We're happy to brainstorm with colleagues off-the-clock, and initial consultations are always free.
Hourly consulting can be a good choice for finite tasks and well-defined deliverables, such as review of proposal drafts to ensure compliance with application guidelines and identify potentially-fatal flaws, project management plan development, project initiation, funding prospect identification, sponsor budget and priority briefings, and other activities that can be completed within a few hours.
This signature service is MQC's most popular. You send us your draft in the week(s) prior to submission; we conduct a full review, complete with scores, according to the funding agency's rubric if available, and provide detailed comments; you revise the draft; and we all meet by conference call for a section-by-section document review.
When a proposal development effort is likely to take many hours or occur over an extended period of time, we work with clients to determine a flat fee in advance, capping costs and allowing principal investigators, project directors, and subject matter experts to use MQC support to maximum effect.
Based on the principles of effective project management, MQC's strategic planning strategy drives an efficient, transparent process.
Within the context of the continuous self-analysis organizations strive for, MQC's Two-Day, Two-Month Strategy is most effective at critical junctures, such as significant reorganizations; fundraising campaign/program development launches; and other developments that promise substantial change. The 60-day project period, including a two-day site visit (in-person or virtual, in accordance with regulations and social distancing policies), provides the assurance of a fixed price and timeline.
Organizations that already have an effective strategy may seek assessment of an existing plan, external consultation on a specific decision point, survey assistance, stakeholder communication support, or other deliverables with a limited timeline or budget.
MQC consultants are active participants in the research administration and strategic planning communities, providing and receiving ongoing professional development. We register for and serve as invited presenters at professional meetings, and deliver targeted training and workshops for individual institutions and consortia. Common areas of focus include best practices in proposal development, proposal composition, project/opportunity alignment, and review panel insights.
Workshops may cover a single discipline or be cross-disciplinary, be agency- or opportunity-specific, focus on writing and editing skills-development, include reviews of working proposal drafts or samples from the field, or meet other client-specific needs. A two-member MQC team typically leads each workshop, allowing for breakout sessions and individual consultations, and offering complementary perspectives from former program officers, grantees, and reviewers.
As a small business, MQC appreciates every contract of every size and scope. We take measures to promote long-term client relationships by tracking the outcomes of each engagement, and by providing cost-free follow-up. In accordance with our Partnership Development Policy, we also offer a 10-percent discount to organizations that engage MQC more than once during any calendar year.
As program officers, principal investigators, and organizational leaders, MQC consultants have spent decades evaluating the relative success of grant-funded programs and research. Our approach is straightforward: What needs did you identify, and how did you aim to meet them? How have you done? What evidence have you gathered, and how have you communicated results? How do stakeholders perceive your efforts? Can we help demonstrate your progress...and your impact? Which activities are worthy of fu
Hourly evaluation services are most appropriate for the external analysis of information gathered internally over the course of a grant-funded project period.
A customized evaluation generally includes at least one site visit by a two- or three-member team*, stakeholder interviews and surveys, document review (including sponsor reports and institutional data), and report preparation for internal use or sponsor submission. In most cases, the MQC evaluation team includes at least one representative with direct experience with the sponsor agency.
*Fees cover all aspects of service, including preparation, delivery, and travel time. Direct transportation costs are covered by clients; however, no additional fees apply for MQC consultants' travel time. The appropriateness of a site visit at this time is dependent on state and local regulations, and on the personal determination by consultants and hosts that an in-person visit is considered safe by all participants. MQC will gladly accommodate requests for virtual visits, even in cases where face-to-face contact is not strictly prohibited.