Proposal Development for Graduate Students
Key Proposal Strategies
- Give yourself plenty of time. Writing a winning proposal takes several weeks, even months.
- Be familiar with general grant terms: REPAs, IRBs, RCE & More Acronyms
- Carefully evaluate the funding agency and the specific guidelines for the grant for which you are applying. Choose a funder whose mission statement fits your type of research. Then tailor your proposal to fit the review criteria of the funding agency.
- Use simple, non-discipline specific language. Avoid jargon. Review committees are comprised of scholars from a variety of disciplines. Your proposal needs to be accessible to a general, educated audience.
- Collaborate: Share your proposal with other graduate students. Give it to your adviser to review. And collaborate with grad students outside of your department (see the Collaborate section of this site). Because review committees draw from a wide variety of academic disciplines, you will only benefit from working with other students and professors from outside your own department.
- Revise, rewrite, edit, proofread, and re-edit. Be meticulous about writing, spelling, and punctuation. Don't allow your dissertation or major project to go unfunded because of typos or sloppy formatting.
- Your application must be submitted on time. Funders will not consider any late applications.
- View additional writing resources and tips.