Useful tips on the basics (but essentials) of grant writing

The Research Whisperer

There are three key points for efficient grant application writing:

  1. Read the guidelines,
  2. Read the guidelines, and
  3. Read the guidelines.

Research developers like to trot this one out regularly. It usually gets a laugh (or an eye-roll, ymmv), but it’s TRUE.

I am a strong advocate of this mantra at the moment because university research offices around Australia are geared up for major Australian Research Council (ARC) funding rounds. ARC grants are arguably the most difficult and prestigious to land.

When talking with researchers about their applications (including using the ARC’s online system), I often have this experience:

[Five minutes into our meeting, where I feel like I’m not making much headway]

Me: [casually] So, you’ve read the funding rules and instructions to applicants, right?

*crickets*

That’s my ‘ah-hah’ moment. It explains why the researchers are having so much trouble getting started on an application, and why they don’t…

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