24 March 2015 5 Comments
Psst. Wanna know a secret? This one weird trick will let you read other people’s grant applications, even before they are funded. Not only that, you get to decide who gets the money.
And it won’t cost you a cent.
The most effective way to do that is to actually become an assessor for a granting agency. Actually, I recommend that you put your hand up for two – one in your home country and one overseas.
Write better applications
Grant applications are a particular genre of academic writing. They are carefully structured documents that provide detailed plans for the future. They require information that never appears in other sorts of academic writing, such as budgets, CVs, and Gantt charts.
They look forward, when most other academic writing looks back at work that has already been done.
We don’t write them very often and we don’t read them very often. Compare the number of articles that you’ve read recently to the number of grant applications you’ve read ever.
By reading more grant applications, you will learn to write better grant applications. You’ll see what sort of evidence impresses you and what style of writing engages you. You’ll see what enrages you, too, when an otherwise good application contains obvious gaps or someone submits drivel.
Not only that, it will help you to place your own work in context. If you can see how other people position their work, it will help you to position yours.