How not to kill a grant application

In your research career you will inevitably have to write a grant application. This involves a great deal of time and effort, and the style of writing may well be very different to the style of writing that you do for your research.  There are some fundamental principles you can follow, no matter what your area of research, which will help you avoid killing your grant application.

Grant writing varies widely across the disciplines, the six-part series of ‘how to’ posts for writing grant applications, on the Journal of Science careers blog, gives good founding principles across the board for anyone writing a grant application.

This series is outlined below. If you would rather just have an overview of the whole series go to Part 5: The Facts of the Case Thus Far

Part 1: Murder Most Foul
Somewhere between the start of your academic career and becoming a well-established researcher, you will have to submit a funding proposal. The first step is to be aware of certain mistakes, errors, and oversights that occur time and again in many research applications.

Click here to read the full post.

Part 2: Abstract Killers
The abstract is arguably the key to your application as it is the first glimpse of what your research will involve. It takes great skill to summarise your whole application in just a few words.

Click here to read the full post.

Part 3: So What?
This post echoes a related post from the Institute of Physics; you need to ensure that your research fits with the aims and objectives of the funding body that will be considering your proposal. Ensure that you explain the significance of your proposed research, and keep your workload realistic.

Click here to read the full post.

Part 4: Lost at Sea
This seems obvious, but clear well written proposals fare better in submissions than long rambling pieces using specialised jargon and making assumptions about the readers. This post takes you through writing style and brainstorming techniques you can employ as you approach your application. One of our previous posts Proposal Writing, Assert and Justify Style also outlines techniques for proposal writing.

Click here to read the full post.

Part 5: The Facts of the Case
This post summarises the previous four posts in a quick and easy to read list.

Click here to read the full post.

Part 6: Developing Your Research Plan
“Much more important than experimental detail is a clear discussion of the design, including the underlying logic, of the proposed experiments,” National Institutes of Health (NIH) program official.
This post sets out how to put together your research plan and ensure your plan is well referenced.

Click here to read the full post.

Diana Hayes

A key part of the founding team, Diana is achievement-oriented, forward-thinking and strategic in creating a high-yielding network of interested academics, universities and related associations. Her research and content have created genuine engagement amongst both candidates and employers resulting in a network of 250,000 academics. Diana’s experience is in sales, marketing, event management and business development.


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