As an academic or a small business owner, you will need to write grants at some point in your career. Writing them though is not enough, what you also need to know is how to win grants. Much has been written about writing grants, the mysterious special ability called ‘grantsmanship’, so it occurred to me that there is a need to come at this differently and spill the beans. The difficulty in getting a grant, in particular an NIH grant like an R01 in the USA is often described, it is competitive and gets tougher every year. Your proposal therefore must stand out, it must connect with the reviewers. This is true for all types of grants, give the reviewer what they want always. But also, you need to connect to the program officer, the committee that ultimately makes funding decisions and you must take care of a myriad of other details outside of the main event which is describing the “science”. This means you cannot rely on just out-writing the competition, it is more than that as you have to out-think, out-strategize and out-schmooze them. If you have been continually funded for decades that is terrific, but if you want to keep being funded there is no guarantee what got you there will keep you there. What was a hot technology 4-5 years ago is not the new thing anymore, you will need to do something different, but what? You therefore need to not only think about writing great grants, you need to put it into practice and win them. Having written and won grants from the NIH and DOD over the past 17 years (and longer by the time you read this) I possess a valuable perspective.
Each grant and study section will be different. Whether a big or small grant it does not seem to make a difference the reviewers will critique your efforts, they may not like it, they may reject your ideas or they may love it. You have some small degree of control until the proposal leaves your hands or more correctly you click ‘submit’. You will need to differentiate your grant from the hundreds of others in many ways, but you cannot change who you are, your history so how you describe yourself and team will also have an impact. You could spend hundreds of hours on your proposal or just a day and the outcome might still be the same. This small book is a summary of my own personal experiences and will provide some advice that will help you learn how to do a better job of winning grants.
This book is written by a scientist who writes the grants and develops commercial products;Provides a unique perspective on what you need to write better grants;Teaches you how to continually win grants;This book provides examples from the authors own grant applications;The reader will be inspired to start a company to win small business grants.