- Martha Gillette -
PURPOSE. To prepare a written document that will convince representatives of a funding agency that you have an important new hypothesis or technology to test and are worthy of their investment.
To do this, you need to convey clearly and convincingly:STRUCTURE. Developed over the years to help the writer to propose complete, well thought-out experiments AND to help reviewers read the proposal. Short proposals will permit only a portion of this structure to be developed, but the same issues will apply in review.
- what you want to do,
- why you want to do it,
- how you want to do it,
- what you think you will learn,
- that you can do it,
- why it is important to do it,
- that you are the best person to do it.
EVALUATION. Some points used by reviewers when critiquing grant proposals include:
- State your general goals in a sentence or two.
- Break your general goals into a sequence of focused aims.
- State research aims as specific questions or hypotheses to be tested.
- Focus your aims so they are clear and can be accomplished in the duration of the award.
Background and Significance:
- Set the stage for the proposal, esp. your specific aims and approach.
- Present a brief review of current status of the field.
- At the end of the review, state the present limits of knowledge and what needs to be answered.
- Describe why this study needs to be supported.
- Describe why it represents a significant advance not only in your field, but in a broader context as well.
- Describe its relation to disease and technology
- Discuss recent observations of yours that lead you to propose the work.
- What is your (unique) insight?
- What is your general approach?
- Explain why you are well positioned to do this work.
- State in general terms why the work is feasible.
Research Design and Methods:
- Explain how you plan to address your aims.
- Explain your plan of attack, including the proposed experiments and specific methods you will use.
- Explain why the approach is feasible and can be done in your lab.
- What results do you anticipate?
- How will you interpret them?
- What are potential problems, and how will you deal with them?
- Project the order and time you will use to attack the aims and conduct the elements of the research.
- This should reflect the progress anticipated by the personnel and resources in your lab.
- Address the relation of the environment in which you work to the proposed study.
- Is the equipment adequate?
- Are there other faculty or labs that can help you with technical aspects?
- Are there appropriate support facilities?
- Are you using vertebrate animals or humans in your work?
- Have you complied with institutional and federal requirements to assure their safety and humane treatment?
Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions to:Stanley Maloy
Last modified, March 16, 1998.