Tag Archives: grantwriting

Effective grant proposals, Part 4: Yes, do sweat the small stuff

Today, the fifth part in my series on writing effective grant proposals. The first three parts dealt with the content of a grant proposal: the important information a grant needs to convey about the importance of the work you’re proposing, its feasibility, and your ability to do it. (Part four, about your reader, comes up below). You certainly need the right content to have a chance at funding, but that’s not all you need – so today, a pitch for presentation.

I know, we’re scientists, and we sometimes tell each other that what matters is the objectively measured quality of our ideas, not the style in which we present them. I hope it’s obvious that that’s both tempting and wrong: Continue reading


Effective grant proposals, Part 4: Who are you writing for?

Today, the fourth part in my series on writing effective grant proposals. The first three parts were concerned with content, but in hindsight, I’m not sure that I put first things first. That’s because before you write anything, you should think carefully about who you’re writing for – and this is this is true in spades for grant proposals. Who will read your proposal, and decide its fate? If you haven’t answered that question, you’re throwing darts without knowing where the dartboard is.

So, who will read your proposal? Well, the answer is (as it is so often) “it depends”. Continue reading

Three questions to ask yourself, if you want to write a successful grant

I’ve just finished my third year sitting on a major grant panel (the Discovery Grants evaluation group for ecology and evolution, for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada). (No, I won’t tell you if I reviewed your grant.). This experience had me reading and then debating over 100 grant proposals (over the 3 years) – some of which blew my socks off, and some of which didn’t. Continue reading