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

problem

What’s the Problem with Your Problem Statement?

When examining research grant proposals submitted to funding agencies, I am always amazed at the lack of detail in problem statements. The most common issue is that the “so what” question or the hook of the proposal is missing, and if it exists, it is often difficult to locate. Also, the problem description is often… read more

plug

10 Errors That Will Disqualify Your Grant

Poorly written proposals often contain small issues that could have easily been remedied if one had paid close attention to detail. On the other hand, there are other major errors that can immediately disqualify a proposal from being funded, such as the lack of research depth, a bad idea, weak institutional support, and unqualified personnel…. 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

shake

Why You Cannot Afford to Bypass Collaboration

I once had the good fortune of being able to receive funds for collaborative research from a well-known, wealthy, international donor. He asked me what I thought would be the most productive way for him to spend his money for faculty grants. Since I was then working at a university, I asked if he could… read more

research

The Most Important Part of Your NIH Proposal: The Specific Aims Page

The most important part of a medical research application is the Specific Aims page. The reviewers have to understand, appreciate, and be convinced of your idea by the time they finish reading this one page. It is where you provide the summary of your entire project in persuasive terms that convince the reviewer that you… 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

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

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