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The Craft of Grant Writing


Set aside time to work on your proposal every day. Eliminate or minimize distractions ... Program to Enhance Scholarly and Creative Activities ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Craft of Grant Writing

The Craft of Grant Writing
  • Phyllis McBride, Ph.D.
  • Assistant Director
  • Office of Proposal Development
  • 979-862-4183

Goal of todays seminar
  • To assist you in or prepare you for your role as
    a researcher
  • To give you a high-level overview of the entire
    project planning and grant writing process
  • To give you the information you need to write
    your first grant application and to make it as
    competitive as possible!

Agenda Morning session
  • 830 Getting started Assessing your readiness
    to submit a proposal Identifying funding
  • 1030 Break
  • 1045 Selecting appropriate funding
    mechanisms Analyzing funding agencies Reading
    the proposal solicitation Understanding the
    review process
  • 1200 Lunch

Agenda Afternoon session
  • 1230 Writing for reviewers Preparing the
    application (review samples)
  • 230 Break
  • 245 Vetting, editing, and proofreading the
    application Revising and resubmitting the
  • 500 Evaluation

Understand the grant environment

Understand the grant environment
  • Realize that the grant application process has
    become more competitive than ever
  • More investigators are applying for grant funds
  • Grant funds are finite

Understand the grant environment
  • Know that funds are available for your research!
  • Federal grant making agencies
  • Private grant making foundations
  • Corporate grant making foundations
  • Community grant making foundations

Understand the grant environment
  • Federal Budget Request for RD for FY 2008

Understand the grant environment
  • Private grant making foundations (2006)
  • 64,405 independent foundations
  • 27.4 billion given (9 increase)
  • Corporate grant making foundations (2006)
  • 2,548 corporate foundations
  • 4.0 billion given (2.6 increase)
  • Community grant making foundations (2006)
  • 717 community grant making foundations
  • 3.5 billion given (11.8 increase)

Getting Started

Know the keys to success
  • Good idea
  • Good grantsmanship
  • Ample time

Be passionate and committed
  • Talent is cheaper than table salt. What
    separates the talented individual from the
    successful one is a lot of hard work.
  • Stephen King

Establish clear priorities
  • Make your proposal one of your top priorities
  • Set aside time to work on your proposal every day
  • Eliminate or minimize distractions
  • Learn to live with good enough

Create time
  • Lead time
  • Work time
  • Proposal processing time
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Create lead time
  • To develop and refine the research topic
  • To identify potential funding opportunities
  • To obtain background information on the agency
  • To download application forms
  • To become familiar with application instructions
  • To recruit collaborators (if needed)
  • To talk with the program manager

Create work time
  • To draft the application
  • To request and obtain supplementary materials
  • To have colleagues vet the application
  • To revise, edit, and proofread the application
  • To prepare the budget
  • To revise, edit, and proofread the budget
  • To ensure that the data presented in the text and
    in the budget are consistent

Create proposal processing time
  • To verify that all instructions have been
  • To route the application for institutional
  • To finalize the application for submission
  • To submit the application to the agency

Practice project management
  • Create a proposal production schedule
  • Identify all required steps in the proposal
    production process, then back into your schedule
  • Divide the proposal into small parts, and
    identify the date by which you need to complete
    each part
  • Allow time to accommodate Murphys law
  • Stick to your schedule!

Assessing your readiness to submit a proposal

Assess your readiness
  • Assess your idea
  • Assess your competition
  • Assess yourself
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Assess your idea
  • Three main kinds of proposals
  • Hypothesis-driven
  • Need-driven
  • Application-driven

Assess your idea
  • Define the problem, need, or application
  • Spend time thinking
  • Gather relevant information
  • Read the literature
  • Vet your idea
  • Discuss your idea with your colleagues and with
    your program manager
  • Refine your idea or move on to another idea

Assess your idea
  • Paradigm shifters
  • Paradigm pioneers
  • Settlers
  • Joel Barker, Paradigms The Business
    of Discovering the Future

Assess your idea
  • Determine if you can identify a category in
    which you can make yourself first
  • Reframe your idea if necessary
  • Evaluate the degree to which your idea is
  • Based on excellent scholarship and/or science
  • Fresh and innovative
  • Significant

Assess your competition
  • Read the literature
  • Find out as much as you can about similar
  • Make sure your idea has not already been funded

Find out if your idea has been funded
  • Search funded award databases
  • Review records of funded projects that are
    relevant to your own
  • Principal investigator
  • Project title
  • Funding agency
  • Review group
  • Award period
  • Award amount
  • Abstract
  • Contact principal investigators to learn more

Funded Awards Basic Science Research
  • NSF http//

Funded Awards Biomedical and Public Health
  • CRISP http//
  • Public Health Service
  • AHRQ
  • CDCP
  • FDA
  • HRSA
  • NIH

Funded Awards Agricultural Research
  • USDA http//

Funded Awards Educational Research
  • U.S. Department of Education http//wdcrobcolp01
    . grantaward/start.cfm

Funded Awards Humanities Research
  • NEH http//

Assess yourself
  • Qualifications
  • Education, training, expertise
  • Resources
  • Tangible and intangible
  • Preliminary data
  • Quantity and quality
  • Available time
  • To prepare application and to conduct project

Assess overall readiness
  • Make the go / no go decision
  • If its a go
  • Begin preparing your application
  • If its a no go
  • Identify what you need to do to become
  • Refine idea
  • Seek additional training
  • Secure required resources
  • Obtain additional preliminary data
  • Postpone to a more favorable grant cycle

Identifying funding opportunities

Search for funding opportunities
  • Consider all possible sources of funds
  • Internal funds
  • College and departmental funds
  • Program to Enhance Scholarly and Creative
  • Mexican-American and U.S. Latino Research Center
  • Race and Ethnic Studies Institute
  • External funds
  • Federal, state, and local agencies
  • Private, corporate, and community foundations
  • Professional organizations

Search for funding opportunities
  • Articulate the topic and purpose of your proposed
    research project
  • Ensures that your research agenda drives your
    funding search
  • Enables you to conduct a more refined search

Search for funding opportunities
  • Remain open-minded as you search
  • Do consider collaborating with a colleague on an
    interdisciplinary project
  • Do consider framing your research project in a
    new way
  • Dont force your topic to fit a program for
    which it is obviously not appropriate

Search for funding opportunities
  • Numerous resources are available to help you find
    the funding program that is most likely to
    support your research
  • Campus resources
  • Sponsor web sites
  • Funding opportunity databases
  • Set aside some time to explore resources
  • Find and consistently use! the resources that
    work best for you

Make use of campus resources
  • Talk to people!
  • Colleagues
  • Department head
  • College research dean
  • Program development staff
  • TAMRF http//
  • TEES http//
  • TAES http//

Read sponsor web sites
  • Federal, state, local agencies
  • Private, corporate, community foundations
  • Professional organizations

Search funding opportunity databases
  • Become self-sufficient in conducting searches of
    funding opportunity databases
  • Recognize that self-directed searches are the
    most productive
  • Sign up for automatic funding alerts!

Find funding opportunities Community of Science
  • Located at http//
  • Features
  • International scope
  • Includes opportunities from federal agencies,
    private foundations, and corporate sponsors
  • Presents 24,000 records representing 400,000
    opportunities worth more than 33 billion
  • Offers an automatic funding alert service

Community of Science
Community of Science
  • Search by keyword, sponsor, or geographic region

Find funding opportunities
  • Located at http//
  • Features
  • National scope
  • Includes opportunities from federal sponsors only
  • Single point of contact for all 26 federal
    grant-making agencies
  • Presents more than 900 grant programs
  • Offers an automatic funding alert service

  • Search by keyword, category, or agency

Find funding opportunities Foundation Center
  • Located at http//
  • Features
  • Profiles of more than 75,000 foundations
  • http//
  • Virtual training classroom
  • http//
  • Philanthropy News Digest RFP Bulletin
  • http//

Foundation Center
Philanthropy News Digest RFP Bulletin
Find funding opportunities Institute of
International Education
  • Located at http//
  • Features
  • Includes opportunities from more than 200
    programs serving more than 20,000 individuals
  • Administers the Fulbright Program
  • http//
  • Lists funding for U.S. citizens to study abroad
  • http//
  • Lists funding for foreign nationals to study in
    the U.S.
  • http//

Institute of International Education
Find funding opportunities National Graduate
Fellowship Programs
  • Numerous graduate fellowship programs are
    available to support graduate students working in
    all disciplines
  • Major graduate fellowships include the following
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships
  • Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships
  • GEM Fellowships
  • Guggenheim Dissertation Fellowships
  • Jacob Javits Fellowship Program
  • National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate
  • NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowships
  • Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellowships

Find funding opportunities Travel Fellowships
  • Departmental travel awards
  • College travel awards
  • Professional organizations
  • Hayak Fund for Scholars
  • https//

  • 1030 a.m. to 1045 a.m.

Fall 2008 Semester-Long Craft of Grant Writing
  • Applications available at http//
  • Sept. 1 Applications due
  • Sept. 3 Orientation session (9-12)
  • Sept. 10 Kick-off meeting (9-12)

Selecting appropriate funding mechanisms

Select appropriate funding mechanisms
  • Realize that funding mechanisms support research
    projects that vary in scope
  • Project grants
  • Program grants
  • Center grants

Select appropriate funding mechanisms
  • Realize that funding mechanisms support research
    projects that vary in purpose
  • Full-scale research project grant
  • Small-scale research project grant
  • Preliminary studies research project grant
  • Time-sensitive research project grant
  • High-risk research project grant
  • Instrumentation or equipment grant
  • Career development grant
  • Training grant
  • Fellowship (graduate and professional)

Analyzing funding agencies

Understand the research environment
  • Be aware that research programs do not arise out
    of a vacuum
  • Realize that research programs grow out of an
    evolving consensus among the national research
  • Note that understanding the underpinnings of a
    research program can help you frame the
    presentation of your proposed research project in
    a more compelling and competitive way

Learn about the funding agency
  • Mission
  • Culture
  • Organizational structure
  • Strategic plan
  • Investment priorities
  • Available budget
  • Recently funded awards
  • Current announcements

Learn about the funding agency
  • Read the agency web site
  • Talk with colleagues
  • Contact the program manager
  • Visit the agency
  • Volunteer to serve on a review panel

Reading the proposal solicitation

Understand the types of applications
  • Unsolicited applications
  • Investigator-initiated
  • There is not a specific proposal solicitation
  • There is a program or general topic of interest
  • Often have rolling deadlines
  • Solicited applications
  • Agency-initiated
  • There is a specific proposal solicitation
  • There is link to a specific agency initiative
  • Often have one-time deadlines

Read the instructions
  • Read the instructions!
  • Read all of the instructions!
  • Read all of the instructions carefully!
  • Read all of the instructions carefully again!
  • Agencys proposal preparation guide
  • Programs proposal solicitation
  • Solicitations supplemental instructions

Read the solicitation
  • The solicitation provides important information
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Goals and objectives of program
  • Type of funding mechanism supported
  • Availability of funds
  • Required proposal sections
  • Peer review process and peer review criteria
  • Due dates (for letter of intent, pre-proposal,
  • Contact information

Analyze the solicitation
  • The proposal solicitation is not
  • A list of suggestions
  • A menu or smorgasbord from which you can choose
    what to address
  • The proposal solicitation is
  • A non-negotiable list of proposal requirements
  • A treasure map!

Analyze the solicitation
  • Use information presented in the solicitation to
    help you develop a competitive proposal strategy
  • Remember that a proposal is a persuasive sales
  • Emphasize hot buttons
  • Echo language of announcement
  • Include all required components
  • Address all review criteria

Understanding the review process

Know the review criteria
  • Realize that criteria vary from one agency and
    even one program to the next
  • Identify the review criteria for your targeted
    agency, program, solicitation
  • Understand how the agency defines each of the
  • Determine how the agency weights each of the
    criteria (if applicable)

Consider typical review criteria
  • Investigator(s)
  • Education, training, expertise, relevant
    experience, track record
  • Environment
  • Access to and suitability of facilities, support
    of institution
  • Significance
  • Importance of project to the field
  • Approach
  • Feasibility of methods
  • Innovation
  • Originality of research
  • Budget
  • Appropriateness of budget

Understand the review process
  • Realize that the review process varies from one
    agency and even one program to the next
  • Identify your targeted programs review process
  • Merit review
  • Typically external, but sometimes internal at
    mission agencies
  • Administrative review
  • Typically internal
  • Note that most agencies rely on a combination of
    both merit and administrative reviews

  • 1200 p.m. to 1230 p.m.

Writing for reviewers

Think about your reviewers
  • Remember that while your application will be
    submitted to an agency, it will be read by people
  • Prepare your application with your reviewers in

Think about your reviewers
  • Smart
  • Accomplished
  • Dedicated
  • Conscientious
  • Fair

Think about your reviewers
  • Busy
  • Overworked
  • Tired
  • Skeptical
  • Probably not as familiar with your topic as you

Think about your reviewers
  • Avoid writing sentences that are worthy of
    submission to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

Think about your reviewers
  • I know what youre thinking, punk, hissed Wordy
    Harry to his new editor, youre thinking, Did
    he use six superfluous adjectives or only five?
    and to tell the truth, I forgot myself in all
    this excitement but being as this is English,
    the most powerful language in the world, whose
    subtle nuances will blow your head clean off,
    youve got to ask yourself one question Do I
    feel loquacious? well, do you, punk?
  • Stuart Vasepuru, runner-up 2006 Bulwer
    Lytton Fiction Contest

Think about your reviewers
  • Distinguishing between innovations that emerge
    from empirical testing of concepts and
    pre-existing notions and practices currently
    embraced by businesses to distinguish themselves
    from competitors in a given local consumer market
    illustrates the extent to which competitive
    incentives to offer new and potentially
    innovative products may encourage such businesses
    to adopt practices from other markets, thereby
    avoiding costs associated with research and
    development of those new products.
  • From Morrison and Russell, Grant
    Application Writers Workbook

Think about your reviewers
  • We will use the previously designed data
    collection instrument, described in section B.3.1
    on page 16, and the statistical analysis, similar
    to that which is in the methods section of the
    reprint attached as appendix VI, to measure the
    extent to which our healthcare assessments
    approaches will be reflective of the community
    standards described in Section B.2.1 on page 5.
  • From Morrison and Russell, Grant
    Application Writers Workbook

Write for your reviewers
  • In language, clarity is everything.
  • Confucius

Help your reviewers be your advocate
  • Realize that the application is the only thing
    reviewers will have in hand in order to evaluate
    your idea
  • Realize that when youre so close to your topic,
    its easy to assume that everyone else
    understands it as fully as you do

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Tell the story
  • No matter what the genre, all writing is
  • Steven Taylor Goldsberry

Create reviewer-friendly text
  • Divide the proposal into the required sections
  • Place the sections in the required order
  • Use parallel structure from one section to the
  • Incorporate logical paragraph breaks
  • Open paragraphs with clear topic sentences
  • Discuss important items first
  • Avoid the use of inflated language
  • Use declarative sentences
  • Define potentially unfamiliar terms
  • Spell out acronyms and abbreviations
  • Employ appropriate style and usage
  • Use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Run a spell check and proofread the application

Create a reviewer-friendly format
  • Observe page limitations
  • For whole proposal
  • For individual proposal sections
  • Observe margin requirements
  • Observe font and point size requirements
  • Incorporate headings and subheadings
  • Incorporate ample white space

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Create reviewer-friendly graphics
  • Place graphics as close to the text they are
    meant to illustrate as possible
  • Refer to graphics in the text
  • Number and title all graphics
  • Prepare a caption for all graphics
  • Label axes and data points, as needed
  • Provide a legend, as needed
  • Make graphics large enough to be useful
  • Provide color copies if color and/or color
    gradient is important

Preparing the application

Before you begin . . .
  • Make sure you have identified the following
  • Goal
  • Indicates the purpose for the project as a whole
  • Should be aligned with the agencys mission
  • Objectives
  • Indicate the purpose for each specific part of
    your project
  • Should be aligned with your overall goal
  • Should be specific and measurable
  • Rationale
  • Indicates why you want to achieve your purpose
  • Should be clear and logical
  • Expected outcomes
  • Indicate what will change as a result of your
    research (e.g., behavior, performance, process,
  • Should include both immediate and long-term

Before you begin . . .
  • Talk with your program manager!
  • Do your homework
  • Make an appointment
  • Listen to the response
  • Request clarification
  • Follow up

Prepare the application
  • Generate text. . . . The goal is to get
    something down. On paper. . . . Whether youre
    a beginner or a seasoned professional, the
    process is the same. Get started with one word
    and add to it.
  • Steven Taylor Goldsberry

Prepare the application
  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Research ethics
  • References
  • Biographical sketch
  • Resources
  • Grant support
  • Supplementary materials
  • Cover sheet
  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Project summary / specific aims
  • Significance
  • Background
  • Research and project design
  • Project schedule
  • Budget
  • Budget justification

Cover Sheet
  • Requires that you provide basic information about
    yourself, your institution, and your proposed
    research project
  • Oftentimes offers you the opportunity to indicate
    if you are a new investigator

  • Used by agency administrators to route your
    proposal to the appropriate reviewers
  • Should provide an accurate representation of
    your proposed project
  • Should generate interest in and enthusiasm for
    your proposed project
  • Should conform to agency requirements
  • Program name
  • Number of characters

  • Used by agency administrators to route your
    proposal to the appropriate reviewers
  • Provides a concise overview of the proposed
  • Requires that you provide a great deal of
    information within a very limited amount of space
  • Sometimes requires that you provide this
    information in a prescribed format
  • Becomes public record if the project is funded

Project summary / specific aims
  • Critically important
  • Must provide a conceptual overview
  • Must outline the project goals, objectives, and
  • Must be clearly written
  • Must grab the reviewers attention
  • Must generate enthusiasm for the project
  • Must be able to stand alone
  • Often the only part of the proposal that all
    reviewers will have an opportunity to read

Project summary / specific aims
Introduction to the problem / need
Overall project goal
Individual project objectives
Project outcomes / benefits
First paragraph
  • Introduce the project
  • Relate the project to the agencys mission
  • Educate the reviewer
  • Summarize the important knowns
  • Identify the gap in the knowledge and/or state
    the critical need
  • Explain why the gap or need presents a problem
  • Remember You must present a way to solve the
    problem or fill the need
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Second paragraph
  • State your goal for the proposed research project
  • Should support the agencys mission
  • Present your central hypothesis or statement of
  • If presenting a central hypothesis, make sure you
    are presenting a real hypothesis one that can
    be tested not a predetermined conclusion
  • Explain your rationale
  • Should explain what it will be possible to
    accomplish when your research is complete
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Third paragraph
  • Describe your qualifications
  • Special training, expertise, and experience
  • Quantity and quality of preliminary data
  • Unique approach, technology
  • Describe your research environment
  • Collaborations and partnerships
  • Access to research subjects
  • Access to unique equipment and resources
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Fourth paragraph
  • Delineate your objectives / specific aims
  • Ensure that all objectives link back to and
    support your overall goal
  • Provide a reasonable number of objectives
  • Present objectives in a logical order
  • Define a specific purpose, hypothesis and/or
    need, and expected outcome for each objective
  • Make sure each objective can stand alone
  • Make sure no objective is dependent on the
    successful outcome of another objective
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Fifth paragraph
  • Reiterate the projects significance and
  • Fill a gap in the knowledge
  • Advance the field
  • Meet a need
  • Provide an application
  • Delineate the projects expected outcomes
  • List specific deliverables
  • Summarize the projects benefits
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

  • Demonstrate your familiarity with the field
  • Contextualize the proposed project
  • Nature of the problem
  • Extent of the problem
  • Significance of the problem
  • Provide a literature review and a description of
    your preliminary studies

Literature review
  • Cite only that literature which is directly
    relevant to the proposed project
  • Provide a critical evaluation of the literature
    you cite
  • Situate your proposed research project in the

Preliminary studies
  • Provide an account only of the preliminary
    studies relevant to the proposed research project
  • Determine how much preliminary data to include
  • Present the results in a logical order
  • Demonstrate how the preliminary results relate to
    the proposed project
  • Consider illustrating the results with graphics

Project description
  • Organize the project description around the
    overall project goal and objectives
  • Try to devote an equal number of pages to each
    of the objectives
  • Use parallel structure to outline each of the

Project description
  • 1. Title of objective
  • 1.1 Introduction to objective
  • Hypothesis / statement of need
  • Rationale
  • 1.2 Approach to objective
  • Theory
  • Methodology
  • Experimental design
  • Experiment / task 1, etc.
  • 1.3 Anticipated problems and solutions
  • 1.4 Expected outcomes

Project schedule
  • Indicate the anticipated start date
  • Delineate the key milestones
  • Incorporate the agency and program requirements

  • Understand typical budget categories
  • Direct costs
  • Personnel
  • Equipment
  • Materials
  • Travel
  • Indirect costs

  • Adhere to agency and program requirements
  • Include only allowable costs
  • Request what you need to complete the project
  • Make sure the budget reflects the research
    projects objectives, scope, and duration
  • Base budget on real costs
  • Remember that reviewers know what things cost
  • Factor in both direct and indirect costs
  • Factor in cost escalations for multi-year

Budget justification
  • Provide a clear, appropriately detailed, and
    persuasive explanation of why each budget request
    is needed
  • Ensure that the budget numbers mentioned in the
    proposal narrative, the budget, and the budget
    justification are consistent

Project evaluation and assessment
  • Kinds of evaluation plans
  • Formative
  • Takes place during the project
  • Often qualitative
  • Summative
  • Takes place at the end of the project
  • Often quantitative

Research ethics
  • Address all relevant ethical issues regarding
    inclusion of human and animal subjects and use of
    hazardous materials, select agents, or rDNA
  • Justify use of human and animal subjects and or
    hazardous materials, select agents, or rDNA
  • Demonstrate that potential benefits outweigh
    potential risks
  • Delineate training procedures
  • Explain safeguards from potential risks
  • Discuss reporting procedures

Biographical sketch
  • Emphasize qualifications relevant to the proposed
  • Ability to conduct project
  • Ability to manage project
  • Adhere to agencys formatting requirements
  • Use the required form (if applicable) or follow
    the required format
  • Stay within prescribed page limits
  • Include the required headings
  • Place information in the required order
  • If you are collaborating
  • Format your colleagues resumes like your own

Biographical sketch
  • Name
  • Title
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Education
  • Professional appointments
  • Publications
  • Grant awards
  • Collaborators
  • Co-authors, co-editors, advisors, advisees

  • Demonstrate that it is feasible to conduct the
    proposed research project at your institution
  • Demonstrate that you are part of an
    intellectually stimulating and supportive
    research environment

  • Laboratory
  • Clinical
  • Animal
  • Computer
  • Office
  • Other

Grant support
  • Show that you have a clear research agenda
  • Show that you have been productive on past
  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient time to
    conduct and manage the proposed research project
  • Demonstrate that there is no overlap between one
    of your already funded projects and your
    proposed research project

Grant support
  • Principal investigator
  • Contract number
  • Sponsoring agency
  • Project start and end dates
  • Project role
  • Project title
  • Project summary

Supplementary materials
  • Verify that supplementary materials are accepted
  • Avoid using supplementary materials to circumvent
    page limitations
  • Include only supplementary materials that support
    the application
  • Offprints of publications, manuscripts, abstracts
  • Clinical protocols or informed consent documents
  • Samples of surveys, questionnaires, or data
    collection instruments
  • Samples of curricula
  • Photographs, graphics, or other media
  • Other materials, as required
  • Letters of support or other endorsements

  • 230 p.m. to 245 p.m.

Fall 2008 Craft of Grant Writing Workshop
  • Applications available at http//
  • Sept. 1 Applications due
  • Sept. 3 Orientation session (9-12)
  • Sept. 10 Kick-off meeting (9-12)

Vetting, editing, and proofreading the application

Create multiple drafts
  • You will have to write and put away or burn a
    lot of material before you are comfortable in
    this medium. You might as well start now and get
    the necessary work done. For I believe that
    eventually quantity will make for quality.
  • Ray Bradbury

Revise your application
  • Anne Lamott refers to the first draft as the
    down draft and the second as the up draft,
    because you get it down then fix it up.
  • Steven Taylor Goldsberry

Ask colleagues to vet your application
  • Identify colleagues to review the application
  • Provide reviewers with the information they need
  • Give reviewers ample time to read the application
  • Review, evaluate, and incorporate feedback

Recognize fatal flaws
  • Reviewers receive so many proposals that they
    often look for a fatal flaw, i.e., a reason not
    to fund a proposal
  • Failing to present a good, original, and
    significant idea
  • Failing to propose a reasonable amount of work
    for the award time
  • Failing to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of
    the literature
  • Failing to provide sufficient preliminary data
  • Failing to develop independent, stand-alone
  • Failing to delineate a focused approach
  • Failing to demonstrate outcomes and future
  • Failing to provide a reasonable budget
  • Failing to protect the safety of laboratory
    workers and/or animals
  • Failing to follow instructions
  • Adapted from David Morrison and Stephen
    Russell, Write Winning Grants

Edit your application
  • Set aside the instructions and application for a
    few days
  • Re-read the instructions and application
  • Ensure that you have included all required
  • Confirm that you have placed sections in the
    required order
  • Verify that you have addressed all review
  • Ask yourself if you have told the story of
    your proposed research project in the most
    clear, compelling, and convincing way possible

Proofread your application
  • Check for errors
  • Facts
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Usage
  • Style
  • Run a spell check

Route and submit your application
  • Allow ample time to route your application for
    institutional approvals
  • Know the exact date and time that your
    application is due
  • Know how your proposal should be submitted
  • By mail
  • Postmark date vs. receipt date
  • Number of copies
  • Binding requirements
  • Electronically
  • Web site or e-mail address
  • File requirements

Wait for news
  • And wait . . .
  • And wait . . .
  • And wait . . .

Receive review comments
  • Many agencies will send you the individual
    reviews and/or a summary statement
  • Reviews can give you a good sense of whether or
    not your proposed research project is likely to
    be funded
  • Dont celebrate or despair over your reviews
    until you receive official word from the agency

Receive review comments
  • If your proposal is funded . . .
  • Celebrate!

Receive review comments
  • If your proposal is not funded . . .
  • Deal with rejection

Deal with rejection
  • We have read your manuscript with boundless
    delight. If we were to publish your paper, it
    would be impossible for us to publish any work of
    lower standard. And as it is unthinkable that in
    the next thousand years we shall see its equal,
    we are, to our regret, compelled to return your
    divine composition, and to beg you a thousand
    times to overlook our short sight and timidity.
  • Rejection slip from a Chinese economic journal

Revising and resubmitting the application

Revise and resubmit your application
  • Never give in, never give in, never, never,
    never, never in nothing, great or small, large
    or petty never give in except to convictions or
    honor and good sense.
  • Winston Churchill

Revise and resubmit your application
  • Respect the views of reviewers
  • Review the reviews
  • Decide whether or not you have a viable project
  • If you dont, revise the idea or come up with a
    new one
  • If you do, revise and resubmit the application

Meet performance expectations
  • Remember that when agencies and foundations fund
    your research project, they expect to see results
  • Realize that productivity on one project affects
    your ability to be awarded funding for additional
    projects in the future

  • Please take a moment to complete the evaluation.
    We value your feedback.

Fall 2008 Craft of Grant Writing Workshop
  • Applications available at http//
  • Sept. 1 Applications due
  • Sept. 3 Orientation session (9-12)
  • Sept. 10 Kick-off meeting (9-12)

Craft of Grant Writing
  • Thank you,
  • and good luck with your application!