Using the model described in the Win More Grants eBook, here is a accompanying handy feedback sheet that you can use to solicit feedback from colleagues.
Link to PDF: grant_proposal_feedback_sheet
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I think it’s possible for me to write better grant applications?
Am I willing to challenge my own preconceived ideas of the grant application process?
Am I willing to overcome the depression I will feel after I discover that the grant application system is not about the quality of ideas?
Would it be great if I can increase my application success rate?
If you answered yes to all of the above, then this is the book for you.
This book has a straightforward purpose. To increase your chances of winning grants. It does this by looking at all the factors that influence the likely success of your application, The decision to fund grant proposals is ultimately made by humans, and humans are inherently fickle and unsystematic, and are influenced by many factors beyond the pages of your grant proposal document.
If you are having trouble getting grants funded, then perhaps now more than ever before is the time to try something different. As national funding agencies struggle to maintain historical levels of financial support for researchers in the face of budget cuts and other “austerity measures”, competition for grants is more fierce than ever.
There are already many, many, books on grant writing, but I wrote this book because all the grant writing books I ever saw were just too basic. They cover all the right topics and they go through all the correct procedures. They help you to craft a well-formulated case and help you submit a high quality grant application. All important stuff, if you don’t know it already. But most colleagues of mine already know how to compose a high quality application. They have seen examples, or are writing their case with some help from colleagues who have done it before. They are not novices. They don’t need help in putting together a high quality application.
The problem is that a “high quality application” is no longer enough to secure funding for your research, because every application being considered (at the final round, at least) is a well formulated, appropriately structured, excellent proposal. The quality of the project you are proposing is not the differentiator that will get it funded. I’m not saying that quality is not important. I’m saying that you are not even in the running if your grant proposal doesn’t meet high standards, but it has to be more than just “high quality” to get funded.
So I wrote this book for people who can already write a good grant proposal and know the ropes. It is for people who apply for grants, have possibly even won some of them, but overall don’t win them as often as they would like. It is for people who want to spend less time writing grant proposals, and more time doing their research and teaching.
This book is based on my own experiences as a grant proposal writer (as an academic) and as a member of various panels deciding on grants. Beyond that, I also bring a different perspective based on my experience as a founder of two start up companies, and an adviser to a further two. Raising investment for a start up is very similar to writing a grant application: you have a great idea, you get a team together and you pitch for funding. In this book, it is the mentality of “pitching” that I bring to the challenge of grant writing. That is why I believe it is different to the other books on winning grants.