How to write fundable grants in the most difficult funding environment of our lifetimes, without feeling like you’re just playing a hopeless lottery
Are you worried about the significant drop in available grant funding since 2010 and its impact on YOUR research? If so, it’s good that you are paying attention. Getting grants in today’s environment is NOTHING like it was just 10 years ago… much less back when most of us were being trained.It has become an often brutal competition - and most of your competition is responding with exactly the WRONG approach. They are treating it like a “lottery” thinking that by writing ever more numbers of proposals, one day they will get that winning ticket.
In one case we know of, a researcher submitted 28 proposals and got exactly one of them funded.
This leads to two major problems:
- You get a bad reputation. After seeing one after another after another “stinky” proposals from you, do you think reviewers don’t remember? Of course they do. The next one they see from you will automatically be placed into the “stinky” pile, even if it’s not. This makes the hill that you have to climb to get funding even steeper. (as if you needed to add extra height to that hill!
- You have an ever-dwindling supply of time to do the research and papers upon which your grant proposals rest. Without making significant progress on those, you’re toast. It doesn’t matter how many proposals you write and submit, without solid research to base them on, you will not get funding.
These two factors lead to a third problem: Burnout
- Once you are on the burnout track, it’s often too late to recover. You get into a cycle of overwork and exhaustion, which leads to lack of clarity and focus, which in turn leads to poor writing, poor thinking, and simply not functioning well. As this cycle progresses, careers end - and sadly, many of them have been ending in this environment.
Are you thinking to yourself: “But it IS a lottery!”
Yes, it's a lottery in the same way that who wins a game of basketball is a lottery. There IS chance involved, but there's also a BIG impact of training and preparation. A team with training and preparation will win every time against one that's playing the game with no training or preparation.
Are you thinking: I am a top researcher in my field, I don’t need grant help! (that would be a sign of weakness)
One department chair was overheard saying that anyone who needed grant training wasn’t a good scientist, because good science speaks for itself.
- What century is that guy from? Certainly not the 21st century! Grants are about selling your science to very skeptical reviewers.
- How much training has that chair (or his unfortunate underlings) had in selling? My guess is just about zero.
- And so think about how much he’s costing his department in lost revenues. Quite likely it’s counted in the millions of dollars per year! Wow. All because of ego.
If you ARE ready to get help, where do you find good help?
Do you go to a bargain-basement grant writer? Someone who perhaps has an English degree but knows nothing about the science OR about selling? You get what you pay for…
Or do you go to some people who wrote a book based on what was working 20 years ago? Hmmm… things have changed just a bit since then.
Or… do you find people who have an outstanding track record for successfully assisting clients attain grant awards from NIH R01’s, R21’s, U24’s, SBIR’s, RC2’s…?
If you want the best help available (and are truly committed to becoming really good at this!)
The Grant Foundry program was established by Dr. Morgan Giddings in 2011 to help a small, handpicked group learn how to write killer grant applications, by learning the strategies, tactics, and mindset of writing wildly successful grants.
Since that time, we’ve worked with a small group of researchers, and the work has yielded many R01’s funded (including 3 perfect scoring R01’s so far), U awards, DOD awards, NSF awards (including CAREER awards), SBIR awards, and more…. It has changed the careers for many of the participants.
Now, the Grant Foundry has become even more powerful. Dr. Giddings has teamed with Robert Finney, PhD (Innovative Research Grants, LLC). In the Grant Foundry, we work with a small group of select people who are truly ready and committed to a complete transformation in their grant writing - from struggles to fluency - from having only the occasional grant funded, to having the majority of grants funded. In the Grant Foundry, multiple approaches are used so that our clients learn and adapt proven grant preparation and writing skills – to give them the competitive advantage they need to attain grant funds.
The Grant Foundry is not a one-size-fits-all course. Instead, we realize that some people have great projects to propose, but have a lousy time convincing reviewers of their greatness. Others struggle to come up with a great project, which is a prerequisite to writing a great grant proposal - and need help with improving their projects BEFORE they start writing. Different people have different challenges, and they also have vastly different levels of commitment to improving themselves.
The Grant Foundry is for: people who are doing great research projects that will contribute to the world in positive ways (these days, that's a prerequisite for funding). This project is only for people who are dedicated to improving their funding situation to make the great research a reality, and whom are willing to work to make that happen. It is for people who are willing to understand and implement a different way of thinking about the purpose of a grant proposal and the approach to writing a successful one. I can only help you if you put in the time that it takes to make the change (and I'll be as efficient as I can about it).
The Grant Foundry is not for: people who are too busy writing their next proposal to learn how to do it more efficiently and effectively (really? you're too busy? Think about that for a minute). It is not for people who think they just need a tiny tweak of wording here and there to get a grant funded. It is not for people who think that conventional wisdom is always right (if it were, why are only 1 in 10 grants getting funded at agencies like the NIH?). It is especially not for people who think the best approach to getting grants funded is by writing so many of them so quickly (and sloppily) that "one of them is bound to get funded by mere chance."
How to Apply:
Because the Grant Foundry consumes considerable amounts of our time, we have limited capacity for clients. Because this is very time-intensive, we have a simple questionnaire. The point of the questionnaire is to make sure that you're really serious and dedicated to improving your situation, so that we’re not wasting our limited time. If you don't have the time to fill it out, then I'm sorry, but we won't have the time to work with you.
Once you fill it out, we'll contact you and let you know whether you're a good fit or not. If you are a fit, we'll schedule a call with you.
To get started with the questionnaire, just sign up here: Grant Foundry
Warning: every time we’ve offered this recently, the number of applications has exceeded our available time, and the class has filled up quickly. If you are on the fence “thinking about it” you will probably be too late. And not only that, the same procrastination that would have you put this off is one of the things we need to fix about your approach to grant writing. Let’s start now!
To get started, we prefer that you submit our contact us form, but also feel free to email us at email@example.com, or call us directly at 206-629-6902. We will give you feedback - so you will know what needs to be accomplished for a successful grant proposal.
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