Grant applications don’t have to be dull and boring to be taken seriously. In fact, showing enthusiasm for your research not only holds the reviewer’s attention, it may also sway them to support your passion. So, be persuasive; make a case by describing the significance of your research in the very first sentence. Then, explain why you are the perfect candidate to conduct this research. Use this as another opportunity to align your aims to the agency’s mission.
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Think like a reviewer: A reviewer is overly committed, inherently skeptical and only marginally interested in your work. Make sure your story is upbeat, positive and compelling.
The reviewers generally have broad expertise, so it is important to convince them of the merits of your application. Only some will likely understand or even read the details of your science. Make sure you can get your point across to someone outside your field; include adequate background information to enable an intelligent reader to appreciate the work. Request an objective review by collaborators, colleagues and mentors and make suggested edits. It is easy to develop “scope fatigue” when surveying the same landscape or focusing on the same subject matter, so allow enough time to put the completed application aside and then edit it from a fresh vantage point.
Remember, a reviewer must read 10 to 12 applications in great detail; make sure your application is something the reviewer wants to read.