Tips for Preparing Grant Applications

  • Learn to navigate Grants.gov: Applicant Resources on Grants.govExternal
  • Start preparing early. If applying electronically through Grants.govExternal please ensure that adequate time is allotted to register and download applicable software and forms. Grants.govExternal offers a “Webcast” (registration required) entitled “Get Started with Grants.gov” that provides startup requirements and tips.
  • Follow the instructions and application guidance carefully. Present information according to the prescribed format.
  • Be concise and clear. Make each point understandable. Provide accurate information, including candid accounts of problems and realistic plans to address them. If any required information is omitted, explain why and your expected submission date. Make sure the information provided in each table, chart, attachment, etc., is consistent with the proposal narrative and information in other tables.
  • Keep the audience in mind. Reviewers will evaluate only the information provided in the application . The application and responses to program requirements and expectations should be complete and clearly written. Do not assume that reviewers are familiar with your organization. Keep the review criteria in mind when writing the application.
  • Be organized and logical. Many applications are not funded because the narrative in the grant is unclear and reviewers cannot follow the thought process.
  • Be careful in the use of appendices. Do not use the appendices for information that is required in the body of the application . Be sure to cross-reference all tables and attachments to the appropriate text in the application.
  • Proofread the application. Avoid misspellings and grammatical errors. Be sure all pages are numbered (including appendices) and that page limits are followed. Limit the use of abbreviations and acronyms, and define each one at its first use.
  • Include a DUNS Number. A DUNS Number is a requirement and must be included in order for an application to be reviewed. DUNS numbers can be obtained by accessing https://www.dnb.com/External or by calling 1-866-705-5711. Include the DUNS number next to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Approval Number, which is located in the upper right corner of the application face page.
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Page last reviewed: July 13, 2018