Grant Proposal Basics 101
Office of Research & Sponsored Programs
My Grant History
Summary:20 grant proposals funded~ $700,00 dollars
Types of grants:FellowshipsTravel AwardsResearchProgram
Types of projects:ResearchServiceInstruction
Topics Covered TodayGrant writing mythsGenerating a fundable ideaWhy some grant proposals get funded & some dontWhat sponsors want to knowTypes of grant proposalsAnatomy of a grant proposalResources & help available
Grant writing mythsThere is no money available.Money goes to big, prestigious institutions.Successful grant writing requires connections.Meeting the deadline is the most important goal of a successful grant writer.Collaborating with colleagues will give more time for grant writing.Grants are awarded to those applicants with the greatest needs.
Turning a want or need into a marketable idea Which paints a better picture?Our computers are old, we really need new ones.
Students who are disconnected from school can become engaged if we use computers to teach real-life applications of reading, math, and science...
Why do some grant proposals get funded while others do not?
Grant Proposals Get Funded WhenThey meet the stated criteria.
They have measurable goals and objectives.
They follow the sponsors guidelines.
Most of all, grant proposals get funded whenThey boil a program down into a marketable idea.
The proposed study is original, significant, based on a valid hypothesis, has logical aims, and adequate procedures.
They answer the basic questions in the minds of the sponsor.
What Do Sponsors Want to Know?Why should we give you the money?
What do you want to do with the money?
Who will control the money once we give it to you?
How will we know whether you did what you said you would with the money?
Will we be glad we gave you the money?
Three Basic Grant Proposal FormatsConcept Paper contains a brief description (3-7 pgs.) of the proposed project. The 1040 EZ of grant world. Preferred by foundations and small agencies.
Letter of Inquiry
contains basic information in a 1-3 page statement. Foundations use Letters of Inquiry to prescreen applicants. Sometimes called a query letter.
Anatomy of a Grant ProposalAbstract/SummaryProposal Narrative:1. Needs Statement 2. Project Description 3. Project/Research Plan 4. Evaluation Plan5. Future PlansBudget & Budget NarrativeLiterature cited/ BibliographyAppendices: Support Letters/Other Info
Helpful Hints for Proposal NarrativeMake it reader-friendly..
Use headings and bullets.Leave some white space.Use a reasonable font size.Leave at least 1 margins.Use good figures and tables to illustrate complex ideas or to paint a picture, but dont overwhelm.
Aim for clarity
Use topic sentences.Provide concrete evidence.Use active vs. passive voice.No spelling or grammar errors.
More on clarityDo my paragraphs contain only one major point each? Do I use short, basic sentences that average 20 words or less?
Do I include transitions to show the relationship between my ideas, using words such as: furthermore, additionally, in other words, in another area, in contrast, following the same path, and moving to the next stage?
Do I keep related ideas and information together, e.g., put clauses and phrases as close as possible to (preferably right after) the words they modify?
It presents the facts and evidence that support the need for the project and establishes that you understand the problems and can address them.
Include both institutional and community needs.
Gather all relevant data.
Make connections between a sponsors funding priorities and your needs.
Project Description One or two paragraphs that summarize the project with specifics of who, what, why, where, when, for how long and for how much.
If the project has separate components, these are summarized.
Project PlanDescribes the goals, objectives, and activities of your project.
Goals overarching, conceptual, abstract.
Objectives the measurable outcomes of the program; tangible, specific, concrete, measurable and achievable.
Activities support the realization of goals and objectives through specific actions.
Evaluation PlanAllows you and sponsor to determine if you achieved your goals and objectives.
Explains how success of project will be measured.
Describes any tracking and documentation to be completed.
Make measurements as specific as possible.
Future PlansDescribes how the program will be continued after funding cycle is completed.
Describes how project will be replicated or shared.
BudgetOne of the most critical sections of the proposal make sure it matches the text!
Start developing the budget early.
All expenses implied in the proposal narrative must be accounted for in the budget either as requested funds (direct costs) or as cost-sharing.
Budget should have each expense or line item grouped in categories called objects.
Wherever possible, include the calculations that you used to find totals. Example: Supplies - 60 workbooks@$15=900
This is the text that provides explanation as well as justification for your budget request.
Cover every year of the project in detail.
Discuss how you estimated the cost of your line items.
Demonstrate that it is reasonable, cost-effective, and integrates other sources of funding if applicable.
Make sure the narrative matches the budget.
Appendices & Support LettersInclude all required appendices and follow all instructions exactly.
You may be allowed to include additional optional information, but remember, many reviewers will read only the required sections.
Start gathering letters of support and appendices early.
Before you submitAsk colleagues to review your grant proposal.
Check sponsors guidelines against your grant proposal.
The final word on grant proposals
Dont give up