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Grant Planning: Best Practices and Resources

To Do List

  1. Obtain and carefully read the entire funding opportunity announcement, including the review criteria.
  2. Not sure if your project fits the agency’s needs? Draft a concept paper and Call a program officer as necessary to clarify any questions about the FOA. Ask someone else to sit in on the conversation and take notes so you can focus on the discussion.
  3. Assess the fit of the proposed project to the sponsor’s goals and priorities using tools like the 10 questions and the Deal or No Deal rubric to decide if this is a proposal you want to pursue.
  4. Create a timeline for completing the proposal, make sure to allow for budget, subcontracts, letters of support, travel plans (both during the proposal preparation and heavy work load with other commitments.
  5. Assemble the research team and decide how your will divide the project, work flow, and internal deadlines while preparing the proposal.
  6. Create an outline based on the requirements in the FOA. Don’t forget to include sections for each of the review criteria.
  7. Determine if vendors, subcontracts and/or consultants are needed on the proposal. Make arrangements for final documents and deadlines prior to submission.
  8. Determine if you are an NIH Early Stage Investigator or similar category with other agencies.
  9. Determine foreign involvement and set deadlines with ample time to obtain needed final documents.

Grant Writer Support

  • Outline draft
  • Timeline draft
  • Help decide if an external person or organization is a vendor, subcontract, or consultant
  • Sit in on the Program officer phone call if needed, or interpret the response(s) if via email
  • Answer any questions about any of the grant resources posted on the web

Peer Support

  • Seek out established peers in the department, college or greater university. It is important that someone outside your immediate field can still follow your logic and research design.
  • Review outline draft and offer suggestions
  • Help decide if an external person or organization is a vendor, subcontract, or consultant
  • Sit in on the Program officer phone call if needed, or interpret the response if via email