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Grants and Related Resources: Proposal Writing

A compilation of resources for grant and financial aid seekers.

Research Development and Grant Writing News

Review this newsletter for tips about proposal writing, positioning yourself to obtain grants, as well as news and trends about funding opportunities from the federal government and other sources.

Research Development and Grant Writing News (Subscription service)
Published monthly by Academic Research Funding Strategies to provide help and advice to faculty seeking funding for their research projects.  The table of contents is listed every month in the Grants and Related Resources Blog.

Web Resources

Local Resources on Grantwriting

Bonnie Bucqueroux on Writing Successful Grants (35:14)  Also available via YouTube.

Robbe DiPietro, Michigan Humanities Council on Grantwriitng (21:55)  Also available on YouTube.

Josh Holiday, Arts Council of Greater Lansing (21:27).  Also available on YouTube.

Deborah Mikula, Arts Council of Greater Lansing (22:18).  Also available on YouTube.

Maria Lapinski, MSU Department of Communication, Part 1 (21:32) and Part 2 (24:38).  Part 1 and Part 2 via YouTube.

Dr. Rick Wash, MSU Department of Telecommunications, Information Systems and Media and School of Journalism, on NSF Grants, Part 1 on developing proposals (19:14) and Part 2 on serving on a NSF panel (24:38).    Part 1 and Part 2 via YouTube.

Interviews conducted by Bonnie Bucqueroux during May/June 2015

Acacemic Proposal Writing Resources (Print & Online)

Ebook: THE ART OF FUNDING AND IMPLEMENTING IDEAS  : A GUIDE TO PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT / Arnold R. Shore & John M. Carfora.  Thousand Oaks, Calif. : SAGE, c2011.  89pp.  : This book was written in response to the needs of faculty and graduate students for a meaningful guide that starts where they begin a research project - with their very best ideas - and progresses in an orderly fashion to: "Develop their starting ideas to the fullest; "Find sources of support that intersect most appropriately with their core interests;  "Write a proposal that builds systematically on their ideas and interests and makes a beginning contribution to knowledge; "Conduct the project with innovative guidelines on project management that help the PI and the project team participate in and experience the excitement of bringing a research project to life.

Ebook : CRAFT OF GRANT WRITING. The Texas A&M Office of Proposal Development has prepared a comprehensive workbook, 'The Craft of Grant Writing', to assist investigators in writing grants. This valuable workbook covers every phase of the proposal preparation process. 2006. still available thanks to the University of California Santa Cruz School of Engineering.

GETTING FUNDED : THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING GRANT PROPOSALS.   Susan Howlett.  Portland, Or. : Word and Raby Publishing, 2016.  6th edition, 180pp.   Funding Center (1 East)  HG177.5.U6 H355 2016   : The definitive how-to guide covering every aspect of writing a grant proposal. Drawing on 60 years of experience in the fields of nonprofits, grantwriting and grantmaking. The authors take the reader step by step through the entire process from planning, (getting started, assessment of capability, development of the ideas, and finding source solutions), to writing and submitting the proposal (title pages, abstracts, the purposes of need, procedures, evaluations, qualifications, budget and review, submission, notifications and renewal). Numerous checklists, useful websites, and other valuable tools help keep the reader informed.

GETTING SCIENCE GRANTS: EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR FUNDING SUCCESS. Thomas R. Blackburn. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. 140pp. Funding Center (1 East)   Q180.55.G7 B53 2003 : A hands-on guide to writing compelling proposals that will attract funding. Written by Thomas Blackburn -- a scientist, experienced grantmaker, and consultant -- this book provides a step-by-step process for writing grants to support your research projects. Getting Science Grants offers you an insider's look at the motivations and inner workings of the scientific grantmaking community. No matter what your scientific discipline, Getting Science Grants will help you develop the skills you need to write dynamic proposals and
*Learn the qualities that distinguish outstanding proposals
*Write each section of the proposal clearly and persuasively
*Choose the funding agencies that will give you the best chance of winning support
*Avoid common pitfalls and mistakes when writing proposals
*Develop productive relationships with funders
*Reduce the chances of being turned down by funders
*Succeed after securing your grant]

Ebook : GRANT APPLICATION WRITER'S HANDBOOK.  Liane Reif-Lehrer.   Burlington, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning.  4th edition, 2005.   (Also available in print, Funding Center (1 East) R853.P75 R439 2005)  :   In this era of "tight" budgets, it takes more than just a good idea to get a grant funded. In this book, Dr. Liane Reif-Lehrer tells you how to optimize your chances for success. She shows you, step-by-step, how to plan and develop a good proposal, explains what reviewers look for in applications, and discusses changes at NIH and NSF. The advice in this book is useful for many types of grant applications, business plans, journal articles, and research reports.

GRANTS.GOV VIDEO SERIES:    Learn about the complete application process, from registration to finding funding opportunities to applying with Workspace. For more on the federal grant lifecycle, visit

Ebook: HOW TO WRITE A GRANT APPLICATION / Allan Hackshaw. Chichester, West Sussex : Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. R853.P75 H33 2011 : Hackshaw (deputy director, Cancer Research UK and U. College London Cancer Trials Centre) presents this concise guide to the grant writing process. Advice is given on how to successfully obtain grants for a variety of projects including observational studies, clinical trials, laboratory experiments, and systematic reviews. Due to the degree of heavy regulation of clinical trials, a grant applicant needs to be familiar with a whole range of terminology and complex concepts. Intended for those who are preparing to apply for a clinical grant, this guide covers this complex process in an accessible manner.

Ebook: HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL RESEARCH GRANT APPLICATION : A GUIDE FOR SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS. New York : Springer, Oct. 2010. 2nd edition, 300pp. : Over the last fifty years behavioral and medical research has been generously supported by the federal government, private foundations, and other philanthropic organizations contributing to the development of a vibrant public health system both in the United States and worldwide. However, these funds are dwindling and to stay competitive, investigators must understand the funding environment and know how to translate their hypotheses into research grant applications that reviewers evaluate as having scientific merit. The Second Edition of 'How to Write a Successful Research Grant Application' is the only book of its kind written by federal research investigators which provides technical assistance for researchers applying for biobehavioral and psychosocial research funding and can give them an edge in this competitive environment. The book provides invaluable tips on all aspects of the art of grantsmanship, including: how to determine research opportunities and priorities, how to develop the different elements of an application, how to negotiate the electronic submission and review processes, and how to disseminate the findings. Charts, visual aids, Web links, an extensive real-world example of a research proposal with budget, and a "So You Were Awarded Your Grant-Now What?" chapter show prospective applicants how to:- Formulate a testworthy-and interesting-hypothesis.- Select the appropriate research mechanism.- Avoid common pitfalls in proposal writing.- Develop an adequate control group.- Conduct a rigorous qualitative inquiry.- Develop a budget justification of costs.- Develop a human subjects of animal welfare plan.- Write a data analytic plan.- Design a quality control/assurance program.- Read between the lines of a summary of the review of your application.Although its focus is on Public Health Service funding, 'How to Write a Successful Research Grant' is equally useful for all research proposals, including graduate students preparing a thesis or dissertation proposal. Service providers in community-based organizations and public health agencies will also find this a useful resource in preparing a proposal to compete for grant funds from state and community resources, non-government organizations, and foundations.

Ebook: NEW FACULTY GUIDE TO COMPETING FOR RESEARCH FUNDING : WHAT ALL NEW FACULTY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FINDING FUNDING AND WRITING RESEARCH PROPOSALS.  Mike Cronan and Lucy Deckard. [College Station, Texas] : Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC,  2nd edition (expanded),  October 2016.  157pp. Note : Access restricted to the MSU Community. Guide can be accessed by visitors in the Main Library at computer stations next to reference desk.  Provides strategies to help new faculty get off to a successful start in identifying and competing for grants to support their research.   The 2012 previous edition (61pp)  is stall available too.

Ebook: ONLY GRANT-WRITING BOOK YOU'LL EVER NEED / Ellen Karsh.  New York :  Basic Books,  2014  4th edition.  (Also available in print, Funding Center (1 East) HG177.5.U6 K37 2014) : Written by two expert authors who have won millions of dollars in government and foundation grants—and revised to include vital up-to-the minute interviews with grantmakers, policy makers, and nonprofit leaders about seeking grants in today’s economic climate, this new edition of the classic book on grant seeking provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide for grant writers.

PROPOSALS THAT WORK : A GUIDE FOR PLANNING DISSERTATIONS AND GRANT PROPOSALS. Lawrence F. Locke. Sage, 2007. 5th edition, 354pp. Funding Center (1 East) Q180.55.P7 L63 2007 : Contains valuable advice and information on funding: The authors provide essential information on identifying and obtaining student funding for theses and dissertations. They also include a full chapter for scholars and professionals on applying for research grant funding

Ebook: STRATEGIES FOR PLANNING, DEVELOPING AND WRITING LARGE TEAM GRANTS.  Mike Cronan. [College Station, Texas] : Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC, [2013]  (184 pages)   Note : access restricted to the MSU Community. Guide can be accessed by visitors in the Main Library at computer stations next to reference desk. What all faculty and research professionals need to know about writing center-level proposals in a team environment  This book is a step-by-step guide for faculty and research professionals transitioning to large team grants.

WRITE AN EFFECTIVE FUNDING APPLICATION: A GUIDE FOR RESEARCHERS AND SCHOLARS. Mary W. Walters. John Hopkins University Press, 2009. 151pp. Funding Center (1 East) HG177 .W35 2009 : In a world where the opportunity to advance scholarly and scientific knowledge is dependent on the ability to secure sufficient funding, researchers and scholars must write funding proposals that stand out from the competition. The practical advice in this guidebook is designed to aid academics in writing successful applications at all stages of their careers. This book will help grant applicants plan and craft funding proposals that are concise, complete, and impressive—and that satisfy the mandates of the agencies to which they are applying. Applicants will learn how to (1) Avoid common writing blunders; (2) Understand the central importance of the research budget; (3) Overcome procrastination; (4) Choose and secure professional reference;s (5) Develop a career path with a view toward funding opportunities; (6) Maintain a winning attitude that will improve the chances of success. Write an Effective Funding Application details the all-important preparation stage in drafting a grant application, from identifying sources of funding and securing registration numbers to creating a schedule for meeting the application deadline. It reviews the nuts and bolts of writing and polishing a winning application, stressing the importance of logical thinking and thoughtful presentation. The book includes detailed information on developing budgets, "before" and "after" versions of proposals, and descriptions of common pitfalls that everyone can avoid.

WRITING GRANT PROPOSALS THAT WIN. Deborah Ward. Burlington, MA : Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2012. 4th edition, 254 pp. Funding Center (1 East) HG177 .H35 2012 : Ward, a grant writer for education and nonprofit clients who provides workshops and grant development services through her company, supplies students and professionals in all fields with a guide to grant writing. She outlines each step of the process, from writing an executive summary, needs statement, goals, and objectives, to explaining the activities, personnel, and budget, and other features like the dissemination plan. She then details federal requests for proposal, the review process, private-sector funding, and how to deal with politics. More than half the text is devoted to sample proposals. This edition has a new chapter on technology and the online submission process, discusses effects of the 2008 recession, and has an updated appendix of websites, an updated list of points of contact and current federal forms, and new figures.

WRITING SUCCESSFUL GRANT PROPOSALS FROM THE TOP DOWN AND THE BOTTOM UP / edited by Robert J. Sternberg, Oklahoma State University.  Los Angeles : Sage, [2014]  355pp.  Funding Center (1 East) Q180.55.P7 B85 2014 : Sternberg presents 19 chapters that show researchers and students in the behavioral, cognitive, and social sciences and related fields how to write a grant proposal that has a strong foundation and a vision and plan. Individuals who have overseen the grant process at agencies in the US, as well as scientists who have received grants, describe general aspects of the process and proposals, common mistakes, and writing proposals for specific funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Institute of Education Sciences, private foundations, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as collaborative proposals.

WRITING TO WIN FEDERAL GRANTS: A MUST-HAVE FOR YOUR FUNDRAISING TOOLBOX.  Cheryl L. Kester, CFRE, Karen L. Cassidy, GPC.  Nashville, TN : CharityChannel Press, [2015]  212pp.   Funding Center (1 East) HG177.5.U6 K47 2015 : "This step-by-step guide is useful to both the novice and the seasoned writer. Its helpful hints, checklists, and progressive descriptions bring clarity and logic to a process that challenges even the best professionals."

Academic Fundraising Web Resources : extensive set of annotated web resources and selected book titles.

Nonprofit Proposal Writing Resources (Print)

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF GRANT WRITING : LEARN TO WRITE GRANTS LIKE A PROFESSIONAL. Nancy Burke Smith. Naperville, IL : Sourcebooks, 2012. Revised edition, 310pp.  Funding Center (1 East)  HG177 .S63 2012 : This guidebook provides tips, information, and views from both sides of the grantseeking experience. It goes into detail on writing the five core components of a grant proposal, and includes more than twenty sample proposals and letters. Also discusses grantwriting as a career.

DEMYSTIFYING GRANT SEEKING : WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO DO TO GET GRANTS. Larissa Golden Brown, Martin John Brown. San Francisco, Ca. : Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2001. 241pp. Funding Center (1 East) HG177 .B767 2001 : Demystifying Grant Seeking is an inspirational and instructional guide that takes the fear, mystery, and loathing out of looking for and winning foundation grants. You learn more than just how to write one grant proposal -- you learn how to set up and run an efficient, productive grant seeking office, working strategically to get maximum results with a reasonable amount of work and a minimum of suffering.  Chapters cover: Dismissing the myths about grant seeking and replacing it with a more productive attitude]; Setting up your grant seeking office and files; Doing essential research about your organization, community, and possible funders; Writing documents that will be the building blocks of all your future grant applications; Determining exactly what and how much you will ask for; Writing grant proposals and letters of inquiry; Managing meetings and relationships; Setting goals and evaluating your success; Working efficiently with colleagues; Staying inspired.

FOUNDATION FUNDAMENTALS.   Sarah Collins, editor.  New York : Foundation Center, [2008]  8th ed., 239pp.  Funding Center (1 East)   HV41.9.U5 F686 2008  :  Contents - What is a foundation? -- Where foundations fit in the total funding picture -- Who gets foundation grants? -- Planning your funding research strategy -- Online resources for funding research -- The savvy searcher -- Resources for corporate funding research -- Searching cd-rom and print directories -- Resources for individual grantseekers -- Presenting your idea to a funder -- Appendix A. Additional readings -- Appendix B. State charities registration offices -- Appendix C. The Foundation Center's grants classification system and the national taxonomy of exempt entities -- Appendix D. Types of support definitions -- Appendix E. Resources of the Foundation Center -- Appendix F. Foundation Center cooperating collections.

GRANTSMANSHIP : PROGRAM PLANNING & PROPOSAL WRITING.   Norton J. Kiritz ; updated and expanded by Barbara Floersch ; edited by Cathleen E. Kiritz.  Los Angeles] : Grantsmanship Center, [2014]   214pp.  Funding Center (1 East) HG177 HG177 .K537 2014 : Inviting, practical manual for nonprofits, educational and govt agencies--how to plan effective programs, contact appropriate funders, and write effective grant proposals to get funding.

THE "HOW TO" GRANTS MANUAL : SUCCESSFUL GRANTSEEKING TECHNIQUES FOR OBTAINING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE GRANTSDavid G. Bauer.  Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, [2011]  7th edition, 373pp. Funding Center (1 East)   HG177 .B38 2011 : This book breaks down the sometimes overwhelming and difficult task of creating a successful grant winning proposal into a series of clear and definable steps that lead to grant success. The implementation of these pro-active grant steps results in government, foundation and corporate grants success.   Whether you are with a non-profit organization, a school district, or an institution of higher education, this step-by-step process will demystify the grants process and help you become a confident and knowledgeable grantseeker.  Researching the grantor, reviewing previously funded proposals, and making pre-proposal contact with the funding source are just a few of the pro-active steps that will help to assure you that what you propose is right for the grantor and that the grantor should therefore select you to fund.

Ebook: MODELS OF PROPOSAL PLANNING AND WRITING.  Jeremy T. Miner and Kelly Ball-Stahl.   Westport, Conn. : Greenwood, 2016.  2nd edition.  320pp.    [2005 1st edition also available,Funding Center (1 East) HG177.5.U6 M558 2005 ]  : This book is an essential weapon for anyone looking for funding in the extremely competitive grantseeking world. It explains how and why to approach both public and private sponsors with not just information, but persuasion, for the best chance for success.

• Provides a detailed discussion of pre-proposal contacts that identifies the questions that help to qualify potential funding sources and enable readers to fine-tune proposals so they more closely match sponsors' logical and psychological needs, priorities, and "hot buttons"

• Supplies comprehensive analyses of the key features that made successful proposals persuasive, including verbatim reviewer comments and sponsor grant award notification letters

• Incorporates new content and features in this updated edition, such as model proposals covering a broader range of health, education, and social service topics; easier-to-read annotations; expanded information on budgets and budget narratives; and a logic model that can be adapted for project-planning purposes

• An essential resource for anyone seeking funding for economic development (e.g., city planning, land use, urban revitalization); education, such as for libraries, day care programs, public and private schools, and colleges and universities; first responder services; government agencies; health care; philanthropic organizations; social services; fine or performing arts; and religious or other special interest groups

PROPOSAL PLANNING AND WRITING.  Jeremy T. Miner.  Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2008. 4th edition. Funding Center (1 East) HG177.5.U6 M56 2008 : In a world of limited funding, grantseeking is extremely competitive. Grant applications fail and succeed for a number of reasons, and careful proposal planning and writing are critical to success. Now in its 4th edition, this standard guide helps grantseekers navigate the funding process in the Internet age....As in earlier editions, this book discusses funding from government, foundation, and corporate sponsors. Included are practical advice and examples on developing proposal ideas, identifying funding sources, creating systems and procedures to support grantseeking activities, developing proposal components, budget forecasting, submission procedures, and follow-up techniques. New to this edition, though, are more extensive information on family foundations; updated websites, including 25% more than in the last edition; more examples of successful proposals, including 9 sample letters complete with annotations; expanded instructions on evaluation and outcomes assessment, which are critical to successful applications; and guidance on project sustainability after grant termination, a factor crucial to securing funding. The volume also includes checklists and a bibliography.

E-book : WINNING GRANTS STEP BY STEP : THE COMPLETE WORKBOOK FOR PLANNING, DEVELOPING, AND WRITING SUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS.   Tori O'Neal-McElrath.  San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Brand [2013] : a very practical A-to-Z resource that speaks to the importance of staying focused on your mission every step of the way. The third edition is artfully updated with words of wisdom from grantmakers themselves, as well as updates on the latest processes and buzzwords all grantseekers need to know.

Foundation Grants : Basics for Beginners.

Grantseeking 101 : A Guide for First-Time and Novice Grantseekers, Including Neighborhoods, Small Community-Based Organizations, and Grassroots Groups.

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