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Grant Proposal Writing Guide

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					This is a guide on how to write a complete and competitive grant proposal. This guide
includes information on how to determine the grant’s requirements, the time required to
write a grant proposal, gathering the necessary information, following the instructions of
the grant letter, supplementing your submission, and double checking facts and work. It
is essential that the grant proposal be turned in before the deadline because any late
grant proposals will not be considered. This document is ideal for individuals or entities
that want to learn more information about how to write an effective grant proposal.
                                                    2010
Instructional Guide for Grant Proposal Preparation
The Elements Your Proposal Will Need to Contain




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Instructional Guide for Grant Proposal Preparation

Basic Considerations ..................................................................................................................... 2
      Determine the requirements. ................................................................................................. 2
      Give yourself enough time. ..................................................................................................... 2
      Gather the necessary information. .......................................................................................... 2
      Follow the instructions to the letter. ........................................................................................ 2
      Double-check your facts and your work. .................................................................................. 2
      Stand Ready to Supplement Your Submission ........................................................................... 2
Elements of a Grant Proposal ......................................................................................................... 3
Deadlines .................................................................................................................................... 3
Forms.......................................................................................................................................... 3
Methods of Submission ................................................................................................................. 3
Required Information.................................................................................................................... 3
Funding and Costs ........................................................................................................................ 5
Resources .................................................................................................................................... 5




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                                                                   1
Instructional Guide for Grant Proposal Preparation


How your final proposal should look will be based, in great part, on the organization to which you apply,
as each organization will have its own unique requirements. These instructions are intended to be a
basic overview of the requirements that apply to most grant applications.


Basic Considerations

        Determine the requirements.
        The first determination will be whether or not you qualify, so carefully review the requirements
        for obtaining the grant prior to getting started. If you are requesting grant money for a new
        project, your proposal must be compelling enough to warrant funds. The overriding
        requirement will be to sell your idea of the research you wish to conduct.

        Give yourself enough time.
        If you rush your proposal, you run the risk of submitting an incomplete or sloppy application,
        either of which can result in a denial of the grant. Start early, and give yourself a deadline that is
        before the actual “drop dead date,” so you can check, and double-check your work.

        Gather the necessary information.
        Before you begin to build your grant proposal, compile all the information you will need in order
        to complete it. Some organizations will provide you with a check-list for doing so, but, if not,
        prepare your own.

        Follow the instructions to the letter.
        Make sure you understand the instructions for application, and if you have questions, ask them
        ahead of time, particularly since federal agencies are not always so timely in their responses.

        Double-check your facts and your work.
        Once you are satisfied that your proposal is complete, put it away for at least twenty-four hours,
        then pull it out and proofread it with a critical eye. Even better, have a colleague or partner
        proof your work in an effort to catch inconsistencies, typographical or grammatical errors. This
        is particularly important if English is not your native tongue.

        Stand Ready to Supplement Your Submission
        Even if you believe you have prepared and submitted a thorough and complete application, do
        not be surprised if you are subsequently asked to provide additional information. If you are
        asked to do so, make sure you have a clear understanding of what information is needed, and
        when the additional information must be submitted.




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Elements of a Grant Proposal


Deadlines

This is probably the most important element of any grant proposal. You simply must meet the discrete
deadline, as late submissions are generally rejected out of hand. The Department of Health & Human
Services, National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) (the arm of the federal government primarily responsible
for overseeing federally-funded research) has well-defined deadlines for different types of grants, and
maintains a chart on its website that lays these out. (Please see Standard Due Dates for Completing
Applications at the following URL: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.) NIH
Research Grants have three separate deadlines, as follows:

        Cycle I: Due by March 5th.

        Cycle II: Due by July 5th.

        Cycle III: Due by November 5th.

Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. (in your time zone) on each of these dates.

Forms

These days, most grant applications must be completed electronically, and submitted through the
grantor’s website or portal. There are, however, some grants that you will still be required to submit in
a paper format. Keep in mind that there will most likely be different forms for submission, depending
on which format is required. Remember, too, that for electronic submissions, you will be required to
register in order to have access to the correct portal. This can take several weeks, so make sure you
allow enough time to complete your registration.

There will also be different forms required based on whether you are a new requestor or if you have
received grants in the past. Make sure you are using the correct forms, as this, too, can result in a
rejection of your application. Finally, ensure that you are not just completing the primary forms, but
that you have all of the required addenda or additional information forms that may also be required.

Methods of Submission

The NIH wants all submissions to be in a .pdf format, but other organizations may require something
different. Make sure that; (a) you know what format is required, and (b) that you have the software
necessary to convert your documentation into the correct format.

Required Information




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No matter what type of grant you are seeking, you will be required to provide the same basic
information in your proposal. This will consist primarily of the following:

Why: You must be able to clearly articulate why the research is necessary. What need will it fill? How
will conducting the research be of benefit to the community or the world at large? This will require you
to make a very clear statement of the problem prompting the research, and how your proposed
research can help solve that problem.

Where: Not only must you describe the physical location in which the research will take place, but you
must be honest in assessing and describing any barriers that the physical location may impose, and how
you propose to overcome them. You will need to describe the resources that will be available to you in
this location, and whether or not you have the blessing of those in charge of the location to conduct the
research. This will almost always include approval by the organization’s Institutional Review Board
(“IRB”), so make sure you determine the requirements for obtaining that approval well in advance. NIH
grants will always require IRB approval from an IRB registered with the NIH, so checking this in advance
can save you from wasted effort and frustration later on.

Who: If your research will involve human participants, you must describe how those participants will be
selected, how you will solicit their participation, and what factors will determine those participants who
are selected to participate in the research. Further, be prepared to explain, at the very least to the IRB,
how the safety and privacy of those participants will be maintained.

This can entail submission of sample intake forms and questionnaires that will be used to select
participants, Notices of Privacy Practices that must be provided to participants, and, most importantly,
Informed Consent documents. (While developed specifically for California institutions, the California
Hospital Association has the most comprehensive Consent Manual around, which is an excellent
resource if you must develop Informed Consent from scratch.) Remember, that if you will be conducting
research in an area that has a non-English speaking population, you will be required to have your forms
translated into those languages.

Further, you will need to provide a good deal of information on who will be conducting the research –
their credentials, experience, and what qualifies them for this project. Be prepared to not only offer
information on the principle and secondary investigators, but also on those who may collaborate or
consult on the project, and the qualifications of support staff, as well as how much support you expect
to need and have. You may also consider outlining a plan for pulling in additional resources if it
becomes apparent during the research project that they’re needed.

When: You will be required to lay out your timeline for the project, including when you plan to start,
how long you believe it will take for each step in the process, and when you intend to wrap it up and
compile your findings. Where this will be laid out for you by the funder, you must ensure that your plan
matches theirs. A good tool for this purpose is a Gantt chart, and you can find inexpensive software to
help you with the development of such a chart, if you need assistance. At the very least, you should
develop a spreadsheet that includes a brief description of every step in the process and how long that
step is expected to take. If it is an element that will be ongoing throughout the study, indicate so.


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Funding and Costs

Of critical importance in your project is to be able to show how much it will cost to implement, and how
the money will be spent. Estimating a budget can be difficult, but is essential to obtaining the grant.
You will need to show the expected cost of facilities, equipment and technology usage, as well as
personnel costs. Be prepared to describe methods for keeping your project within the confines of your
budget, as well as some measures you plan to take in an effort to keep costs down. You are applying for
a grant, which means you’ll be working with someone else’s money, and they will want to know that you
are being cost-conscious. A key consideration here will be contracts that you can put in place with the
organization who will be hosting you during the research, and showing that you have made good faith
negotiations for the costs of laboratory, radiologic, or other tests will serve you well.

Resources

The preparation and submission of grant proposals may seem almost as time-consuming as you expect
the actual research to be, but there are many resources out there that can help you with this process.
Below are URLs for just some of these resources:

       National Institutes of Health: http://www.nih.gov/

       California Hospital Association: http://www.calhealth.org/

       Grants.gov: http://grants.gov/

       Free Gantt chart software: http://www.freedownloadscenter.com/Best/free-gantt-soft.html

       Free .pdf conversion software: http://www.primopdf.com




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                               5

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: This is a guide on how to write a complete and competitive grant proposal. This guide includes information on how to determine the grant’s requirements, the time required to write a grant proposal, gathering the necessary information, following the instructions of the grant letter, supplementing your submission, and double checking facts and work. It is essential that the grant proposal be turned in before the deadline because any late grant proposals will not be considered. This document is ideal for individuals or entities that want to learn more information about how to write an effective grant proposal.
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