Write Winning Grant Proposals

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Event Type: 

Register here for this workshop. This workshop is planned to be in-person at the Memorial Union and is free to attend. Register by October 10th to ensure any additional workbooks arrive before the workshop.

Presented by John D. Robertson, Ph.D.
Grant Writers’ Seminars & Workshops was founded by academicians, for academicians to help researchers obtain formal training in how to support their work with grant proposal writing.

Emphasis is placed on doing the “extra” things that can make the difference between being funded versus not. Regardless of the target agency, participants are taught to write with a linear progression of logic, which leads reviewers through an application without them knowing that they are being led. Emphasis is placed on the fact that applicants are writing for two different audiences – the assigned reviewers, who read the application in its entirety, and non-assigned reviewers who may have read little, or none, of the proposal before the meeting of the review panel.

This seminar will focus on proposal writing for a number of federal agencies and other types of funding agencies. Regardless of funding agency, the majority of this content will be relevant and usable for individuals applying to various funding entities (e.g., private foundations, professional organizations, and state/other federal agencies). This is because the core structure/format of most grant proposals, and the review criteria for most grant proposals, are very similar across funding entities, often merely called something different.

All participants receive an extensive handout, as well as have the opportunity to purchase a field-relevant hard copy of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook. The latter is designed to facilitate application of what is learned in the seminar to the writing of each attendee’s individual grant proposal based on the funding organization (NIH, NSF, USDA-NIFA, Any Other Agency). The participant will be responsible for providing a worktag for these additional workbooks at $80 per book.

Below is a short description of the agency specific copies of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook that are available for an additional fee. (We have been informed there may be updates for the NSF and USDA workbooks from September 2021, as GWSW is finalizing those currently.)

National Institutes of Health Version

The May 2020 edition has been updated to comply with the instructions and review criteria language for NIH grant applications due after May 25, 2020. This includes updated FORMS-F general and program-specific instructions. In this Workbook edition we refer to the research-specific set of instructions. Additional updates and information include a streamlined approach to finding an appropriate Program Officer and Study Section; changes to the organization of the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form; new guidance on preparing the PHS Assignment Request Form; clarification on appropriate use of letters of support; and more. All URLS and screenshots have also been updated.

National Science Foundation Version

The June 2020 edition has been updated to comply with the revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) - effective for all proposals due on or after June 1, 2020. NSF no longer publishes the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and the Award and Administration Guide (AAG) as separate documents. Some changes for 2020 include updates to the EAGER and RAPID language; reviewers not to include language; Project Description sections; Broader Impacts examples; biosketch requirements; appointments language; synergistic activities language clarification, and the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template. All URLs and screenshots have also been updated.

Successful Proposals to Any Agency (For proposals other than NIH, NSF, or USDA)

The grant applications of most agencies contain basically the same sections – only the specific names for the sections and the order in which they appear in the application are different. In addition, the principles and fundamentals of good proposal writing are the same for all agencies. Given these two facts, we have written a “generic” workbook that can be used to write a proposal to any granting agency. It walks the applicant through the preparation of each section and is meant to be complemented by the specific instructions of the agency that is being targeted. Publication date: September 2016.


Principles and fundamentals of good proposal writing are emphasized, together with specific tips on Integrated Projects, use of the SF424 application format, and electronic submission through Grants.gov. The Workbook provides a clear, useful outline for creating the first draft of the proposal. Publication date: April 2015.

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research