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Home » How to Write a Grant Proposal – Writing Sample

How to Write a Grant Proposal – Writing Sample

A grant proposal is a formal request for financial support. It plays an important part in the research process, particularly in academia. After completing your research, you will need to write a proposal to secure funding for your work. The process of writing a grant proposal can seem daunting, especially if you are not familiar with the various styles used by funders. In this article, we will discuss various aspects of writing a grant proposal, including how to structure it, the role of illustrations, and the importance of research ethics.

How to Write a Grant Proposal

Writing a grant proposal is one of the most crucial steps in the research process. It is very important that you follow the correct formatting, the use of proper language, and that you stick to the correct document type. To ensure that your proposal is easily accessible by reviewers, you should write it in a way that is concise and to the point. This article will discuss various aspects of writing the proposal to guide you on the right path.

The Purpose of the Grant Proposal

A grant proposal should always have a clear purpose. This purpose should be stated upfront in the proposal itself, as mentioned by the funder. The proposal should not be overly long, but neither should it be trivial either. A good grant proposal should serve as a concise overview of the research, the methodology, and the expected outcomes. This purpose should be easy to understand for the reader, otherwise they might think that you are using the grant as a way of raising your profile or funding some other project.

The Organization

An easy way to start off any grant proposal is to identify the appropriate organization that can provide the necessary funding. You should try and find a registered not-for-profit organization; a registered charity could also be an option. You will have to register with the Not-For-Profit Registry if you are writing a proposal for a public or private foundation. Your proposal cannot be used for commercial purposes. You need to make sure that the organization you choose is reputable and has the resources to provide the funding you are requesting. The name of the organization should match the funder’s requirements as stipulated in the grant proposal, or at least be very similar. The grant proposal does not have to be limited to financial support only; you can also ask the funder to provide technical assistance or to set up a laboratory or office space for your use.

The Background

The background of your proposal should always match the nature and scope of the proposed research. It is a good idea to make a brief introduction about yourself, your qualifications, and your experience. The background should include previous research projects, relevant publications, and any other relevant projects or events that might influence the funder. Make sure that the information you provide is relevant and up-to-date. The more you can do to make the proposal stand out, the greater the chances of it being considered for funding. The funder will usually review the proposal multiple times, so you want to make sure that they are presented with the updated background information.

The Problem

A problem is usually defined as something that is hindering a process or a society; the very existence of a problem implies that there is a valid reason for it. The proposed research should attempt to solve the problem, or at least provide a better understanding of it. You will have to clearly state the problem you are trying to solve in the proposal. It is a good idea to start with a problem statement, which will provide the context and the purpose of the work. Having a clear picture in mind of the problem you are solving will make it much easier to develop and present your solution. When writing your problem statement, make sure that you focus on the desired impact of the proposed research. The problem statement can also be used to scope and define the objectives of the project. It is also a good idea to briefly describe alternative solutions before suggesting your own. A well-crafted problem statement can become a valuable tool for the future reviewers of your proposal.

The Proposed Solution

Now that you have established the purpose and problem of your proposal, you can begin to lay out the proposed solution. The solution to your problem is typically a collection of tasks involving different sub-projects and several key areas of focus. You should start with an overview of your plan, explaining the different phases of the project, including the methodology and expected duration. You should also include a timeline, detailing when you plan to complete each stage of the project. Make sure to include any relevant background information on the methodology you are using, as well as a description of the various tools and materials needed for the project.

The Roles of the Different Stakeholders

In a grant proposal, you are usually representing the interests of several different stakeholders. These stakeholders include the funder, your academic institution, and the general public. Your proposal must clearly lay out the roles and responsibilities of each of these stakeholders, as well as the intended impact of the project. While you are presenting the project from a social science perspective, it is still essential to include the financial ramifications of the project. This section of your proposal should outline the different ways the project will benefit the funder and the general public. You do not have to list every single financial stakeholder in your proposal, but it is a good idea to include several key financial partners. The more relevant information you can include here, the greater the chances of the proposal being considered for funding. Academics and research institutions actively support and fund scientific research, and a well-written grant proposal can help you stand out amongst your peers. If the funder is a commercial organization, they might also be interested in purchasing your product or service once your project is completed. Your proposal should also contain an ethical overview, discussing any potential ethical concerns that could arise from the project.


Although the information in your proposal is important, the most valuable commodity you have is your words. Your proposal will be subjected to several rounds of reviews, and a lot of time is likely to be spent on extracting the key points you are trying to make. To help the reviewers, you can include keywords in your proposal. These keywords will form a text-based index that the reviewers can use to find specific information in the document. If you are writing for a funder that uses specific software to aid their review process, you can include those keywords in your proposal as well. For example, if you are writing to the Wellcome Trust, an institute within the United Kingdom, you can include the keywords “wellcome”, “trust”, and “funding” to ensure that your proposal is easily searchable by the Wellcome Trust. Make sure to include appropriate synonyms for these keywords, as well as a short definition of the terms you are using. This will greatly assist the reviewers in understanding your ideas and the scope of your proposal. Inclusion of keywords is optional, but highly recommended.

The Research Design

If your proposal is to be considered for research monies, you will have to follow a series of steps to ensure that the funder’s money is well spent. One important step is to design your study in a way that is scientifically sound and provides reliable data. To begin with, state any existing theories or hypotheses you have about the problem you are solving. Next, outline the various methods you will use to collect the data you need. Finally, describe the analyses you will perform on the data once it has been collected. The research design should be simple, yet effective, and you should utilize existing theory and statistical methods where possible. Poorly designed studies with no theoretical underpinnings are likely to be rejected by the funder. With a clear vision of how the study is expected to pan out and an in-depth understanding of the problem at hand, you can produce a scientifically sound and highly credible proposal that will likely earn you grants and funding from reputable sources.

Formatting And Style

The proposal you write will undergo several reviews, so you want to ensure that it is easily accessible to the reviewers and stands out above the rest. To start with, you should learn how to write a good narrative, which is a style of writing that is all the rage these days. The proposal should be no more than six or seven paragraphs long. If there is more than one page, the first page should be titled ‘Page Title’ and the following pages should be numbered consecutively. Use a logical, yet concise, writing style and avoid superfluous adjectives. Keep your language simple, yet accurate. For additional advice on formatting and style, consult the style guides provided by your academic institution or the publishers.