Project Setup

There is always a set-up period with a project. You should always include set-up in your proposed project. Not only will the grant funders fund it, but you have to do it regardless. What is project set-up? It is all the things you have to do before you actually implement the project. Project planning can be included to a certain degree, as long as your proposed project is well thought-out, and planning is just incidental to get things on a firm foundation. You should have a thoroughly planned project before you ever write the first word of a proposal. But, there are planning activities that must be done throughout the project set-up and implementation. One example is setting up advisory committees and initiating meetings.

Other set-up tasks are hiring temporary staff and holding meetings with partners. Training can be a set-up activity for a project that is not purely a training project. Review of materials to purchase for reference is a valid set-up activity. Development of procedures and staff and student manuals is a set-up task.

Then, there is the matter of infrastructure. If your project involves technology, there are equipment reviews and purchase. But it does not stop there—the equipment must be installed before you begin your project. This might involve building renovation.

For a research project, you might include patient or participant intake as a set-up activity. Certainly equipment set-up and calibration will be a part of your set-up. Animal purchase and housing may be a part of your set-up.

So how do you document set-up? What do you promise in the proposed documentation plan? The following list should help.

• Planning reports.

• Contracts with consultants and consultant reports.

• Lists of advisory committee members and credentials.

• Advisory committee minutes and sign-in sheets.

• Temporary staff resumes and interview records.

• Minutes of partner meetings and reports of decisions.

• Training materials, rosters and evaluations.

• Minutes of review committee meetings and lists of considered materials along with final decisions.

• Minutes of review committee meetings and list of considered equipment along with final decisions.

• Procedures manuals.

• Staff and student manuals.

• Contracts for purchased materials and equipment and purchase orders.

• Contracts for building renovation and blueprints or drawings.

• Patient or participant intake procedures and records would document a research project.

• Equipment tests and calibration records for a research project.

• Animal purchase and housing plans might be a research project setup activity.

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