The odds of writing a successful grant proposal are long these days. The Office of Extramural Research of the National Institutes of Health reports that the number of competing grants applications rose sharply-from 20,406 to 25,510-between 1985 and 1994. But the number of awards actually decreased from 6,752 in 1985 to 6,474 in 1994. Now more than ever, researchers applying for grants face intense competition.

Professionals who help researchers write grant proposals say there are several things to do to improve your chances of winning funding. They point out some common mistakes that are easily corrected and greatly improve the quality of the proposal. Moreover, investigators who want to hone their grant proposals can find help from several sources.

FIVE ENTIRE DAYS: Janet Rasey, director of the research funding service at the University of Washington, estimates that an NIH grant proposal takes on average 120 hours of writing time....

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?