Writing Successful Grant Proposals: Multiple Perspectives on Federal and Foundation Funding

May 29, 2013 

by Paula Skedsvold

Scientists often find themselves engaged in the elusive chase for grant funding. In a tight economic climate, the competition for scarce research dollars is growing more intense. As a service to the scientists we represent, FABBS President Robert Sternberg organized a group of stellar behavioral and brain scientists and science administrators to share their insights on how to create the best proposal and compete well for funding.

The result is a new book, Writing Successful Grant Proposals from the Top Down and Bottom Up. It provides advice on planning, executing, submitting, and revising grant proposals to maximize the chance of success in securing funding. The book is published by SAGE and edited by Sternberg and an impressive list of colleagues.

Both grant givers and successful grant seekers share their perspectives on the overall climate and strategies for navigating the terrain with various agencies and private funders. Chapters include:

  • Applying for grants from specific federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, Institute of Education Sciences, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Seeking funding from private foundations
  • Building an Institutional Research Training Program
  • Collaborating on interdisciplinary and interinstitutional grants

Former NSF Director and Chancellor of the University of California Richard C. Atkinson writes in the foreword: “Broad science policy sets the stage for the progress of science. But, at the heart of it all is you, the researcher, and your research idea. You do the painstaking work of taking a novel idea, embedding it in the larger body of scientific work, translating the idea to a research plan, and making the case to independent scientific panels and federal agencies that this idea should be funded.... The nation needs this knowledge base and owes its gratitude to scientists like you who continue the search for discovery.” 

By pulling together recommendations for seeking funding from a variety of sources, we hope the book will provide a good base for new investigators and perhaps inspiration for experienced researchers. 

Learn more about the new book »