language

Do You Speak the Private Donor’s Language?

Every time I travel abroad to a place where the language and culture are different, there are always situations where it is difficult to be understood. These experiences often remind me of the flawed way I approached my first grant. I thought the fact that I had an innovative idea would alone merit funding. I… read more

first step

Six Necessary Steps for Grant Success

A failed grant request can lead to disappointment, doubt in one’s ability, confusion about what to do next, lowered morale, and perhaps even unwillingness to try again. Consequently, as grant procurement becomes more complex and competitive; how do you improve your chances of success? Follow these five simple steps to achieve great results: Employ a… read more

NSF logo

Navigating the National Science Foundation Website

Becoming familiar with the various resources available on the funding agency’s website is the first step in learning how to write a successful grant proposal. For example, the applicant should show familiarity with the mission and the strategic plan of the funding agency. What are the key words in these documents? The applicant should use… read more

climate

Climate Change: Sea Levels and Funding on the Rise

On a recent trip to Trinidad and Tobago to discuss sustainable tourism, I was appalled to learn that entire villages had disappeared due to the rising sea level. On another trip to Alaska, I could see the melting icebergs, which is one of the causes of the sea level rise in the Caribbean. As I… read more

fellowship

Fellowships: Diversity, Criminal Justice Reform, Education and More

Throughout my career, fellowships were central in assisting my academic pursuits and research with colleagues in the U.S. and abroad. I have fond memories of these awards, because they enriched my life and work. Federal and private donor fellowships are awarded for a multitude of reasons, including dissertation completion, advanced research, collaborative and interdisciplinary work,… read more

first step

Your First Step: Understanding the Request for Proposal

Before you start writing, you absolutely must thoroughly read and understand the Request for Proposal (RFP). My very first experience with the RFP was so intimidating that I almost did not want to proceed with the submission. However, when I realized that much of it contained boilerplate information about the agency and their legal requirements,… read more

questions

6 Most Asked Questions about Grants

Preparing a grant proposal can be a stressful and complicated process. Thus, anyone involved in the production – whether a novice or sophisticated grant writer – has questions. These range from where to begin to how the new regulations will affect success, to how the review process works and what to do after a rejection…. read more

sharks

The Grant Competition: Swim with the Sharks

Before you apply for a grant, you must ask yourself if you are in it to win it. Since the average success rate for government grants is less than 20 percent, you have to be ready to swim with the sharks. Ask yourself how thoroughly you have studied the playing field, how well equipped you… read more

obstacle

Seven Obstacles That Kill Your Proposal

The seven most common issues that I encounter from grantees in my workshops emerge from desperation, a false sense of security, or intellectual doubt. I hear comments such as “I thought I would get it done, but time just flew by,” or “we need the money to survive.” I also frequently take notice of statements… read more