Write Grant Proposal

Elements of a proposal

1. Need / Problem Statement

  • clear & concise
  • well-supported
  • factual

    2. Goals / Objectives

  • S = Specific
  • M = Measurable
  • A = Attainable
  • R = Realistic
  • T = Timely

    3. Background / Significance

  • Summary previous related findings
  • What does your research extend?
  • What gaps does it fill?

    4. Preliminary Work / Progress to Date

  • Demonstrate your research foundation
  • Be clear and precise
  • No error / mistakes are allowed

    5. Work Plan and Methods

  • Experiments to answer your questions
  • In reasonable detail
  • Feasible is the most important thing

    6. Time line (optional)

Success factors

  1. Clearly defined need
  2. Research design is appropriate
  3. Well written Background Statement
  4. Develop something new
  5. Sufficient details in Research Plan
  6. Qualified investigators
  7. Appropriately ambitious

Tips for proposal writing

Specific aims

  • Is the section written in clear, non technical terms?
  • Does the section begin by stating the general purpose or objectives of your research?
  • Is the section limited to three or four specific aims?
  • Do your specific aims and objectives support and test your hypothesis?
  • Are your aims tightly focused?
  • Are your questions important and have general interests?
  • Are these any holes / faults in your hypothesis?

    Background and Significance

  • Is the section clear enough to be understood by reviewers?
  • Did you include background information of your project?
  • Is the literature section up-to-date and does it show reviewers your understanding of the field?
  • Did you show why your research is innovative?
  • Have you conveyed the significance of your research and how it will contribute to the field?
  • Do you know gaps, discrepancies,or roadblocks in the field?

    Preliminary Data

  • Do the preliminary data support the hypothesis to be tested?
  • Do they show the feasibility of the project?
  • Did you explain how your preliminary data will be expanded and support your proposed project?
  • Did you interpret your results critically and provide alternative meanings for them?

    Design and Methods

  • Does each experiment correspond to one of the specific aims, and are they stated in the same order?
  • Do the experiments follow a logical sequence?
  • Did you use flow charts or graphs to show paths of your experiments and how they will progress?
  • Did you offer a timetable showing how and when you will accomplish your aims?
  • Did you describe any hazardous procedures or materials, as well as precautions?
  • Have you only included information that is needed for your project?
  • Have you included all relevant controls?
  • Have you included sufficient details to show that you understand and can handle the research?
  • Does your reference include publications showing your use of the methods you have described?
  • Have you cited references wherever needed?


  • Have you show that you are aware of the limits and values of results you expected?
  • Did you define the criteria for evaluating the success or failure of a specific test?
  • Did you state the conditions under which your experimental data would support or contradict your hypothesis?
  • Did you state the limits you will observe in interpreting the results?


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因为不想遗忘! 在这个信息大爆炸的年代,最重要的是对知识的消化-吸收-重铸。每天学了很多东西,但是理解的多少,以及能够运用多少是日后成功的关键。作为一个PhD,大脑中充斥了太多的东西,同时随着年龄的增长,难免会忘掉很多事情。所以只是为了在众多教程中写一个自己用到的,与自己...… Continue reading