Top 5 Tips for Grant Writing

Justin Brown

Grant writing can be a long and stressful process, so we’ve gathered some grant writing tips to help you get your proposal in the right place before submission. Whether this is your first time writing a proposal or you have a bit more experience, taking the time to go through this list can help you fix some of the more common issues that many grant proposals contain.

  1. Read the Mission Statement
  • Seems obvious right? Before you can start writing a grant proposal you have to know what the agency funding the grant is looking for. However, it can be easy to think that research you are passionate about fits perfectly within the scope of almost any mission statement. If you can, instead, go into your writing session with the goal of tailoring your message to fit each mission statement, you can greatly increase your odds of getting that grant.
  1. Differentiate Yourself
  • You have unique ideas and goals, you’re excited about this research, so make sure to include that in your proposal. You want to get your point through to whoever is reading it in such a way that you stand out. There are a lot of other people writing great proposals, so you need to take some time with yours and think about what makes yours different.
  1. Look at Past Grants
  • Odds are that the funding agency that is currently offering the grant you’re applying for has offered grants in the past. If so, you can do a little digging to find previous grant proposals that have been accepted. Doing this research can give you some insights into what they’re looking for in a proposal and you can take that and tailor your own proposal to meet those expectations.
  1. Schedule Time for Review
  • Scheduling time for review means several things. It means don’t procrastinate writing and submit at the last second. Submitting close to the deadline leaves room for power/internet outages, or other technical difficulties to ruin your chances. Procrastination can mean there is no time for external review. Leave time for several rounds of review, proofreads, and secondary reviews by friends or coworkers in order to get the proposal in good shape.
  1. Pay Attention to Rejections
  • Rejections can be one of the best teaching moments. Looking at why a grant was rejected can really help you when writing your next one. Take the time to study your previously rejected grants and try to keep those mistakes at the forefront of your thoughts when you begin writing your next proposal.



Written by Justin Brown