Texas Tech University

How We Help: A Strong Start, Grant Writing

By the Research Development Team

In the July article, we reviewed mastering the art of funding with help from the Research Development Team (RDT). The article focused on setting up your COS Pivot account and creating your profile so funding opportunities, based on your needs, come directly to you through email. We also touched on submitting a concept paper for the Program Officer (PO) for that funding opportunity immediately. The PO will be able to provide you valuable feedback regarding the funding opportunity being appropriate for your project, or if another opportunity would better suit your project needs. RDT can assist you in writing a successful concept paper.

This month we will look at writing your grant. Where do you begin? What style do you need to use when writing your grant? Most faculty write grant proposals in the same style as journal articles, which often results in the need to wade through the grant proposal to find out what exactly is being proposed. A grant proposal should not expect the reviewer to connect the dots. Everything should be explicit and obvious.
Now let's think about writing your grant project in a way that you are actually describing everything about your project. You want to actually build within the minds of the reader what the project looks like, what it does, and how it will help society. Remember, reviewers need to buy in to what you are proposing, and they often make up their minds very quickly whether they are sold on a proposal.

Make the reviewer want to finish reading your entire narrative. The introduction of your grant proposal is essentially your sales pitch for your proposed project. Be captivating. Keep the ideas simple. Be sure the paper flows. The first paragraph should lay out the problem and answer the question, "who cares?" The second paragraph should provide your solution to the problem. The third paragraph should answer the "so what?" question. Revise and edit these three paragraphs multiple times as you develop your draft. Ask yourself, "Can the reviewer really see my project in these three paragraphs?" Include on this first page a clear and concise graphic that shows the reviewer exactly what you are proposing to do. The reviewer should be able to look at your first page and know your plans.

Let's work together, contact RDT at rdt.vpr@ttu.edu today.

Next month, Early Career Faculty Trip to Washington.