Writing a Successful Application

A grant application is best described as a marketing tool that presents a compelling justification for your funding request and inspires a sponsor to invest in your project. A complete application may include many elements, but the main element the project narrative, should present in a clear, cohesive and well-written manner:

  • What your idea is;
  • Where your idea fits in the current state of knowledge/respective field (context);
  • How your idea will be accomplished (e.g., what methods, techniques, approaches will be used, and the feasibility of your plans);
  • Why your “how” is the best strategy to take (i.e. rationale for each approach, method, technique, etc);
  • What challenges might be encountered and how you would overcome them;
  • What success looks like; and
  • What is the significance of your idea — how accomplishing it will advance your field, or otherwise contribute to society.

In addition, either the narrative or other components of the application should clearly convey that:

  • The applicant team is qualified and all necessary expertise is available to ensure successful completion of the proposed project
  • All necessary resources required to perform the proposed project are available (i.e. space, equipment, access to special collections, infrastructure, etc.);
  • The financial resources requested are reasonable and appropriate for the scale of the proposed project and the approaches used and the total financial support from all sources is adequate.