Interns- Intro to Grant Writing

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Why Write Grants?

Writing a grant for just the money is usually not a recipe for success. Rather, seek out grants that our tied to your goals and aspirations. Think of grant writing as a way to fund your personal and professional growth. Grants are an opportunity to better understand your chosen field and are a tool for building and sustaining innovative projects.

Define Your Project Take your time and define what you want to accomplish before working on your grant application.

Ask yourself some basic questions.

Where do I Find Ideas? 1. Identify a Problem Use literature and research from your field, brainstorming with peers, and personal experiences. Search for issues and obstacles that intrigue and interest you. You could create a list of problems that you face, your field faces, your peers face, your institution faces, etc. and then decided what issue seems the most worthy for your to tackle.

Once you've identified a problem, the next step is to: 2. Frame the problem by asking questions Such as: What problem I am trying to solve? What do I need to solve this problem? What will the situation look like if its been addressed?

These questions will hep you frame the parameters of your funding request and help you organize your ideas into actions and tasks.

3. Find Possible Funding Sources Consider the size of your project: You want to have a large enough project so the funding agency sees value in what you are doing. However you don't want the scope or activities of your project to be so large that it becomes unmanageable or appears to lack focus. You don't want funding request to seem like non-related activities thrown together. On the other hand, a project that's too narrow may have trouble appealing to the funding agency, because the project won't have a broad enough impact. Questions like: Who will be impacted? How many will benefit? How long will it take to solve the problem? Can all help to frame the project's scope.

How Do I Find a Funding Agency? Michigan State University has a great list for artist grants. http://staff.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/3arts.htm

Understanding a Funding Agency: A big part of a successful grant is understanding the funding agency. What are their mission and goals? What are the priorities of the organization? What have they funded in the past? This knowledge can be gathered through research and active involvement with the agency providing the funding. Start with the organization's website. Many agencies also provide databases of past projects or list past awards as well.