The Freestone, Calif.-based C.S. Fund (the initials stand for “charitable source”) rejected about 570 proposals last year in the process of selecting recipients of $1.5 million in grants. And, out of the kindness of its institutional heart, it has some advice to offer scientists who are thinking about submitting proposais for the coming year’s round of awards. First of all, says the foundation’s executive director, Marty Teitel, applicants should take the time to learn what projects—such as biological research with environmental implications—the organization tends to favor.

“We’ve written our guidelines brochure a thousand times to make it very clear. If more people would just read the brochure, they’d do better with their proposals,” says Teitel. Second, he strongly urges grant seekers to focus their proposals on the results their research is pursuing and the methods they intend to employ. “Usually grant seekers spend tremendous time describing the problem and not...

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