Funding Tips

cropped_fall_landscape_100105_1Resources at UMass

The Writing Center provides 1-on-1 consultations (in person and online) for any writing project, including funding proposals. Writing tutors can help you get started on a proposal or review a draft in progress. Students who do not speak English as their first language may find this resource particularly useful for reviewing grammar, spelling, or sentence structure.

The International Programs Office can help international students with questions about immigration or visa status, including how grants, fellowships, or postdocs impact your visa.

The Office of Grants and Contracts Administration (OGCA) processes all funding applications that must be submitted by UMass rather than individual applicants. As a general guideline, any funding application that requires a signature from a University official or includes an applicant-generated budget must be approved and submitted by OGCA. These applications must be submitted to OGCA a minimum of five business days prior to the funder’s deadline, so check early on whether or not you need to submit through UMass. Be in touch with your departmental business manager, OGCA or Heidi Bauer-Clapp if you are unsure on this.

External Writing Resources

The Social Science Research Council has a free, downloadable publication called “The Art of Writing Proposals.” We recommend it if you are applying for social science-related fellowships and grants, but it is also excellent general advice for many other fields. Click here for the download page on the SSRC website.

A good starting point for students interested in applying to NIH grant programs is the website of the NIH Office of Extramural Research, which provides writing tips and advice on developing a research plan and preparing an NIH grant application.

For students in humanities fields, “Some Frank Advice on Submitting an Individual Research Grant in the Humanities” by Maria Carlson at the University of Kansas is aimed at faculty but its advice, by and large, is excellent for grad students as well.

The University of North Carolina Writing Center’s website has posted 65 handouts that cover everything from creating grant proposals to using gender-sensitive language. These are terrific for polishing your writing, reviewing writing essentials, or picking up certain basics you didn’t manage to acquire as an undergrad. These are highly recommended, especially for those students in non-writing-intensive fields. Check out the index here. GSGS strongly recommends the handouts on Grant Proposals (also see our PowerPoint about proposal writing on the Downloads page of this blog), Passive Voice, Introductions, and Conclusions. While these handouts are written with undergrads in mind, they are useful for grad students and proposal writing, too.

To read in more depth about the world of grants and fellowships (not just academic), go to the homepage of The Foundation Center. If you are just beginning, go to the Get Started dropdown menu at the top of the page; then try the New Visitors link; also, look at the information under Individual Grantseekers. Much of the info on this website requires a payment (sometimes only about $20.00), or a subscription; however, other info is free of charge. For example, we recommend the free Proposal Writing Short Course which offers helpful advice if you are new to writing funding proposals.