A good way to learn about writing in your discipline is to look at successful examples of the same kind of writing. Here are some links to useful resources for exploring writing in your field. Remember that these are not necessarily models of good writing; however, they have all been successful (ie. the grant was approved)!
Scientific Grant Proposals
- Sample RO1 applications and summaries from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIH)
- Sample federal proposals from Minor and Associates (not just sciences — education and the arts, too!)
- Sample proposals from Appalachian State University, another school in the UNC system (mostly NIH format)
- Sample NIH grant proposals from Virginia Commonwealth University (RO1 and others; annotated)
- Sample (K) proposals from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
- Video of a review of a fictitious grant proposal (Center for Scientific Review)
- Sample Cell Biology Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Grant (UNC Department of Biology — scroll down to p. 4)
Grant Proposals from Other Fields
- MANY examples of grant proposals from the University of California at Santa Barbara libraries
- Sample dissertation proposals from Claremont Graduate University
- Clean Diesel grant proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Migrant Health Promotion sample grants
- Sample federal proposals from Minor and Associates (education, arts, humanities, public health)
- Writing an NIH (National Institutes of Health) application — developing a research plan / writing tips
Newsflash! The format and page length of most NIH grants (including RO1s) changed in December 2009! Details here and here. NAID has this advice for writing in the new format. (Thanks to this blog for the tip!)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) — grant proposal guide / examples of research activities with “broader impacts” (useful for the strong verbs and language used to highlight the significance of your research)
Dissertations and Theses
You may be able to find accepted dissertations from your department. If not, go to your university library and ask the librarians for help! UNC libraries have this excellent guide to finding dissertations.
Other Useful Resources
- The UNC Writing Center’s handout on writing grant proposals
- Recorded workshops on Writing in the Sciences, including writing a dissertation proposal in the natural sciences (from the UCLA Graduate Writing Center) Highly recommended!
- Database of Instructions to Authors (publication requirements, style, guides, etc) from the Mulford Library at the University of Toledo — an essential source for scientific writers)
- Medical Writing, Editing, and Grantsmanship (a blog written, apparently, by an experienced biomedical researcher — lots of great resources and links in the right side-bar)
- Thesis and Dissertations website (TAD) has good general advice for all graduate writers
- A detailed website and a thorough (and quite amusing) PowerPoint presentation on “writing fundable research proposals” from Virginia Tech’s Developmental Science across the Lifespan program.
Please share your links and resources! Leave a comment below.