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5 Things to Know About the Language and Culture of a Grant Donor

I am often asked: “Can I submit the same grant proposal to multiple funding agencies?” Obviously, the answer is a definite no, but it is also important to understand the implications behind such a question. It assumes that all donors are the same; that they would fund whatever we wish funded; that there is a… read more

trump

What the Trump Budget Means for Grant Funding

President Trump’s federal budget plan will mean stiffer competition for research, education, and humanities funding. Although the proposed budget will likely undergo changes before it is finalized, the stage has been set for potentially severe cuts. Specifically, the deepest proposed cuts are: Environmental Protection Agency (31% reduction), State Department (29% reduction), and the Department of… read more

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Grant Success: Start Small, Think Big

I often encounter people in my grant workshops who want to immediately start swimming with the sharks, even though they do not yet know how to swim. In amazement, I ask them how they came to the conclusion that they can so easily compete with seasoned grant writers. The answers vary. Some of the most… 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

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

NSF

The Most Important Part of Your NSF Proposal: The Summary Page

In last week’s blog I discussed the Specific Aims page for proposals that will be submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This week’s focus will be on the Summary Page for National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals. Each NSF Summary Page, which cannot be over one page in length (or 4,600 characters with spaces),… read more

comparison

Are You Writing for the Wrong Donors?

I am often asked if the same proposal can be submitted to different types of donors. For anyone who has extensive experience with various types of grants, the answer is obvious. No, you cannot submit the same proposal to different donors. Although grant programs may be somewhat similar from agency to agency or federal to… read more

data

Sources of Data to Build Your Argument

Citing authoritative sources in your proposal can greatly improve your chances of being funded. Data, statistics, and respected voices in the field will be your best means of persuasion. Multiple current and convincing sources of data will strengthen your argument. Some of the key sources for such data searches are listed below: Federal Sources Citations… read more

NSF

Why Did My Research Proposal Fail?

The success rate for research proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) is in the teens. So why do more than 80% of submissions fail? The reasons vary from poor writing, to not following directions, to a lack of examples. The major cause, however, is that many submissions are not research projects at all. For those that are,… read more