Here are tips from grant reviewers and others familiar with the process.
- Plan ahead: If you have a specific grant in mind, contact the Office of Grants & Sponsored Programs at least two months in advance of the proposal deadline. Allow plenty of time for those involved to meet and review proposal drafts. FIT policy requires proposal submission to the Grants Office for administrative review at least a month before the grant-maker deadline. (See Grant Submission Timeline)
- Be realistic: What can you reasonably achieve with this project, given time and resources? Think about the request amount, and be thoughtful about what can realistically be accomplished with funds.
- Be factual and specific: Do not talk in generalities or in emotional terms. Be able to substantiate all statements in your proposal. Show, don’t tell.
- Use language everyone will understand: No abbreviations, initials, or jargon. If you make reference to an FIT/SUNY office, use its full name and include an explanation of the office functions. Spell out full names of organizations. Don’t assume the reader will understand your acronyms.
- Read the guidelines carefully: Make your proposal fit the funding requirements. Don’t ask for things or award amounts that are outside the intent of the grant.
- Make sure it’s all there: Go over the checklist repeatedly and make sure each item is addressed.
- Give details about who will do what: Think of each basic step, such as ordering materials, cataloging, and managing work. Make sure someone is assigned to manage each step of the project.
- Give evidence of FIT support: This can include matching funds, department Chair commitment, letters of support, etc. Consider including evidence of commitment/support from your field of study or partner organizations.
- Have colleagues read the proposal: Even experienced editors miss things when they’ve looked at the same document too many times. The Grants Office is happy to be your second (or third!) set of eyes.