How can I get started in grant writing?

I am interested in grant writing for clients on a free lance basis, but every one who wants a freelance grant writer wants someone who is experienced. How can I find opportunities to get some experience at grant writing? I do not mind if I have to write on a volunteer basis, I just want to get some experience.

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    I am not familiar with how this works for humanities or non-sciences. However, I do know that for the sciences you need a lot of effort to write a successful grant. The grants that I am familiar with are for NASA Midex type missions and studies.

    For you to get experience in these things you need to find a company/lab/researcher who does research for these types of grants. The PI (Primary Investigator) gets his/her group to provide evidence to support his/her proposal for the grant which will be a future study that continues and develops the current study/mission. As a grant writer, one must collect all the relevant components of the grant (What you want to do, How you will do it, What have you done so far, How do you know what you will do will work, where the money will go etc) and put together a large document to send to the people who review the grant. If you have a top notch proposal, then you will receive funding.

    My wife did some grant writing during her PhD work in Biochemistry and she said it was similar for the NIH (National Institute of Health) but of course it was a totally different subject matter.

    What you can do for experience:

    Look for researchers with successful grants and ask to look at them. See how they do it.

    Look for a lab/researcher to volunteer or work for and focus on how to construct a good grant. If you do well and have a successful track record in helping that group write grants then you might be on your way.

    I know that at other levels, the grant writing is a little bit different. For example at the community college that I taught at, I wrote grants for various support funds and they were very short and not as complicated as a grant for research. They have a feel of some application of some sort.

    Below is a link to NIH grants. Hope that helps!

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