​Characteristics of a Competitive Grant

A competitive grant is:

  • Compelling
  • Creative
  • Convincing
  • Concise


Researchers are conducting good, solid science across the country at top-notch universities. To stand above the rest, you must frame the “story” of your science so it meets or exceeds the agency’s expectations. Reviewers might be evaluating 20 or more proposals. You need to create a “hook” that compels one reviewer to become your champion and fight for your concept. What is your hook?


Agencies are looking for new approaches to problems that have often been around for decades. What is unique or novel about what you’re proposing?


You must convince the reviewer that you have the expertise to get the job done; can reliably produce results on time and within (or under) budget; and can get the results disseminated to the largest possible audience for the greatest impact with the funder’s money. Why are you the one who can achieve this?


​You have only a few pages to convince a reviewer to fund your project. Most of the convincing occurs in the story you tell on page 1. Without a good story, the reviewers might not give your science the best possible review. Use language that is appropriate to a scientist in your field but not so technical that the reviewer needs a degree in your academic area to understand it. Have you chosen the right words?

Now, learn how ARP can help you create a competitive grant​.