
 
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Gordon
#6 Print Post
Posted on 11-05-2011 01:19
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Location: Lake Kerkini, Greece
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In fact I have decided, for various reasons to cancel the whole thing - I will not be collecting insects in Thailand at all.

My apollogies to everybody.Sad
Get your Diptera Mug etc at
The Thinking Man Shop http://www.cafepr...om/TTMshop

Gordon
 
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Paul Beuk
#7 Print Post
Posted on 11-05-2011 07:50
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Sad
Paul

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Adrian
#8 Print Post
Posted on 16-05-2011 09:50
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Hi Gordon
As someone with a long standing involvement in studying Diptera and interest in promoting dipterology in Thailand I may be able to make a few constructive comments on your proposal.
Permission to work in Nat Parks is very difficult but not impossible to obtain but it helps to be ‘established’ as an authority in your field and are far more likely to succeed if you have Thais as collaborators. Perhaps after completing your Lanna project you will be better positioned?
Re. Your proposal. Firstly, the title is very grandiose... running a few traps in the grounds of a university in Chiang Rai does not constitute a survey of Lanna Biodiversity! I suggest you tone it down a bit.
Secondly, your proposal is too anecdotal; hit them with hard facts, defined objectives and clear deliverables. What you are doing is in effect offering to manage a project in which you(?) will sample and sort material, deliver this to specialists who will then report back to you their findings. You will then report these in summary to the University etc. You need to specify a structure for managing this.
In your Introduction you talk about how Thailand’s biodiversity is underworked and how understanding it is important. Why not refer to their obligations under CBD or cite some of the many Governmental papers on the issue (do this gently as Thais don’t like farangs telling them how to suck eggs). The country’s dipteran diversity may be poorly known but the list does include c1000 species and there are / have been / are planned several large initiatives and a growing number of papers on the fauna. Summarise succinctly (in formal scientific prose) all that is known and provide a list of references at the end. You can then say where you project fits into the greater scheme of things.
In describing the nuts and bolts of the Project I think you need to say more about how / when / where the traps will be run; how will they be serviced etc. (if you can involve students from the University you will most certainly earn brownie-points from those evaluating your proposal).
As currently drafted I think your proposal has two fatal flaws which you need to think about. The first one is where will types and other material be deposited? Thailand has a long history of being ‘robbed out’ by visiting entomologists from the ‘developed’ world and they are well aware that consequent lack of access to reference and type material is severely hindering their own efforts to evaluate their biodiversity and develop taxonomy. They wish to correct this situation. You need to insist that types (at least holotype and some paratypes) and some of the identified voucher specimens are repatriated into either the National Invertebrate Collection at QSBG or into the University collections in Thailand or perhaps the new National Museum (but this is largely a vertebrate collection). This will not only make you proposal more politically acceptable to the Thai’s but also makes good sense as collection facilities in Thailand are now up to the job.
The second major problem is demonstrating how you will coordinate and control the many specialists you have gathered to support the Project. Bitter experience shows that many would-be collaborators actually get involved in such projects merely to build their collections rather than to work actively on the material (and I am NOT saying that this is the case with any on your list of collaborators but there have been ‘issues’ in the past). You will need to impose conditions on collaborators to ensure that they comply with the conditions you define. This is actually quite easy:- all you need is a brief agreement for them to sign stating type policy etc and agreeing that all specimens are labelled as ‘’property of CRU to be returned there’’ or something similar. You should require collaborators to report back to you (say on a yearly basis) so that you can send the University a coordinated summary of progress periodically. You should specify this agreement in your proposal
I hope this helps a little. Please get back to me by e-mail if you’d like to discuss any of this. And, I’d certainly be interested in looking at any Empidoidea (especially Empididae, Hemerodromiinae and Hybotidae, Hybotinae & Ocydromiinae) to complement my own ongoing studies
Cheers
Adrian
 
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