I have always stumbled around in the dark when it came to completing grant applications. I thought it was just about answering the questions and sticking to the rules.
But as I discovered at today’s ASA funding seminar in Melbourne, applying for funding is so much more than that.
And if you do it right, your wish may be granted.
Here’s what I found out:
- It’s okay…in fact, probably essential to ring the funding body and ask the co-ordinator if you are on the right track.
- Think about what gives your project its urgency and appeal – this is what will make it stand out from other applications.
- Read the instructions carefully – and ask the funding co-ordinator if there is something you’re unsure of.
- Double check the criteria to make sure you are eligible.
- Make sure you have included details of what stage of development you are seeking funding for – where are you at with this project at the moment? Where to from here?
- Relate your ‘Aims’ to the selection criteria.
- If there’s an interesting story behind why you have undertaken this project, include this on your application.
- Discuss how you intend to go about your project. Will it require research? Are you going to seek feedback eg a manuscript assessment? Are you intending to submit to a publisher?
- It’s good to have a recurring statement or goal throughout your application – eg This project will compare behavioural differences between termites and cockroaches and how they co-exist.
- Play your natural game and be sincere – avoid jargon and allow your enthusiasm for your project to shine through.
Finally, ask yourself these questions:
- Why should you be given funding for this project?
- Why you?
- Why now?
Yes, there are lots of people applying for funding – but someone has to get the grant – why not you?
If you’re not successful the first time, ring the funding body and ask for feedback about your application. Revise it and try again next year.
Good luck with your applications. I’ll keep you posted on how I go with mine.