Grant proposal writing for beginners: An overview

A grant application is an evaluation that helps the funding agencies review research projects.

The research sector is taking initiatives to speed up the process of publishing quality research and supporting researchers at a large scale by adopting new policies. Plenty of new academic and research opportunities are being offered to study and combat the coronavirus.

 The funding agencies are focused on publishing research on COVID-19 and have offered a new set of guidelines for accepting and reviewing the grant applications addressing the health, economic, financial, social, and environmental impacts of the global pandemic COVID-19.

Most of the funding institutes provide an aim and scope statement elaborating on the type of research they expect to publish. Reading the instructions and guidelines will further help you shape your grant application.

For instance, in March 2020, The European Union was accepting grant applications related to advancing knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 specifically with the aim to contribute to efficient patient management programs.

Before you submit your grant proposal, you need to answer the following questions:

  • 1. Who is going to evaluate your proposal?
  • 2. Are there any specific guidelines provided by the agency?
  • 3. Is there any word limit?
  • 4. Have you included the information required for evaluation?

Now we will list the major components of a grant research proposal:

  • 1. Goals and objectives
  • 2. Executive summary
  • 3. Overview
  • 4.Timeline and budget
  • 5. Additional attachments

1. Goals and objectives

The goals of a grant application introduce what the researcher hopes to accomplish at the end of your research, whereas the objectives are the statements that introduce the precise outcomes of the research work. You can review grant proposal samples to ascertain the right manner of including goals.

Important points to remember:
  • 1. Your goals should outline the methods you will use to achieve results
  • 2. Explain the research activities in the form of specific actions you will take to achieve the objectives

2. Executive summary

The grant proposal format includes a section for an executive summary that constitutes a one-page synopsis. Add a description of the research problem and propose a solution to the problem. It is imperative that a brief statement of the concerned organization be included, along with your mission and plan for availing future funding.

Important points to remember:
  • 1. Review grant proposal templates available online. Learn how other authors define the focus of their research and settle on the methods for data analysis.
  • 2. Establish a link between your research objectives and the methodology
  1. Overview

The overview section is a combination of objectives related to your research, methods defining the implementation process, information of the project staff, and a well-detailed plan listing the data analysis process.

Important points to remember:
  • 1. Create an appendix to add details about the volunteers and research participants
  • 2. Provide both quantitative and qualitative data to process analysis

4. Timeline and budget

Create a spreadsheet representing the ‘how’ and ‘when’ of your project. Include an additional section to explain the final numbers of your research work. Spell out the revenue, equipment, and other supplies.

Important points to remember:
  • 1. Justify the budget by writing a detailed budget plan
  • 2. The revenue and funding support should align with the overall expenses

5. Additional attachments

Additional attachments may include a cover letter, IRS letter, financial audit, and additional supporting materials. As most of the funding organizations are willing to publish COVID-19 research data, they are accelerating the process for grant application review.

Important points to remember:
  • 1. Substantiate your research by writing an informative cover letter
  • 2. Keep a record of the supporting materials such as articles, images, videos, and other documents, as you may need to include the data later

Additional tips for grant writing:

  • 1. Describe the need that your research project and its impact
  • 2. Focus your grant application on one particular project to increase your chances of getting a fund
  • 3. Remove any unnecessary words including industry-specific words and jargon
  • 4. Make your proposal clear and concise that is easy to understand
Related articles:

 Four ways of overcoming common academic writing challenges

The essential components of a research proposal

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