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Faculty & Staff

Grants Development & Special Projects

Proposal Writing Tips

The Dos:

  • Check your project idea against the college's mission statement and against the goals of your department or the department affected by the grant.
  • Make your project idea as specific as possible; general proposals rarely get funded.
  • Contact the granting agency to verify if your project meets eligibility requirements.
  • Develop a timetable for planning and preparation of grant. (The Proposal Development Checklist can help)
  • Get appropriate approval according to college's procedures before going ahead with your proposal. (See Grant Proposal Application Process)
  • Read the proposal guidelines carefully: Your mission is to fit your idea into what the agency is funding.
  • Check to see if the funding agency has funded similar projects in the past and learn what you can about those projects.
  • Develop your budget for the project before writing the proposal.
  • Follow directions and all guidelines.
    • Use a journalistic style of writing: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How.
    • Remember your English writing rules: Tell them what you are going to tell them (thesis), tell them (supporting information), and tell them again (summary).
    • Avoid jargon, acronyms and other abbreviations.
  • Have someone who is not familiar with your proposal read and critique it.
  • Complete the Grant Application Approval Form (PDF) (DOCX) with appropriate signage at least 2 weeks prior to the proposal deadline (Enter your deadline for this).

The Don'ts:

  • Don't beg for funding.
  • Don't bind proposal or put it in a cover as the funding agency may need to copy it.
  • Don't be overly dependent on a professional grant writer to prepare your proposal as that person may not be familiar with your field or type of project.

Contact Us

Grants Development Office
Location: Fishburn Hall F204
Phone: 540-857-6372

3093 Colonial Ave., SW
Roanoke, VA 24015