You Need a Grant Sample (or Two)
[I updated this post on 12/8/21 to fix sample links that were no longer working.]
Thanks for joining for the first installment of our newsletter on grant writing. Today’s topic is grant samples.
Grants are often shrouded in secrecy. Many scholars go through graduate school without ever seeing a funded grant. And, some mentors hand out grant application instructions and say, "Sink or swim!"
Let's change this culture. It's hard to write something you've never seen. You will write better grants when you see a sample or two. You COULD puzzle through how to piece together a grant on your own. But your time is precious. You’re on the clock (to get a postdoc, a job, tenure, promotion, etc.). Fast track your knowledge by looking at samples.
I recommend getting 2 - 3 funded samples. Don’t search for too many more samples, or you can fall into preparation instead of action. You just need a sense of what a funded grant looks like. Avoid unfunded grants. Unfunded grants require you to sort through what may or may not be working in the writing. Focus on samples from the funder and mechanism you are targeting. If you don’t know what those are yet, don’t worry. I will focus on this topic in a future newsletter.
Below, I list sources for openly available grant samples.
- Orgrants.org has a comprehensive roster of sample grant applications. The list of funders includes the Australian Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the United States Geological Survey, the University of Melbourne, and the World Wildlife Fund.
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of South Florida, and The University of Texas at San Antonio have collections of sample grants, including grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
- Grant Proposal Support provides templates and samples of various grant sections for National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants.
- The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) provides a broad range of samples, including research grants, small business grants, and training and career awards.
- The National Cancer Institute provides sample research grants on healthcare delivery, implementation science, and behavioral research.
If you don't see a sample that fits your needs, reach out to your networks to ask for a sample. Sometimes it’s easier to externalize the reasons for your request. If so, feel free to blame the request on me. Say you are reaching out because a colleague suggested you do so.
What are your thoughts on this strategy? Email me your thoughts or questions. I’m all ears.
Happy grant writing, colleagues. Thanks for joining me for this first installment of the Scholar Foundations newsletter. Remember, grant writing is a skill ...that can fund your dream work.
P.S. If you find this newsletter helpful, would you mind forwarding it to a colleague? I’m trying to make sure that everyone has access to grant writing training. We need to hear and fund society’s best ideas. We can only do that when everyone knows how to submit fundable grants.
P.P.S. I hope you get a moment to share joy today. Here’s my moment of joy: my 6 year old drew this for me.