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What Is a Grant Proposal: Tips and Strategies for a Winning Paper

June 21, 2019 Writing Hints

If you are eager about winning a grant, be ready to work hard on the assignment. Good grants may be not only hard to write but also hard to find, so it is essential that you build networks if you want to succeed academically. Still, when moving closer to the very challenge of writing a grant, you should make sure the paper is truly impeccable in terms of content, grammar, and structure. First, clarify for yourself what is a grant proposal. Despite the fact that there is a single template, it does not mean that they are written in the same way for all the available grants. If you are willing to apply for 2 or 3 grants, keep in mind that you will have to write the same number of proposals. Moreover, grants have different formats, and if you want to succeed, you should follow them precisely. Still, regardless of what grant you are preparing, you can always master this grant proposal writing skill.

How to Write a Grant Proposal

  1. Determine what is a grant proposal and what you will write about in your case. Make sure you decide on the number of sections you will have. You need to know in advance what information you will contain, how you will organize the sections, and how you will structure the ideas. Therefore, you may think about preparing a plan or extended outline in the beginning. Another tip for writing a grant proposal is to use samples and gather some background information on certain phenomena, if needed. Keep in mind that you should double-check all information for accuracy when you are writing for a grant.
  2. Make sure you identify the details that are needed for each section. You need to ensure smooth flow of ideas and make the sections properly developed. Each section should have a specific number of words. For example, when you work on a project summary, you need to address general goals and aims of the project that fit in half a page. If you are working on the project description, it is essential to provide a detailed and clear summary and explanation why winning a grant is significant for you and how exactly the grant will help you reach your aims.
  3. Writing a grant proposal requires revision before it is submitted. Normally, revision entails editing and proofreading of content while also paying attention to the mechanics of the text, such as grammar, structure, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, etc.

Brief Tips on How to Write a Grant Proposal:

  1. Start working on the proposal on time.
  2. Apply well in advance. You should have sufficient time for searching the proposal and also writing the very text.
  3. When applying for a grant, please include a cover letter.
  4. Address all questions that are required. You should provide vivid details about yourself and your experience to your admission committee.
  5. If your proposal was rejected, try to find the reason and improve your next proposal for a grant.
  6. Make sure your proposal meets all the requirements of the grant opening.
  7. Be specific, clear, and explicit in what you write.
  8. Be realistic and logical when designing the project and forecasting its outcomes.
  9. Pinpoint to the connections between the core research questions and project aims and objectives. Also provide a logical connection between the methodology you have chosen and the results.
  10. Be precise in following all guidelines.

How to Organize a Grant Proposal?

  1. Provide a cover page.
  2. Write an abstract.
  3. Write an introduction, where you state the problem, indicate the research questions as well as goals, and pinpoint to the importance of the research.
  4. Provide a review of literature.
  5. Discuss the methodology, research objectives, procedures, results and outcomes, project evaluation, and other important sections.
  6. Focus on the team needed to implement the project.
  7. Include details about the budget and the required finance.

To make the proposal clear and easy to read, make sure you provide subheadings. If the proposal is too long, it is advisable to provide a table of contents.

What Is a Grant Proposal? What to Include in Each Section?

  1. In the title page, provide brief information about the project, such as the title, your full name as of the major investigator, and the institutional affiliation, where the project has been conducted. You need to specifically state the names of the applicants if it is a group projects, indicate the date, and also put the amount of funding that is requested for the project implementation. Some organizations have specific requirements to the organization of the title page. Make sure you follow these instructions precisely.
  2. Abstract is a brief overview of what your project is about. In other words, it is a short synopsis, where you provide all the important information that will help your target readers form the first impression about the project. Remember that you should focus on the explanation of the key elements. Write in the future tense.
  3. Introductory paragraph. Here you should clearly and specifically state the research problem an why it is worth concerns. Besides, you should outline the purpose of the research, its aims and objectives, and importance of the project. You need to make sure that there is enough information focusing on the background information and descriptive facts concerning the project.
  4. Review of literature. This section pinpoints to whether you have done the required preliminary research to explore your project in depth. It is crucial to be selective when working on a literature review and focus only on those sources that are credible, reputable, and worth your consideration. Be critical and evaluative.
  5. Project narrative. This is the bulk of the proposal, which includes various subsections. You should definitely provide information on the methodology, project details, hypotheses, research problems, procedures, results and outcomes, recommendations, expected funding, and others.
  6. Personnel. Provide detailed descriptive information about all people that will work on the implementation of the project. Make sure you pinpoint to the set of skills required and what strengths they personally have. Sometimes CV or resumes of the team members are required. Also make sure you identify which members of the personnel are responsible for the initial stages of the project, the latest stages of the project, etc.
  7. Budget. You need to provide a detailed table with all the calculations concerning the process of project implementation. Make sure you indicate specific sums needed for specific project stages. Moreover, you should justify your need for this money. All the expenses should be well explained. If some additional funding is needed or if you have already gained it, also make sure to include this information.
  8. Timeframe. It is a must to provide a strict timeframe for the process of project implementation. Identify each step and when it is completed. You may provide this information in a table form.

So, what is a grant proposal? In essence, it is not a mere request for money or for an award. When writing a grant proposal, you practice your planning skills and also seek for an investment in some change and development.

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