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

moneytree

Five Writing Style Secrets to Get You Funded

One of the primary reasons for first-rate ideas not being funded is inferior writing style. Unfortunately, this issue is often found even in the proposals of senior researchers. Paying close attention to how the request is presented and the language that is used to make the case for funding can remedy this problem. There are… read more

shake

How to Write Successful Collaborative Applications

Writing a research grant application by yourself is daunting, and this feeling doesn’t go away, even when you collaborate with others to write the grant. Multidisciplinary collaborative research grant applications are becoming the norm for early and seasoned investigators. But navigating through these applications is different from writing an application as a single investigator. For… read more

teaching-and-research

Building a Culture of Research at “Teaching Institutions”

In my most recent grant writing workshop, one of the participants had been instructed to attend by the provost of his institution. Unfortunately, he did not want to be there, and was certain that all efforts for research funding would fail at his institution. When I asked him why he is so certain, he replied:… read more

confused

Why You Should Not Hire an External Grant Writer

If you do not want the implementation phase of your proposal to suffer, do not hire a grant writer. Earlier in my career I served as a grant writer on a contractual basis for various organizations as well as wrote many grants for the institutions where I was an employee. I was hired because I… read more

questions

Five Key Questions for Grant Success

Five key questions that are universal to all grant writing will determine the success of a proposal. Knowledge, credibility, direction, research, and passion are essential components of any proposal. Politics will also play an important part in this process. This requires a full understanding of what the funder wants. If the objectives and the language… read more

moneytree

Justifying Your Proposal: The Budget

I often hear over and over again how difficult it is to create a budget. In many ways I can understand that this is a problem, as most grants are about specific ideas and will need a budget figure. It is difficult to budget ideas; thus, many people struggle with this particular part of the… read more

teams

Five People You Need on Your Proposal Writing Team

The most successful grant seekers are able to utilize effective teams. Not all individuals on your team may end up being part of the grant, but they will define the way the entire process of the grant request is assessed, constructed and written. You will need people on the team who understand the institutional mission… read more

1st-step

The Most Important Advice for New Grant Writers

Several million dollars in funding, heaps of grant proposals that have been implemented, numerous partnerships, and many interdisciplinary successes have taught me that grant writing is a process. Like any other skill, it takes passion, preparation, credibility, and perseverance. If you are writing your first grant proposal, it is extremely important you remember the following… read more

fatal

Five Lethal Research Grant Flaws

The success rate for scientific proposals can be as low as 12%. Poor writing, insufficient preliminary data, and a deficient literature review can all contribute to rejection, but are fixable. On the other hand, the five most fatal flaws which follow are very difficult to overcome even with multiple submissions. Lack of significance To help… read more