Dr. Mom, My Adventures as a Mommy-Scientist

Discussion of my journey from grad school to postdoc to tenure with two kids, a husband, (and a bit of breast cancer) in tow.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Things I wish I knew about grant writing when I started

1. Submit the same idea (and same grant if possible) to as many agencies as you can to increase chance of funding.

2. If an idea gets rejected but gets decent reviews, don't change the whole idea just fix the things that the reviewers point out.

3. Don't write to what you think will get funded, write to what makes sense scientifically.

4. Do think about the goals of the agency though and try to match your tone and presentation to what is expected.

5. It's probably better to write many grants about few ideas than to write many grants about many ideas.

6. Do your homework. You'd be surprised how many times proposed research has been published by others before the grant even gets submitted.

7. Don't confine yourself to agencies/foundations that you are familiar with. Explore areas outside your "home department" but that are related to your work.

8. Keep it simple stupid. Propose the simplest part of your experiments that will demonstrate proof of concept rather than trying to build a complicated house of cards all dependent on success of aim 1 even if it is flashy and exciting.


At 12:06 PM , Blogger Amanda said...

Excellent post. I'll have to keep this in mind for later! Thanks for posting this.

At 10:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my experience, it is hard to sell the same idea to many funding agencies, so I personally diversified a lot while applying (it worked well)!! I could only find potential funding agencies for maximum two proposals/idea. The most useful advice I got was to get to know the program managers. They play a larger role than it's sometimes said they do. Call them before you even start writing, to find out whether they are interested in your idea at all or whether they think your proposal would be a good match for their section/agency. And write a lot, be very persistent. Doesn't really matter if it has been done before or if you don't have a lot of preliminary data. Chances are that someone else has thought of your idea, but don't let that stop you. Write a good proposal, get to know them, and convince them you are the one who should get the $$$!


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