Academia has only recently caught up to private industry proposal development practices. For example, more and more color team reviews are being applied to large-scale and/or more complex proposals and there is emerging interest in capture management as professional designation.
One industry concept that is tough to explain and promote is the concept of “win themes”. Too often, we think that win themes are simply what our university has on tap, readily available for use in our proposed program….
We have thousands of students.
But without connecting what we have with how we are uniquely using or applying the resource, it doesn’t differentiate us from the crowd…..
ASU is ranked xx in online course delivery, enabled through the development of specialized learning environments for thousands of students enrolled in online courses.
And, without connecting that with a perceived or real sponsor need, we cannot hope to satisfy the sponsor requirements….
ASU will improve student experience and subject matter mastery for XXXX participants by designing, testing, and evaluating specialized, adaptive learning environments using proprietary online course software, which currently serves over XX00 students annually in a nationally recognized program.*
I recently read an amazing article: “How to create winning proposal themes” that should be required reading for anyone interested in exploring the use of win themes. As with all challenging concepts, practice makes perfect! From my experience, a concerted win theme development period at the beginning of a proposal is priceless for identifying and agreeing to overall proposal strategy.
* These are examples only and have not been vetted, nor approved for use.