There are a number of reasons why someone would seek out a grant. Grant-seekers may be looking to build a nonprofit, embark on a community development project, or have valuable research that needs funding. Before you start working towards writing a grant-winning proposal, you need to research how to compose a proposal that is convincing and persuasive. Considering that only 1 in every 10 grant proposals are accepted (Professional Grant Writer, 2021), as an academician, it’s important to understand that even the greatest idea does not guarantee grant proposal acceptance. You must not only choose the correct grant for your research, but in preparing your grant proposal, there are also a few noteworthy tips one should consider. In this series curated by eContent Pro, you will learn more about bettering your chances of securing grants for a research project.
It is important to keep in mind that a grant proposal is a clear, direct document written for a specific organization or funding body with particular goals. The document is to show that you have a well-planned, thought out project and that you are capable of achieving that project given the funds (Vieira, n.d.).
The first step of the grant proposal process involves matching your idea with a suitable funder. After deciding what research project you are going with, it is helpful to look at similar research projects and how they were funded and what grants they were able to get. There are different funding agencies with varying projects of interest. However, you should not take this as limiting your scope. In fact, it is a good idea to widen your perspective. For example, if you are researching the effect of COVID-19 on different populations, you may want to submit a proposal to a funder focusing on diseases and perhaps another focusing on bioethics. Casting a wide net may lead to unexpected results, as you may be surprised at the variety of funders who might find your research project interesting and within their scope (Elsevier, 2022).
Researchers looking for a grant through a specific funder should not hesitate to email or call grant agencies and talk about their potential interest in a project. This could sometimes be considered a “soft pitch” and helps establish if the funding body is interested in your research project and if it is worth pursuing (Sohn, 2019).
Once you find a promising organization that you think would be willing to fund your research project, you should start the process of researching the specific funder and their grant proposal requirements. Every agency has its own style and process when it comes to proposals, so it might be a good idea to reach out to the program manager and direct any questions you have to them. In addition to learning about the proposal process, conducting a literature search will save you weeks of writing for the actual research project. Make sure that this search is thorough and detailed (Elsevier, 2022).
It is helpful to assume that the selection committee does not know about you or your work, but they are aware of the work conducted by others in the same field and are currently in the process of conducting similar research projects. However, do not assume that the selection committee consists of experts within your specific field. Put your work in the context of relevant events and within a scope the general public would understand (Elsevier, 2022). Balancing these two assumptions may be difficult, so it is worthwhile to look at other grant proposals and how the writers laid out their research projects. Experienced scholars recommend studying successful grant proposals, which you can get from either trusted colleagues and supervisors or university libraries and online databases. Perusing the internet and looking at grant proposals will provide you with better direction. Open Grants, a website with more than 200 grants, both successful and unsuccessful, offers a free guide to wording your proposal appropriately (Sohn, 2019).
Make sure to check our website for future parts of this series to help you perfect your grant proposal. Future parts will help you learn more about the process of writing your grant proposal, submitting it in the right way, and finally, getting your proposal accepted. By the end of this series, you will have all the tools needed to submit a successful grant proposal for your research project.
eContent Pro is here to help you every step of the way. You can use eContent Pro's copyediting services to ensure that your grant proposal is in good shape to better your chances of being accepted. Errors in English writing may cause reviewers to doubt the overall quality of the work. From a reviewer’s point of view, these mistakes may cause them to doubt the author’s professionalism and thoroughness in conducting and refining their research to their best ability. After your grant proposal is accepted, eContent Pro is here to help meet your need of manuscript copyediting and any editorial needs you may have.
- Elsevier. (2022, March 18). ). Writing a successful grant application - Step by step. Elsevier Author Services. https://scientific-publishing.webshop.elsevier.com/research-process/writing-successful-grant-application-step-by-step/
- Professional Grant Writer. (2021, Dec. 14). What is a good grant writing success rate? https://www.professionalgrantwriter.org/learn-rejected-grant-proposal
- Sohn, E. (2019, Dec. 20).Secrets to writing a winning grant. Nature News. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03914-5
- Vieira, K. (n.d.). Planning and writing a grant proposal: The basics. The Writing Center. https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/assignments/grants-2/