Writing a Compelling Grant Application Trish Lowney, PhD email@example.com 315-443-2882
Key Questions… What: Is a grant? Why: Do you want to apply for one? When: Do you need support? How: To write a compelling application? What: Distinguishes an award winning application from the rest of the pack?
The Compelling Application Is based on a Great Idea What is your great idea? Who’s to say it’s great?
The Compelling Application… Presents important outcomes What would ‘the world’ <or your domain> look like if you achieved your idea?
The Compelling Application… Uses the best approaches What’s the best way go from the idea to the new world? Do you have an explicit rationale for each <task>?
The Compelling Application… Has the expertise and infrastructure required for success What people power and other resources are required by your idea and its approaches?
The Compelling Application… Answers the So What ? Has a clearly articulated impact for the sponsor, the project team, and/or others
The Compelling Application… Is based on a Great Idea Presents important outcomes Uses the best approaches. Has the expertise and infrastructure required for success Answers the So What ?? At a reasonable (allowable..) cost
The winning application Culmination of successful marketing campaign Who is paying the bills? Not you… the sponsor… How do you make your case? Followapplication instructions… Know your audience, the reviewers, and selection process they will use Consider reviewers’ expertise, review criteria, and the setting in developing / writing / presenting your materials
The winning application Culmination of successful marketing campaign Clearly, concisely conveys… Summer beach reading Informative While inspiring the reader to advocate for your application – This MUST be funded!
Why applications don’t get funded Instructions not followed • Returned un-reviewed • Raises questions in reviewers’ minds Poorly presented • Dense, hard to read, not clear • Lacks focus, poorly organized • Key terms not defined, excess use of jargon • Writer assumes reader ‘knows what they meant’ • Reader evaluates what is presented in the entire application, as presented
Why proposals don’t get funded • Idea not significant / important / innovative • Outcomes or impact incremental • Lack of theoretical framework • Approaches are not suitable, rationale not given, no consideration of challenges / alternatives • Not feasible • Essential expertise not available • Essential resources / infrastructure not available • Haven’t demonstrated ability to execute proposed approaches • Budget / resources inadequate for work proposed
Writing Tips REMEMBER: You are not along in this activity Ask for help (mentors, chair, etc.) Thoroughly prepare Learn sponsor’s / programs interests Review prior awards (avoid duplication) Get copies of recently funded proposals https://sushare.syr.edu/display/vfc/Sample+Awarded+Proposals Read application / solicitation instructions
Writing Tips Contact the sponsor in advance Purpose: Your project & its approaches fit the program • Send a one-page summary by email (a concept paper) with estimated cost. Arrange follow up phone call. • If responding to specific solicitation – are there any critical points to keep in mind?? Review process: same / different? Create a proposal development plan with deadlines Get lots of constructive feedback before you send in… firstname.lastname@example.org
In two sentences & everyday language Describe your idea Describe what will be different if your idea is addressed (outcomes) Describe why your idea and these outcomes are important(innovative, high impact, significant to whom)
Can you break down the idea / outcomes in objective or measurable manner? • List the expertise needed (personnel) • List the resources needed (other than personnel) • Review questions on slide #2