Washington, District of Columbia
June 23, 1996
June 23, 1996
June 26, 1996
1.230.1 - 1.230.7
Guidelines for Writing Proposals for Grants and Funds
John H. Damell Western Kentucky University
Abstract With the financial constraints under which most universities are working today, educators must depend upon outside revenue to provide equipment and other resources for effective teaching. Educators must raise their own funds to meet their needs for research and teaching, so they are compelled to write proposals for grants. Grants and other funding are increasingly becoming difficult to obtain. To be competitive for funding, an educator must submit a strong proposal that creates a good first impression to the reviewer. A proposal that is well written, clear, and easy for the reviewer to read and understand generally has a better chance of being funded than one that is poorly written.
Since many engineering educators have little background in writing, this paper gives guidelines for creating a strong proposal to prospective authors. General appearance of the proposal, including graphs, figures, and charts, is an important part of writing a successful grant. Common errors in writing are included, and basic rules for most frequently misused grammar are given with a discussion of words, sentence structure, and paragraph organization. General references that can be used in preparation of proposals are included. The various sections of a proposal, such as the budget, are reviewed with information on types of material to include in each. Additionally, general advice for fust time authors is included. Following these basic guidelines will aid in the writing of a s~cc=ssful grant proposal.
What Is A Grant?
A grant is an award of money for an idea or project. Grants are given for research, training, service, education, etc. Grants may cover all costs associated with a project (direct costs) or may include money to help defray administrative costs at the university (indirect costs). Granting agencies include the government, which is the m-ost abundant source of funds; privat; foundations, which are g;ne;ally for specific int;rests; and business and industry, which often require contracts and carefully monitor the research or project to see that the business’ goals are being met.
A successful grant writer is one who has a good projector research idea, has goals that are consistent with the granting agency, has carefully thought through the project plan, and has a strong, well-written proposal. Even though the project or research idea maybe outstanding, the granting agency must have the same goals before a grant will be awarded. Before spending time and effort writing and submitting a proposal, the writer should check to be sure the granting agency or business is interested in the research idea or project and for any written instructions along with deadlines for submission of the proposal.1
Sources of Sup~or[
A search for money must start with an idea for research or for the use of the requested money. A knowledge of the sources of money for education and research is basic to obtaining funding to meet the educator’s needs. Many universities have an Office for Sponsored Research or an Office of Grants and
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Damell, J. H. (1996, June), Guidelines For Writing Proposals For Grants And Funds Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6077
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