Planning Your Approach

After the planning stage, the actual application writing is a major undertaking that requires its own strategies and an understanding of the target audience. Your target audience is the research veterinarians/scientists who will review your application. These individuals are members of the AALAS Scientific Advisory Committee, plus former committee members who serve as ad hoc reviewers.

Try writing the application in sections (initially as drafts) and in this order:

  • Your hypothesis (standard grant) or goals (small grant) and specific aims.
  • The approach/experimental design and methods, considering the personnel and skills needed for each step.
  • Evaluate your specific aims and methods and how they affect your budget.
  • As your writing progresses, reevaluate and revise your hypothesis and specific aims.
  • Last, prepare your abstract and title. 

Write with passion and in an active voice. "I will do..." vs. "It is expected that..." Make a winning argument that you understand the problem, can perform the research, and have access to necessary resources and expertise.

Remember to write clearly and in plain language, so your proposal will be understood easily by experts and non-experts alike. 

Show your draft to an expert who is experienced in receiving funding for grant proposals, especially if he/she shares knowledge of your field. Don't get discouraged if your draft is criticized; use the comments that make sense to improve your application.