Where Do I Start? Finding Good Advice on Proposal Writing

When you think about writing the first draft of a proposal, you may have trouble finding a starting point. Indeed, the first step to writing any good funding application is getting past the first blank page. Along with GradFund’s resources, like blog posts (see Crafting the Research Question as an example) and the Virtual Office, there are other online avenues of finding good proposal writing advice. Rutgers University libraries has curated lists of web resources on finding and applying for funding in their research guides.

Academic career websites such as the The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed also have proposal writing and dissertation advice for graduate students. The Chronicle has an advice section dedicated to all aspects of graduate student life. See the “Writing the Dissertation” and “Strategies for Success” sections for specific proposal writing advice. Inside Higher Ed has the gradhacker blog that is a great resource for proposal writing and beyond for graduate students.

In addition, some funding agencies publish their own guides on proposal writing to help applicants to their programs prepare their applications. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has published On the Art of Writing Proposals, which provides not only guidance for SSRC competitions, but general advice that any proposal writer should consider. The American Council on Learned  Societies (ACLS) also has a published guide on writing proposals.

While the proposal writing process is complex, there are many resources available to graduate students who are in the beginning, middle, and end stages of writing.

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