Saturday, September 30, 2006

Grant Writing Workhop, third post

It is important to remember that grant applications are submitted by the Institution on behalf of the researcher because the researcher isn’t a non-profit agency and the institution is. This, in my case, begs the question of whether I will be able to apply for a research grant since my institution does not recognize librarians as tenured faculty members and thus they are not eligible to received institutional research funds like institutional grant matching funds.

The first thing reviewers look for in an application are factors about the project such as the title of the project, the interest value of the project, and reader friendliness of the application and factors about the researcher and her institution. Secondarily, reviewers are looking for the significance of the project; the researcher’s approach to the process; the application itself, the environment and resources in which and with which the project will be conducted; the innovation, novelty, and uniqueness of the project and the project budget.

How to write for reviewers:
1. Write as though you were writing for a newspaper, e.g. with a specific audience in mind, using the right words (succinct), attractive, and making the information easy to find.
2. Use simple, declarative sentences.
3. Avoid acronyms and abbreviations.
4. Avoid weak words (e.g. ‘expect’ instead of ‘will try’; if, hope, and believe are words to avoid)
5. Use emphasis (bold, italics, underlines) to draw attention to text but don’t overuse it.
6. Avoid excessively long or short paragraphs.
7. Follow instructions to applicants on format, remember that minimally acceptable does not mean required.

Preparation of the application: On page one of the narrative, whether it’s called executive summary or introduction, or project description, is where the author makes their first impression on the reviewer and therefore the most important page of the application. It is where you make a first, very important impression on the reviewer. He went through the sections of the narrative portions of the application step by step.

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