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Elements of a Proposal

It is not enough to simply be able to write well when it comes to submitting a grant application. In fact, many critical aspects need to be addressed before one even begins to write the grant narrative! Having a solid project with well defined goals and objectives is of the utmost importance. No matter how talented a writer you are, if your project is shoddy in execution or scope nothing will hide that.

In addition to having a rock solid project, it is important to know exactly what is required of you as the grant writer on a given application. One should completely read the solicitation before beginning, preferably twice so that nothing is missed. Discussing your project with the contact listed on the application is a good idea if you are unsure if your goals mesh entirely with the funder’s. Even if you are confident that they do, it does not hurt to make sure and discuss the project anyways.

Even following all the above steps and being a great writer won’t mean anything if you’re not able to meet the application’s deadline. Look to see when you have to have it in by, and do an honest assessment of whether you (and those helping you if any) will be able to complete the application by the due date.

Lastly one needs to gauge the feasibility of getting the statistical and supporting information you will need to write the grant narrative. Without this information your project will look much weaker and including it is crucial. Even if you can track down the information, do not forget to take into account how long it will take to gather and include it and whether you can still meet the deadline.

By taking the above into account, as well as making sure to write specifically and in non-vague terms you will find yourself completing grant solicitations on time and of higher quality than you would otherwise.

Good luck and happy writing!

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