Federal grant proposal writing may be an art, but for many busy researchers it can quickly turn to a grind: Compiling biographical sketches, doing the project write-up. Figuring the budget. Refiguring the budget. Calculating that budget yet again. Before the application ends up in the National Institutes of Health mailroom, it can undergo more incarnations than psychic Edgar Cayce.

Cayuse Inc., a small company based in Portland, Ore., (www.cayuse.com), created a software program called GrantSlam in the mid-1990s to reduce the grant writer's workload. The company recently updated the program by transferring it from a Form Flow (produced by Jetform) to a FileMaker database platform and adding other innovations. The newest version, 4.1, released this spring with 4.0 bugs repaired, includes graphical icons and colorful boxes. It copies and calculates data across sections and self-saves the proposal for use with future drafts.

According to one user, without using...

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