Grant Writing Tips

On September 29, 2014, in Dilemmas, Monday Motivation, Uncategorized, UWindsor, by gregorynpaziuk

Grants. Who needs them? Right, most of us need them, because higher education can be mighty expensive without some governmental or institutional financial assistance. The catch is often that applying to these grants can be a lot of work. What is a student to do?

If you follow us on Facebook, you likely saw our shared post from GradHacker, where some clever writers shared their tips on grant writing all last week. That got me thinking: what kinds of guides are there out there for newbie grant writers? Below is just a sample of what our internet trolling produced.

Know Your Target

Granting bodies know what they’re looking for and can sense when you’re trying to cram your unrelated idea into their specific requirements. As Jacob Kraicer writes in “The Art of Grantsmanship“, before you start an application for a grant, “Make sure that your proposal ‘fits’ with the mission of the agency and that your objectives match with those of the agency. Make this ‘match’ explicit in your written application.”

What Grantmakers Want You To Know

The University of Western Ontario’s Library has a helpful list of sources that discuss what granting bodies would love to tell grant applicants. Aside from rants about house styles and decorum, there are some more formative comments, like GuideStar‘s advice that even funding bodies welcome suggestions on the other ways their organization can help you (i.e., donations, connections, etc.). This might not be true of agencies like SSHRC or NSERC, but it’s worth remembering that 99% of these agencies have more than monetary matters in mind (and so maybe you should too).

Grant Writing Is Not An Island

Or rather, grant writing does not take place on an island. Or maybe we mean that no grant writer is an island. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t keep your grant application hidden from your peers and supervisors. As one writer at the Office of Research Services for UOIT points out, “…all applicants can benefit from colleagues’ reviews to ensure that you have thought through all aspects of your research.”


What are some of your tips on how to write a successful grant application?


Other Resources

Simon Fraser University Library Research Commons: Grants and Funding