Best Practices in Grantsmanship: Key Partnerships during the Application Process

Best Practices in Grantsmanship Series note: Welcome to the first installment of Best Practices in Grantsmanship. We will periodically post advice and suggestions that reflect best practices in grantsmanship.

Applying for grants successfully rarely happened alone. While a researcher will be quick to point out that much about writing a grant application is a solitary process, with a focus on the intellectual content of the research proposal, a successful grant application is the result of more than the solitary work. As we have written about in earlier posts, your advisor is an important collaborator and seeking out peer feedback is invaluable.

In addition to your advisor and peers, there is another group of individuals who are crucial to your success: research development and grant facilitation professionals. Here at Rutgers, you will find these individuals, in a number of offices and with a number of different titles and responsibilities. In this post, we will provide an overview of who these individuals are, why it is important and at times a requirement to work with them, and how to build a productive relationship with all of these key people.

First an important note: in some cases, we recommend that you work with specific types of people, who are here at Rutgers to help you succeed. It is not a requirement to work with these individuals but our advice is that if you do, they will make the work that you need to do that much easier. In other cases, there are people and offices that you must work with if you want to submit your grant or fellowship application and move forward with your research. This is a requirement of both the funder and the university.

At times it can be confusing and we will help you navigate the administrative maze. At all times whether we recommend that you work with an individual or office or if it is a requirement, remember that all of these services and processes exist to help you succeed with your grant applications.

First, people who are here to help you with navigating the world of grantsmanship. The GradFund Fellowship Advising Team is here to help you with identifying and applying for grants and fellowships. You will want to be sure to take full advantage of GradFund services as you work on your application. Key to helping you develop your research ideas and presenting them in ways that align with your disciplinary norms and standards is your faculty advisor. Also housed in your academic unit will be a professional team that may include your program administrator, business manager or grant facilitator who can assist you with completing paperwork and budgets and securing required signatures and approvals.

There are specific competitions that will require you work with GradFund and submit your application through the GradFund office, such as the Fulbright IIE, Fulbright Hays and the DAAD. These fellowships represent an important type of competition in the world of grants and fellowships. There are a number of funders that will require that you process your application through an institutional contact. As a graduate student, some of these applications will be processed through GradFund in the Graduate School-New Brunswick and in other cases, the application will need to be processed through and submitted by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP).

Next week, in the second installment of Best Practices in Grantsmanship, we will discuss how to determine whether you will need to work with institutional contacts and the best ways to work with the various offices involved in the application process.


About Teresa M. Delcorso-Ellmann

Assistant Dean for Graduate Student External Support and Director of GradFund, Graduate School-New Brunswick, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
This entry was posted in Nuts & Bolts, Proposal Writing Advice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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