How to Write a Winning Grant Proposal by epmd


									How to Write a Winning
Grant Proposal
C. Dianne Martin, Dean
College of Information Technology

Todd DeVriese, Chair
Department of Art & Design

December 17, 2006
Getting Started: ATTITUDE!
• A good proposal has “attitude”
• Don’t assume the reader will grasp
  the significance of your idea
• Give context, explain fully, convince
  the reader you know what you are
• You must convince the grantor that
  you need the funding and will use it
  wisely to solve the problem
• Marketing yourself and your idea
    Defining the Project

• Choose a problem or an idea you wish
    to pursue
•   Survey the literature
•   Contact established investigators in
    the area
•   Prepare a brief concept paper
•   Discuss your idea with others
•   Get started on the project
Your Proposal Should
Answer These Questions
•   What are you going to do?
•   Why is this important?
•   What is your unique contribution?
•   Is it feasible?
•   Why are you the best person to do it?
•   What are others doing in this area?
•   How will you do it?
•   How will you evaluate your results?
•   How will you disseminate your
Proposal Writing Hints
• Present your ideas clearly & succinctly to
  capture the reviewer’s attention
• Present the main thrust of the project at the
  beginning - don’t bury your lead!
• Use a concise writing style
• Show relevance with specific examples
• Organize to enable skimming - use headings
• Add a timeline with specific deliverables
• Identify the payoff
• Use a fresh approach, but don't stray from
  accepted methodologies
• Give yourself plenty of time! Peer reviews
  before submission are important!
Remember that you are selling an idea to the
 Type of Grants
•Individual or Collaborative
•Program or Project
•Research or Education

 Types of Proposals
Letter of proposal: usually expanded
 statement of Work
Preliminary proposal: used by agency to
 decide if proposer should develop it further
Expanded proposal: contains all of the
 necessary information to be used in the review
Revised proposal: modified subject to
 comments by reviewers
Guidelines for Proposals

• Vary by institution and agency
• Outline proposal format
• Set conditions on requests
• Set conditions on use of funds
• Set conditions on review
  process and negotiations
Proposal Components

• Executive Summary and/ or
•   Problem/Needs Statement and
•   Research Methods
•   Evaluation Procedures
•   Other Funding Sources
•   Budget
The Introduction should describe:

•   Organization history
•   Statement of purpose and goals
•   Current activities
•   Constituency
•   Funding sources
•   Evaluations
•   Quotes or letters of support
•   Relevant publications summary
Problem Statement
• State the problem simply & concisely
• Relate it to your purpose and goals
• Provide evidence of importance
• Provide justification that you can
  solve the problem
• Make certain that the scope of the
  problem is focused
• State it in the terms of your

Methods need to support the objectives!

• Who: team selection and sampling
• How: what will occur over the life of
  the project
• When: task order and timing
• Why: defend your chosen methods
  and provide assurance that these
  methods will lead to anticipated
• Product - has the research achieved
  its objectives?
• Process - was the research consistent
  with the plan?

• who will do the evaluation?
• method of data collection
• method of data analysis
• method of reporting evaluative
Zayed University RIF
Evaluation Criteria
 Advice on Budgets
• Be specific - do NOT use ball-park figures!
• Be precise - make sure your accounting is
  in order
• Be complete - make sure there are no
  hidden costs
• Be honest - don't make up matching costs
• Be convincing - argue why a line item is
  needed, especially if it is unusual
• Request necessary items and realistic
• Remain within grant guidelines
• Timelines should be realistic, show
  progress and demonstrate rollout of
Excessive budgets irritate reviewers!
General Tips
• Network with people in your field
• Call the program officer or funding
•   Propose results
•   Don't assume the justification is obvious
•   Don't assume all reviewers will agree with
    your position
•   Read and reference all relevant literature
•   Get letters of support from collaborators
•   Identify why you have the expertise to do
    this research
•   Identify what methodologies you will use
Grant Writing as Courtship
• Get to know the funding organizations
• Find the “best match”
• Talk to the funding officer if possible
    to establish a personal relationship
• Reduces the chance of a
    bitter rejection or a bad
•   If you visit in person, be
    nice to the receptionist
    or secretary!
    Common Problems of
    Non-Winning Proposals
•   Key points are buried
•   No highlights or impact not apparent
•   Not an innovative topic or approach
•   Difficult to read, full of jargon, too long, too
    technical, unclear or incomplete
•   Misspellings, grammatical errors, wrong client
    name, and inconsistent formats
•   Failure to differentiate your work from others;
    e.g., no reference to relevant literature
•   Deadline missed
•   Guidelines for proposal not followed EXACTLY
•   Not an agency priority for this year
•   Research beyond capacity of proposer
•   Method of study unsuited to the problem
•   Unrealistic budget
If Your Proposal is
Declined, REMEMBER:
• You are in good company
• Awards are often highly
• Budgetary limitations exert
• Funding agency priorities exert

    Read the reviews and
        TRY AGAIN!
Volunteer to be a
As a Reviewer, you will:

  •   Read good and bad proposals
  •   See the review process in
  •   Write better proposals next
  •   Get a good view of what is
      being funded
  •   Give back to the community
Sources of Information
• US National Science Foundation:
• Online Proposal Writing Handbook:
• Writing a Good Grant Proposal (Simon
  Peyton Jones and Alan Bundy, Microsoft
• Grantwriting 101 Workshop by Wayne
  Carlson, The Ohio State University

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