Grants

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With shrinking school budgets, educators might consider looking to grants for project funds. Here are some tips (from the links below and from personal experience) for you if you are thinking of applying for a grant.

Preparation

  • Make sure your idea fits the grant criteria (location, non-equipment, etc)
  • Look for full grants and mini-grants too
  • May need to become member of professional organization(s) to be considered
  • Grants have two broad categories:
    • New proposals
    • Help to buildup existing projects
  • “Less is more” in proposal
  • Find colleagues as collaborators, community support
  • Look at successful proposals of other grant ideas
  • Find multiple uses of money, if possible
  • Involve students
  • Is your project sustainable beyond funding?
  • Gather ‘writing tools’
  • Success breeds success in grants

Writing

  • Use technical writing, not a creative writing style
  • Be clear and concise in writing style
  • Make sure to plan ahead and make the deadline, if not before
  • Display confidence & enthusiasm
  • Do your homework: research, cite studies that support your project
  • “Jargonize” appropriately
  • “Less is More” in writing
  • Develop specific, attainable goals in your project
  • Provide and timeline and a means for evaluation
  • Be prepared to showcase your successes already related to grant
  • Discuss potential problems and pitfalls
  • Consider your funding needs
  • Proofread! Avoid simple typos, misspellings, or awkward formatting
  • Critique your own proposal
  • Have others read your final draft as well
  • Turn in ON TIME (or ahead of time)

Follow-up

  • Some grants will contact you regardless of acceptance
  • Don’t get discouraged – a good idea is still worth doing. Look for other funding, try again next year
  • You may have a perfect idea/application and still get rejected
  • If rejected, ask grantor for comments/suggestions
  • If accepted, make sure to follow criteria for follow-up: report, publicity, etc

Links

Grant Sources (specifically science)

Do you have other ideas, or grant sources to share?

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