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Proposal Preparation Links

Proposal Preparation Links (General)

    Grant Writing Basics: How to Start Working on Future Funding Opportunities 

   The Holy Grail: In Pursuit Of The Dissertation Proposal

by Michael Watts, Institute of International Studies, UC-Berkeley

"One of the great curiosities of academia is that the art of writing a research proposal-arguably one of the most difficult and demanding tasks confronting any research student-is so weakly institutionalized within graduate programs."

    A Guide to Proposal Planning and Writing

by Jeremy T. Miner and Lynn E. Miner

   Obtaining Federal Funding, by Caroline Wardle, NSF

An [excellent and still timely] guide to the art and science of writing competitive proposals for federal funding. While this guide may provide valuable information for proposal writing in general, it was prepared with research proposals in mind, not educational proposals.

   The Science of Scientific Writing

by George D. Gopen and Judith A. Swan

"If the reader is to grasp what the writer means, the writer must understand what the reader needs."

   How to Write a Losing Proposal

by Alexander Scheeline (with one item by Richard Hilderbrandt)

   Basic Elements of Grant Writing

a guide prepared by the Corporation For Public Broadcasting

   Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal

by S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D. Provides both instructions on how to write a funding proposal and actual examples of a completed proposal.

   The Art of Grantsmanship

A useful guide by Dr. Jacob Kraicer of the University of Toronto Department of Physiology; its specifically for medical researchers, but of interest to anyone looking for funding.

   Funding Your Best Ideas - A 12-Step Program

   How to Become a Grant Reviewer

By Karen M. Markin, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Chronicle Careers

   Proposal Writing - A Short Course from the Foundation Center

NSF Links

The staff of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation often provide informal guidance to proposers. Staff members give workshops on proposal writing, answer questions by phone and e-mail, and talk to potential awardees at professional meetings and at NSF. This guide is the essence of the advice often given to inquirers. These suggestions for improving proposals were collected from a variety of sources, including NSF Program Directors, panel reviewers, and successful grantees. Ultimately, proposals are peer reviewed in panels consisting of colleagues in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology disciplines or related fields, and the success in obtaining funding depends in great measure on reviewers’ judgments and their written reviews.
"We would like to call the community’s attention to several sections of all proposals that require the broader impacts criterion to be specifically addressed: the Project Summary, the Project Description, and the Results of Prior Support section.
The term "transformative research" is being used to describe a range of endeavors which promise extraordinary outcomes, such as: revolutionizing entire disciplines; creating entirely new fields; or disrupting accepted theories and perspectives - in other words, those endeavors which have the potential to change the way we address challenges in science, engineering, and innovation.
FACT 1: NSF Program Officers make recommendations to fund or decline a proposal. DISCUSSION: External review panels do not make funding decisions. The analysis and evaluation of proposals by external reviewers provide information to NSF Program Officers in making their recommendations to award or decline a proposal.
In addition to providing a great service to NSF and the science and engineering community, reviewers benefit from reviewing and serving on panels. Reviewers gain first hand knowledge of the peer review process; learn about common problems with proposals; discover strategies to write strong proposals; and, through serving on a panel, meet colleagues and NSF program officers managing programs related to your interests.
Examining the evidence for program outcomes on the agenda for participants in the Math and Science Partnership program.  
This action plan lays out a structure that will allow stakeholders from local, State, and Federal governments, as well as nongovernmental STEM education stakeholder groups, to work together to coordinate and enhance the Nation’s ability to produce a numerate and scientifically and technologically literate society and to increase and improve the current STEM education workforce. Strategies for producing the next generation of innovators are not explicitly addressed in this action plan and will require subsequent study. A coherent system of STEM education is essential to the Nation’s economy and well-being.
Edited by ZJ Pei, Kansas State University, January 2007
Notes from a May, 2000 workshop at the University of Washington College of Engineering
by Michael Ernst (
By Ann M. Peters, University of Hawaii & Lise Menn, University of Colorado
Written to help linguists, especially younger scholars, produce higher quality (and therefore more fundable) proposals for grants from NSF, this essay is an excellent overall introduction to writing proposals to NSF’s Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economics Sciences.

NIH Links

To help new and established applicants submit better applications, Center for Scientific Review asked six current and retired study section chairs to share their personal insights on what makes a good NIH grant application. They responded with great enthusiasm. We present some of their responses in their own words to preserve their sprit and impact. NIH Center for Scientific Review, January 18, 2008
The essence of a successful NIH grant application is the idea underlying it. How can we evaluate whether our idea is a good idea, the definition of a good idea being one with the potential to be funded?
a guide prepared by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Other Agency Links

by Eulalia Benejam Cobb, former FIPSE Program Officer
An e-mail-based alert service designed to inform you about all new content posted to the IES website including news from its four Centers and programs within Centers such as the Regional Educational Laboratory Program.
                 modified March 2017
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The North Carolina Small Business Technology and Development Center's SBIR/STTR NEWS recently reprinted this article, by Gail & Jim Greenwood, Greenwood Consulting Group, Inc., Copyright © 2008-posted by the Research Group, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill