This chapter continues to delve into specific strategies and considerations for writing different sections of the narrative of the proposal. The chapter uses the National Institutes of Health as the model. It examines the approach, or how the investigator will go about answering the research questions or addressing the aims while conducting the research study or project. The approach section describes in sufficient detail the strategies that will be implemented to achieve the aim(s) of the study. This should include an unbiased approach in the design, recruitment of participants, procedures and measures, human subjects (if relevant), timeline, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of results. When writing the narrative for this section, it is important to consider the lens of reviewers. Lastly, the chapter describes writing considerations for specific types of research designs that are commonly used by health professionals: the randomized clinical trial, the pragmatic clinical trial, community-based participatory research, and mixed method designs.
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This chapter discusses the background and significance sections of a proposal and describes how the literature review supports both. Over time, literature reviews have become more systematic and rigorous because investigators have understood the value and necessity of applying review methodologies that strengthen the scientific foundation of their study. Systematic and narrative reviews are sometimes confused because both provide a summary of existing literature on a research topic. This chapter compares the narrative review and the systematic review to differentiate between the two. The chapter also introduces the matrix method of organizing the literature search and provides a step-by-step outline for conducting a review of the literature, which includes activities that are indispensable to “owning the literature” so the grant writer can discuss major ideas and prior research conducted and ensure that the research questions asked are logically developed and based on a solid scientific foundation.
This chapter discusses key strategies in writing a proposal that can improve the competitiveness of a submission and potentially save valuable time in the writing process. These considerations include writing a concept paper prior to initiating a grant application, conducting pilot studies that include needs assessments to support a proposed idea, obtaining supporting documents, and formulating strategies for attending to administrative details efficiently. The chapter summarizes six major uses of a concept paper and discusses the importance of needs assessments and pilot data for supporting a proposal. The chapter also addresses how to obtain supplementary materials and covers other administrative details that, if addressed early on in developing a proposal, can make the writing process more efficient and save a considerable amount of time, particularly as the deadline for the grant submission approaches.
This concluding chapter uses a case example to tie together all of the chapters, serving as a review and a way to integrate the key points made throughout this book. The reader will obtain a sense of the whole grantwriting process, moving through the grantwriting steps from idea inception to grant submission to notice of award and then postaward management. This chapter helps the reader understand the grantwriting process from start to finish and identify which chapters to refer back to for more in-depth information. Successful grant writing is not an elusive goal that only a few can achieve. There are basics that make it possible: a novel idea with funding potential; a systematic and logical approach to addressing the issue; and, above all, persistence and passion.
Electronic submission is the primary method used by federal agencies and foundations for submitting grant applications. Occasionally paper submissions are required so be sure to check the requirements for each competition. Electronic submission represents a significant leap forward in increasing efficiency in the submission and processing of grant applications. The primary challenge with an electronic submission is that the grant writer will be required to have a completed and final grant application ready for uploading anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks prior to the funder’s deadline. The key to success is allowing sufficient time and having patience with system and computer bungles. This chapter provides general tips for some of the key challenges involved with online submissions of grant applications and what it takes to be efficient and ready to submit an application electronically.
Grantsmanship reflects a unique world with its own language, rules, strategies, and requirements. This chapter introduces the language of grantsmanship and locates grant writing within the larger context of career building and as an essential professional activity. Grant writing should not be a “one-off” activity; each grant should be viewed as a stepping stone to building programs that progress along a career trajectory. Grantsmanship is a thoughtful process and a professional commitment, with each award contributing to the advancement of knowledge, practice, and programmatic development. This chapter helps the reader understand common terms of grantsmanship, identify how grant writing fits along a career trajectory, and develop a plan of action for writing a grant from any career stage.
In developing a research, training, demonstration, or education grant proposal, an important consideration is the structure of the project. Understanding the available options and the nuances of different project structures is helpful and enhances work efficiency, the competitiveness of an application, and the ease with which the project can be implemented. This chapter introduces four models (individual, consultative, cooperative, and collaborative) and discusses the relative merits, characteristics, and considerations of each. An individual model reflects the traditional academic approach. A consultative model is an extension of the individual approach and includes assistance from experts or consultants. Cooperative models can involve either a main investigator who invites individuals at the same institution to work on aspects of the same project or an arrangement among two or more institutions. A collaborative model builds upon a cooperative approach and involves a more complex organizational structure. The chapter will help the reader determine which model is most appropriate for the reader’s proposed project.