Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 7a9745-OTAwY


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal


Prof. Ziad Al-Saad and Nizar Abu-Jaber – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:9
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 29
Provided by: govj8
Learn more at:


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal

Tips for Writing a Winning Proposal
  • Prof. Ziad Al-Saad and Nizar Abu-Jaber

  • It takes more than good ideas to get funding for
    your research. You need to explain your good
    ideas to a panel of reviewers in a way that will
    convince them that your work is important and
    that it will likely succeed.
  • You also need to convince them that your ideas
    are better than everbody elses

  • As you prepare your proposal, keep the following
    points in mind. Remember, many ideas fail to gain
    support not because they were not good ideas but
    because they were not clearly and convincingly

Write with your reviewers in mind.
  • - Make sure your argument is easy to follow and
  • - Do not waste the time of your reviewers get
    right to the point.
  • - Include only essential information.
  • - Write in a clear, engaging style.

Be the Master of Form as well as Substance
  • Beware Most granting agencies strictly enforce
    formatting requirements and may return improperly
    formatted applications! Don't risk having your
    application rejected because you exceeded the
    page limits or used an improper font, font size,
    or margins.

General Goodies
  • Make sure your idea is not too broad. Your
    hypothesis must be testable during your three-to
    four-year award with the level of resources you
    are requesting.
  • Keep in mind that your topic should fit with the
    mission of the granting agency.

General Goodies
  • Reviewers also want to see how your project fits
    into the big picture in your field. Make this
    clear and explicit. Search agency databases to
    see what other projects in your field are funded,
    so you can carve out your niche.
  • Don't confuse your hypothesis with your methods.
    Methods are the means for performing your
    experiments. Your experimental results will prove
    or disprove your hypothesis

Develop Solid Hypotheses
  • Choose an important, testable, focused
  • It should be based on previous research.
  • An example of a good research hypothesis
  • Analogs to chemokine receptors can inhibit HIV
  • Examples of a poor research hypothesis
  • Analogs to chemokine receptors can be
    biologically useful.
  • A wide range of moleculescan inhibit HIV

Focus, Focus
  • Sharpen the focus of your application. Applicants
    often overshoot their mark, proposing too much.
  • Make sure the scale of your hypothesis and aims
    fits your request of time and resources.
    Reviewers will quickly pick up on how well
    matched these elements are.
  • Your hypothesis should be testable and aims
    doable with the resources and time frame you are

Formulate clear research questions early in your
  • - What do you want to know?
  • - Why is it important to gain the insights or
    information you are seeking?

Be explicit about the relevance of your work
  • - Which areas of interest are you addressing?
  • - How will your proposal further the objectives
    of the research program?
  • - Is you work relevant to any particular agency?
    If so, be explicit about this connection.

List and discuss prior research that has been
done by you and others.
  • - Where does you proposed work stand in relation
    to other similar research?
  • - What conclusions has prior research reached?
  • - How will your work build on and advance
    research in your particular area?

Make sure your research methods are clearly
described, understandable andrealistic?
  • - Provide a clear outline of what you will do and
  • - Give sufficient detail so a reviewer can judge
    the feasibility of your work.
  • - Anticipate questions about your methods and try
    to answer them.

Make sure your research team has the expertise
needed to carry out the work.
  • Be explicit about who will do what work.
  • Provide information that will allow others to
    assess the abilities of your research team (CVs
    may not be enough).

Discuss limitations and possible problems and how
you will deal with them.
  • - What problems might you encounter in your
  • - How will you deal with these problems?
  • - Are their important questions that you will not
    be able to answer during the proposed research?

Make sure your abstract clearly and precisely
summaries your project.
  • - Briefly summarize your aims, methods, and
    anticipate conclusions.
  • - Take care to avoid technical language that
    makes your abstract difficult to understand.

Carefully check your application for grammar,
style, and argument.
  • - Have you described your research in a logical
  • - Are your paragraphs clear and organized around
    a single point?
  • - Have you checked carefully for careless errors,
    the misuse of words, and other common writing

Have someone who is not familiar with your work
read over your proposal
  • For clarity and style.
  • - Can someone who is not familiar with you work
    follow your description of your proposal?
  • - Did they find your proposal interesting and
    easy to read?
  • - Choose somebody who will tell you things you
    dont want to hear.

Psychiatric Intervention is a Good Thing
  • You WILL get frustrated, angry with the world,
    mad as hell, short tempered with your wife, kids
    and so forth as you write your grant.
  • In fact, you will become clinically deranged at
  • But, you will recover (in most cases..).

You Have Finished a Draft
  • Eventually, you will have a draft narrative
    (unless your computer crashes and you forgot to
    back up your files.)
  • Set it aside for a time.
  • Go back and rewrite it so that it makes sense.
  • Repeat this process until you are sick of looking
    at it.

In Your Spare Time.
  • Besides narrative, there is a bunch of other
    stuff that you have to do. This means the
    administrative form pages. This is good stuff to
    do when you are brain dead from writing your
    science narrative.

Budgets, Budgets
  • Another good thing to do at some point during the
    process is your budget.
  • Prepare your budget after you have written your
    research plan and have a good idea of what the
    costs of your project will be.
  • Request only enough money to do the work.
    Reviewers will judge whether your request is
    realistic and justified by your aims and methods.
  • Significant over-or under-estimating suggests you
    don't understand the scope of the work.

More Budgets, Budgets
  • As a new investigator, you should request a
    relatively modest budget. Be a cheap date but
    dont make your budget so low that you cannot do
    the work proposed if you are funded.

You Have a Decent Draft
  • Remember those two colleagues?
  • Now that you have a decent draft, give it to
  • If they are good colleagues, they will be
  • Dont get upset by criticism, thank them. Its
    better that they point out the flaws than the
  • Consider their comments and revise accordingly.
  • But its ultimately your grant application and you
    know the subject matter better than anyone else.
  • So be as objective as possible. Consider the
    comments of your colleagues but they wont
    (shouldnt) be offended if you dont accept each

The Deadline is Now!
  • At some point, the deadline will be approaching
    fast. You will be clinically insane and obsessed
    with polishing each and every sentence into a
    gem. But it cant go out the door until its
    routed through Research Administration.
  • Please remember that your Research Administration
    staff are human beings.
  • In any case, you need that signature on the face
    page before it goes out the door.
  • So dont take it to Research Administration at
    430 p.m. on the deadline day and expect them to
    sign off without having a chance to review it.
    Plan ahead!

Its Out the Door. Now what happens?
  • Your baby goes to a peer review panel. The
    members of the panel get a big box of grant
    applications, at which time they mutter
    expletives which cannot be repeated here.
  • The box with the grant applications sits on the
    reviewers desk (or the floor) until the time
    before the meeting gets short. Eventually, the
    time comes and your grant application undergoes
    peer review

How Dare You Call my Baby Ugly??!!!
  • Odds are, especially for your first application,
    that is will not be funded on the first try.
  • So, get mad for awhile.
  • Then, get over it and plan a revised application.
  • A revised application may or may not permit you
    respond to the previous critique.
  • Follow the guidelines.
  • Be positive in your response, thanking the panel
    for their insightful advice.
  • But dont be afraid to point out your
    disagreement, doing it respectfully, if
    appropriate. Dont be selective by responding to
    some but not all pertinent comments in the
  • Involve your two colleagues in the process.
  • Send it back.
  • The most important word in grantsmanship is

(No Transcript)