As mentioned in Part 1, grant applications often play a critical role in securing funding to further robotics research, but they’re not always the most convenience things to write. So our grant writing specialists have put the top 10 tips of grant writing together to share insight and advice to help you with your next application. And if you’re looking for something more, you can always contact our grant specialists directly for some one-on-one assistance. Alright, onward with tip number 6!
6. Reading Your Application Should be Easy
Grant evaluators are often given this task on top of regular workloads, so you want to make your application as easy to read as possible:
– Each section should be readable as a stand-alone piece
– Use short sentences and basic vocabulary
– Use their words: repeat their questions word for word in your answers
– Avoid using industry specific jargon and abbreviations
– Keep in mind that reviewers may not have the same level of industry knowledge that you do. Write your application assuming the reviewer knows less than you.
– You MUST have an editor review your work. Edit, edit and edit again before you submit the application.
7. Use Your Resources
Review past winners of the grant to learn what their project is about and how they used the grant money; reach out to them for helpful tips.Also do some digging to learn who the evaluators are. Find out the boards they sit on and their background. This may give you some insight on key facts to include in your grant application.
8. Know your Numbers
Identify if the grant is for a set amount or if it will be from a large fund, and always ensure you submit the correct numbers. If you are applying for a grant from a large fund, find the average funding level of the agency and target your grant request to reflect that average.
Consider these suggestions in relation to budget:
– Err on the side of caution and request slightly more than your targeted amount as grants tend to be rewarded under the requested amount
– Be incredibly detailed about where the money is going; evaluators want to see a clear outline of the distribution of money
9. Appearance Matters
If given the chance to submit your own package, take advantage of the opportunity! Make sure it is branded with your project or department’s logo and colours throughout the document. You also want to make sure it is clean and concise: use a readable font style and size, include a table of contents, use tabs for different sections, and ensure there are no background images causing readability issues
10. It’s Not Over ‘Till It’s Over!
Your application MUST be error free and complete. Have an editor, and don’t limit yourself to one! As many eyes as possible on this document will only make it better.
Make sure you are aware of how the grant is being accepted. Send enough copies to the granting organization by the right date, and to the right place. It never hurts to call the organization to check that your application has been received after sending.
Looking for more help?
Here are some other great resources on grant writing.