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Advice on Writing Competitive Grant Proposals

Langille, L, MacKenzie, T. Navigating the road to success: A systematic approach to preparing competitive grant proposals. EBLIP 2007; 2 (1): 23-31.

This article gives pragmatic advice about writing competitive grant proposals, with information organized around 11 basic principles of grant preparation including “address a specific audience,” “be innovative,” “involve stakeholders” and “define your objectives and outcomes.” The tips are so concrete, an applicant could create a checklist of characteristics to include in the proposal. The article emphasizes writing to two audiences: the funding agency and reviewers. While the article specifically describes preparation of a research grant proposal, many of the principles would apply to any grant application. RML staff members who teach proposal writing to network members or provide one-to-one help to network members with applications might find the article can help to articulate characteristics of a good proposal. Those reviewing grant applications also will find good criteria for judging applications. The article includes a list of online sources to support proposal writing and project planning. It also presents a timeline, so applicants understand the lead time they need to truly prepare good proposals.

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