Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Read the proposal guidelines and directions- and pay attention to the fine print!

Recently I had a very interesting exchange with the president of a small foundation. I was helping her with grant proposal writing, and one day she sent me an excited email telling me about a grant opportunity she had found that she thought would be perfect for the organization.

Her: "We should apply to this right away! This is perfect for the kind of work that we do- I think we have a great chance!"

Me: "Have you taken any vows recently that I don't know about?"

Her: "What are you talking about?"

Me: "To be eligible for this grant, you need to have a Roman Catholic nun on staff."

Obviously NIH will not have this same restriction, but it does illustrate my point. You need to read the entire RFA and pay attention to the details, including eligibility requirements. Otherwise you may do a lot of work for nothing.

I saw this done by one investigator who did not realize that something she was working on did not qualify for a particular type of supplement. She went through the entire process of writing the proposal and trying to submit it in the era commons- only to have it rejected. Please, save yourself some time and do the reading.

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