Grant Writing is an Art
"There is no grantsmanship that will turn a bad idea into a good one, but there are many ways to disguise a good one." - Dr. William Raub, Former Deputy Director, NIH
Grant Writing Tips
- The research question must be worth asking. Is the question relevant and original?
- Know the granting agency. Do they fund projects in your area? Target the proposal to the agency's objectives or to the particular call for proposals.
- Learn about the review committee. What kind of expertise is represented? Assume that the reviewers are in a somewhat related field, not an expert directly in the area of the proposal, and write the grant accordingly.
- Learn from others. Examine successful grants in your area.
- Start early. Allow plenty of time for writing, gathering signatures, obtaining CVs of co-applicants, and rewriting.
- Support the proposal with strong preliminary data. Show that your plan is feasible.
- Follow granting agency instructions exactly.
- Write for the reviewers. Your grant should be clear, to the point and enjoyable to read. This document summarizes scoring criteria for SSHRC Insight and Insight Development grants.
- Have a colleague(s) review your document for the science. (Internal Review)
- Have a "lay reader" proofread your document for spelling, grammar and to ensure that you have followed the agency's instructions.
- A strong CV is important. If applicable to the granting agency, the "most significant career contributions" section is critical.
- The budget should be realistic and well-documented. Pay close attention to the budget justification. Click here for information on rates for travel and hiring students on Tri-Council funding applications and see more detailed budget information below.
"If you don't apply, you won't get funded."