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Grant Writing 101

Grant Writing 101

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Grant Writing 101

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  1. Grant Writing 101 Shanita D. Williams, PhD, MPH, APRN (Branch Chief) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration Bureau of Health Professions Division of Nursing Nursing Practice and Workforce Development

  2. Key Questions… • What can I do to get a ‘head start’ on the application before the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is released? • Should I do a needs assessment or any sort of data collection ahead of time? Even if there are no grant announcements?

  3. Getting Started… • Think of an idea • Think it through (thoroughly) • Talk about it out loud (to others) • Develop a plan to test your ideas • Put your ideas and plan to paper

  4. What is a Program • What do I think a program or project is? • What do funding agencies like HRSA consider a program or project? • There needs to be an implicit/explicit match!

  5. Address Local Problem in National Context • Is it a local problem or a public health problem? • Key—to convince others that YOUR problem is THEIR concern as well • Investment is in public health or community for the greater good • Your local problem will provide insight into a bigger/widespread problem

  6. From Problem Identification to Program Development • Clear idea • Focused (limit scope) • Systematic plan to explore/investigate idea • Justification • Approach (Why?) • Director (Why you?)

  7. Regarding Ideas… • “Originality” indicator of an incomplete literature review—both inside and outside of your primary discipline • Innovation=examining a question in a manner that has not been looked at before • Has this question been already answered? • My/other field? (Yes! Health Disparities are real)

  8. Significance/background • What is known? • What don’t we know? • How will studying this problem or addressing this need contribute to the existing body of knowledge in this area?

  9. Who Cares? • Why care? • “Passion” or “follow the money” • Who else cares about this problem/need? • Colleagues/peers? Why? (Partnerships) • Community? Why? (Buy-in/legitimacy) • Funding agency? (Financial support)

  10. Collaboration/Teamwork • Not an independent exercise! • Assemble a diverse and complimentary grant writing team. • Secure administrative/technical support.

  11. Major Reasons Why Proposals are not Funded 1. The guidelines for preparing the proposal were not followed. 2. The proposed project is not responsive to the focus or mission of the funding agency. 3. The proposal was not sufficiently clear or complete.

  12. Major Reasons Why Proposals are not Funded 4. The timeframe or workload is not realistic • There is a lack of detail or unrealistic budget 6. There is a biased presentation or position on the program issues

  13. Major Reasons Why Proposals are not Funded • The applicant doesn’t demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the program-related field • A number of projects that address the proposed project area have already been funded by the agency. • The proposal doesn’t address the problem identified in the FOA.

  14. Successful Grants… PROPOSAL FALLACIES

  15. Fallacy # 1 • More is better

  16. Fallacy # 2 • The need for this project is clear…

  17. Successful grant proposals… • Propose an area of interest and responsive to the funding agency. • Are concisely written but provide enough detail for the reviewers to fairly evaluate it.

  18. Successful grant proposals… • Use appropriate methodology and study populations • Have aims/objectives that can be achieved in the specified time frame • Have the appropriate program staff • Have reasonable budgets

  19. Contact Information Shanita Williams, PhD, MPH, APRN Branch Chief, Nursing Diversity and Development, Division of Nursing Bureau of Health Professions Health Resources and Services Administration Tel: (301) 443-1253 Email: