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Coins on a notebookRecently, I read two articles that I found extremely germane to the enterprise of grant seeking and grant writing. The first, by Mary Walters, “You Can Get the Grant,” was published January 11, 2010 in Inside Higher Ed.

Ms. Walters correctly assesses that the tone of your prose can affect how the reviewers read and react to your proposal. She states that a hesitant or negative tone becomes a sure sign of lack of confidence. Being too verbose, lacking clarity, use of excessive technical terms and generalities can sink your proposal.


Contrasting examples of general research related to the topic vs. specific citations of research done by others, and how your research is differentiated prove to be a stronger argument for your proposal. Use more affirmative language such as “research shows” rather than weaker language such as “we hope to.” Portraying self-confidence and expertise in your area will definitely enhance your chance of success.


The second article, “Eight essential skills for school grant seekers,” by Deborah Ward was published in eSchool News, March 2010.

Ms. Ward’s eight essential skills are: 

  • Research skills (Be internet savvy, cite research studies, identify best practices)
  • Writing Skills (Clarity and being concise)
  • Coordination skills (Engage all principal stakeholders and set deadlines)
  • Organizational skills (Organize all information required in the application)
  • Facilitation skills (Coordinate multiple partners and their roles)
  • Mathematical skills (Develop budgets)
  • Reading comprehension skills (Dissect the Request for Proposal (RFP))
  • Editing skills (Re-read and review with an unrelated individual)

These are just two observations of recent, quality articles about grant seeking and grant writing. Maybe you have others to share? <>