Grant Proposal Writing Resources, Tips, and Tutorials
A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed, with a clear indication of methods for pursuing the idea, evaluating the findings, and making them known to all who need to know.
Writing Guides and Tutorials
EPA Grant Writing Tutorial
EPA/Purdue University Grant-Writing Tutorial, Software program produced by Purdue University under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
UM Proposal Writer's Guide
The Art of Grantsmanship by Jacob Kraicer
The Art of Writing Proposals : SSRC download
Do's and Don'ts of Proposal Writing
Grant Writing Resources from Decade of Behavior
Grant Writing Tips from © Sylvie McGee/All For A Good Cause - 1995
Growing Your Business: A Guide to Grant Writing (Thanks Taylor!)
TopTwelve Grant Writing Tips
Proposal Writing Short Course : Foundation Center
Basic Elements of Grant Writing : CPB
Grants and Grant Writing :Science Magazine
Grants.gov Applicant Resources
NIAID Proposal Tutorial
NIH: Grant Writing Tips Sheets
NSF: A Guide for Proposal Writing
CFDA: Developing and Writing Grant Proposals
"Right your Writing" How to sharpen your writing and make your manuscripts more engaging. by Bob Grant. In The Scientist, vol. 23, no. 11, p.65.
Resources for Writing Artist's Statements
Writing a Fellowship Proposal or Statement of Purpose by Cynthia Verba (Though this is written for Dissertation Fellowship seekers, the advice will serve all proposal writers well)
Grant Applications: 5 Mistakes Not to Make by Molly Sheridan (written for musicians, but good rules for everyone to follow)
Language UsageThe Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.
Columbia Journalism Review's "Language Corner"
American Heritage® Book of English Usage
Common Errors in English by Paul Brians, WSU
The Jargon Finder from the Communications Network
Fifty Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark (This is really for Journalists, but some of the tools will serve you well.)
Human Subjects Information
The Kenyon College IRB (Institutional Review Board) oversees research proposals that deal with human subjects. You may encounter a granting organization that requires certain documentation and/or proof of training before funding a proposal that involves human subjects. Here are some "Human Subjects" pages and resources.
Kenyon College IRB
Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects Code of Federal Regulations
IRB Guidebook Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)
NSF on Human Subjects
Steps to Preparing a Successful Grant Proposal
1. Be sure there is a good match between the funding agency's priorities and your project.
2. Discuss your proposal idea and intention to submit a proposal with your Department Chair and the Provost.
The Chair of your department and the Provost are very interested in your work, your intentions, and in helping you to be successful. They need to be able to anticipate any leaves of absence and any departmental or college obligations that might be required if your proposal is successful.
3. Prepare your final proposal carefully, be meticulous with your application.
Whether you are applying for a Kenyon Faculty Development Grant or outside funding, a proposal gives a reviewer insight into the nature of the author's care, attention to detail, and the rigor of his or her work. By its very character, a proposal reflects the quality of the author's work, so take the necessary time to craft it well. A strong, clear statement of your project goals and planned activities will reflect your commitment to careful, high quality work. In addition to the help of the Faculty Grants and Fellowships Coordinator (FGFC) and your colleagues, there are several on-line guides that can help you. (see Writing Guides and Tutorials above)
4. Know your audience.
The funding body will probably specify whether your proposal will be reviewed by scholars in your field, or by a more general scholarly or lay audience. Be sure to include enough technical detail for the former or broader explanations for the latter.
5. Be sure that all parts of the application have been completed and are in the format required.
Call on your colleagues as well as the FGFC to review your proposal for content and style. If the language in which you are submitting your proposal is not your first language, find a colleague with expertise in the submission language to review your proposal.
6. Review your budget.
Be sure that costs in all categories are realistically estimated. Inattention to details, unrealistic cost estimates, and budget padding will probably result in your proposal not being funded. Your narrative should explain why you are requesting the items in your project budget. Some applications will include a separate budget narrative. For help with your budget consult with *Kenyon's Senior Accountant.
*All proposals for outside funding must be certified by the Senior Accountant
Do not wait until the last minute! Overnight delivery is a myth. Most funding agencies and foundations are very punctilious about receiving proposals and have very strict deadlines. Do not expect them to make exceptions for you! All of the steps to preparing a good proposal take time. Be sure that you have all the steps accomplished in plenty of time to submit the proposal in the required format and in plenty of time to meet the deadline. Last minute submissions may say something to the funding agency about your organizational abilities and work habits.
The FGFC can help you compile, copy, and send your final proposal.
last update 11/01/09 contact Jami Peelle