Preparing Grant Proposals

- 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:
  1. what you want to do,
  2. why you want to do it,
  3. how you want to do it,
  4. what you think you will learn,
  5. that you can do it,
  6. why it is important to do it,
  7. that you are the best person to do it.

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.

Specific Aims:

Background and Significance:

Preliminary Results:

Research Design and Methods:



Compliance Issues:

EVALUATION. Some points used by reviewers when critiquing grant proposals include:
  1. Is the project interesting? Useful?
  2. What are the pertinent hypothesis?
  3. Which specific aims are not useful?
  4. Is the system good for the analysis?
  5. Is the research plan well defined, focused, logical?
  6. Are the methods detailed adequately? Are you confident that they can be carried out?
  7. Are their unrecognized leaps of faith in the system?
  8. Is the scientific merit Outstanding (1.0 - 1.5), Excellent (1.5 - 2.0), Very Good (2.0 - 2.5), Good (2.5 - 3.5, Acceptable (3.5 - 5.0)? Proposals judged in the bottom half of the percentile ranking by initial review are Not Recommended for Further Consideration.

Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions to:

Stanley Maloy

Last modified, March 16, 1998.