cuts

Profound Attack on US Education Funding

Just as US education outcomes have begun showing statistical improvement, the new budget cuts passed by the House and awaiting Senate approval, are an assault on education at all levels. The long term impact of these cuts on the K-12 levels will be felt especially by lower income students and families and underrepresented groups. Higher… read more

doctor

Five Crucial Facets of Successful Research Funding

Do you want to get a grant? Chances are that you can, but only if you properly organize yourself. Whether you have a complex or simple proposal, the major facets you must master are: rigor, focus, preliminary data, communication, and persistence. Rigor Rigor encompasses a whole host of practices. In research, it’s the belief that… read more

plan

10 Key Ingredients of Winning Proposals

There are numerous components that comprise a winning proposal, and there are many factors that ultimately lead to the donor’s decision to fund or not to fund a proposal. The key elements, however, begin with a solid idea, continue with a clear business plan and end with deliverables that are evidence-based. Specifically, winning proposals should… read more

style

Want to Get a Grant? Change Your Style

Every time I look at a grant proposal that my colleagues in academia give me to review, I am astounded at how difficult it is to read and comprehend. They often use extensive scholarly language that is specific to their field. Their proposals sound like publications in academic journals rather than business plans for grant… 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

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

elements

10 Common Elements of Winning Proposals

Ten universal aspects that make winning proposals are: 1. clearly defined needs and describing how those needs were identified This section of your proposal is probably the most important. It is your convincing argument on why you should be funded. Research, preliminary data, surveys, and planning grants help you identify the problem you want to… read more

outcome

Outcomes: 5 Questions You Must Answer

Confusing outcomes with methods is one of the most common errors that grantees make. To clarify, methods are described in the objectives; meanwhile, the outcomes are identified by the success that occurs. The two examples below demonstrate the approach: Example 1 Objective: To initiate a 4-hour per week tutoring program over a 6-month period for… read more

evaluation

Evaluation: Measuring Success

Donors will always ask how you will know if your idea is succeeding. Your response can make or break your chance to win the grant, and your evaluation plan holds the answer. Reassuring the donor that you have a strong evaluation component – and that your project will make a substantial impact – will add… 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