Guide to Writing a Grant Proposal

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					Instructional Guide for
    Grant Proposal
      Preparation

               2010
 The Elements Your Proposal Will Need to
                Contain
                                                         Table of Contents

Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 2
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. ............................................................................. 3
      Stand Ready to Supplement Your Submission .................................................................... 3
Elements of a Grant Proposal .................................................................................................... 4
      Deadlines ............................................................................................................................ 4
      Forms ................................................................................................................................. 4
Methods of Submission .............................................................................................................. 5
Required Information.................................................................................................................. 5
      Why .................................................................................................................................... 5
      Where ................................................................................................................................. 5
      Who .................................................................................................................................... 5
      When .................................................................................................................................. 6
Funding and Costs ..................................................................................................................... 7
Resources.................................................................................................................................. 8




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Introduction

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.




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      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.




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                          3
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




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                             4
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

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:




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                           5
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.




© Copyright 2010 Docstoc Inc.                                                            6
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.




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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




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/www.primopdf.com




Instructional Guide for Grant Proposal Preparation                                                8
				
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