May 04, 2008

Looking Back

I turned in two final copies of my grant proposal to Professor Hauck on Friday. It was kind of difficult for me to let go of them because I wanted to make sure everything in my paper was exactly how I wanted it to be. I feel confident though since I reviewed my paper quite a number of times before turning it in. I can't stress how much I want to start my capstone after writing this grant proposal. I have learned so much about how to set up an experiment with mice, that it has made me understand more about the research I am doing with the undergraduate student I work with in the Genetics Lab. A lot of the techniques I talked about in my grant proposal are familiar techniques used in the lab. Overall I have learned that there is a lot of responsibility on the researcher's part when dealing with mice in an experiment. I have gained a lot more respect for the undergraduate student I work with and the other students in the Genetics Lab.

This class was also my first geology class I have taken and I enjoyed it very much. I remember one day in class when Professor Hauck brought up a geology lab course that I am still interested in. I plan on looking into that course for next year. I feel as though I was able to accomplish a lot this semester. I was able to write a grant proposal on a future capstone, and expand my knowledge in the sciences in terms of learning more about geology. I will admit, the first few geology papers we read in class were very difficult for me to read. Yet as the semester went on, and we read more papers, I was able to grasp a good understanding of most of them, and I was also able to connect them to biology and chemistry. I had a great time this semester I am kind of sad to see it's over!

April 30, 2008

Revising

So I am pretty much done revising my final grant proposal. It has been a long stressful ride at times, but it has been worth it. I added a diagram to my paper in the introduction that specifies exactly how and why CSS mice are effective to work with. I also added a table explaining what each mouse group's diet will be over the course of the experiment. My peers noted that I didn't explain exactly how I will keep track of what each mouse is eating. I have revised this and hopefully made this section more clear. I explain in my proposal that along with weighing each mouse weekly, I will be weighing the remainder of the food given to each group weekly as well to see whether or not the mice are getting a sufficient amount of food (simply, if they are losing weight I will know they are not eating). I also revised my timeline a bit and explained how I will deal with obstacles and possible dead-ends throughout the course of my experiment. I got Dr. Drushel's signature yesterday, and I feel as though my grant proposal is ready to be turned in. Overall I am proud of my proposal, and hope that it works out and I am able to do this project or one similar to it. After seeing the experiment setup on paper, I am more than eager to hopefully get started!

April 27, 2008

Review Panel

On Wednesday we had our review panel. I must say, it was quite stressful. To think that a person could spend so much time preparing a grant proprosal only to have it shot down is kind of discouraging. Although I was reviewing other students' grant proposals, all I could really think of was "what are the other reviewers saying about my paper?" Although at times I felt scared, I learned a lot in terms of how reviewers go forth in reviewing someone's proposal. There was a lot of great discussion and the comments we gave will help me in terms of making my paper better. So in conclusion, although I found the review panel discouraging at times I am happy I took the risk and truly happy I took this class. Now I know that not all grant proposals are accepted and that those that are not accepted doesn't mean they are bad, it just means they may need major or minor adjusments.

April 20, 2008

Revising the First Draft

Revising my first draft is harder than I thought it was going to be. I am still wondering if I need graphs or figures to explain certain points in my paper more thoroughly. I found a good picture on orbital sinus venipuncture. This is the technique I will be using to collect blood. I want to ask Dr. Drushel and Dr. Hauck whether or not a picture like the one I found will be worth putting in my proposal. I don't want to add too much more to my proposal in fear that I'll stray away from the conciseness I was trying to get at initially.I feel as though I need more meeting time with my advisors and hopefully that will workout tomorrow.

April 19, 2008

First Rough Draft

I have finished a first draft of my grant proposal. My biggest worry is that the proposal is not descriptive enough in terms of the techniques I will be using for collecting data. I am also wondering whether or not I need graphs or figures to explain some points better. Professor Hauck and Dr. Drushel have proofread my proposal and have made a few comments. I am now fixing up some parts of my proposal and will be sending the final draft to Professor Hauck on Tuesday morning. I have to admit, I am a little worried about the mock panel we are having where our papers will be reviewed and seen whether each proposed study is feasible and worthwhile. I don't want to get discouraged if people on the panel do not like my proposed study. But life is all about taking risks, and I feel as though this will be a good experience. I'll see how it goes!

April 15, 2008

New advisor

For my grant proposal I realized that I needed a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor I have chosen is Dr. Drushel. A faculty advisor is different from a mentor and principal investigator in that he or she helps with the writing and presenting aspects of the senior capstone experience. Dr. Drushel has been kind enough to review my grant proposal as well. I will be adding him to my contributors of personnel section. I'm excited to have another member on board!

April 02, 2008

Still Going

I enjoyed our conversation in class today. I find that the issue of ethics follows us everywhere in the workplace. The more we questioned what was ethical or not, the more I related the ideas brought up in class to writing my proposal. Professor Hauck brought up a good point in relation to my proposal. He asked me, "How are you certain that your PI who is in charge of breeding the CSS mice, really did so?" The only answer I could think of was that I wouldn't be certain, but my trust in my PI is what would make me confident in my experiment. I don't know if this is a good answer, but I have realized that you need to have an honest and trusting relationship with the contributors of personnel that are a part of the proposal and experiment.
I recently sent a copy of my proposal outline to my advisor for review. I hope she informs me of the different techniques they use in the lab for obtaining insulin levels of the mice. I hope to get a start on my actual rough draft this weekend. I'm excited to see how it turns out.