A few days ago, I got this email:


The very same day, I got an email from someone else, which I’ve excerpted parts of here

“I been a virtual attendee for a number of your past webinars, and have appreciated the insights you’ve shared. I have been looking for success in a new research area, and it has been elusive because it is novel, innovative and pushes the envelope…

“So, I did the best I could to incorporate your themes and messages and recently ...(read more)



One of the great things about working with some top scientists to hone their grant-getting skills is that I get to hear really good questions that they struggle with.

One question from a client was this:

“I am a bit confused about what goes in the Significance and the Innovation sections of my proposal, and how those are different from the Approach.”

In my grant writing classes like the Grant Dynamo, I teach the concept posing “problem-solution” pairs. These pairs always come together, ...(read more)



So I have it on reasonable authority that the pay line at the NSF/MCB is hovering at around the 10% mark (May, 2013). This is in contrast to their usual pay line, closer to high teens.

In a few areas at NIH, the paylines have dipped to around 6%.

Is it time for NIH and NSF to implement a pre-proposal mechanism (like the DOE already uses)?

When pay lines are so low, it is a big waste of time for everyone involved to ...(read more)



If you’ve ever been camping at one of those RV park places, you’ve probably experienced the pay shower.  In order to get hot water to flow (or any water), you have to periodically feed in quarters.

Now here’s the thing. Say you only have two quarters. And, say that each quarter only buys you 2 minutes of water.

After your first dose of precious hot water runs out, you fumble around, all lathered up, for your second quarter… by the time you ...(read more)



Grants are now officially “hyper-competitive(TM).”

I’ve seen more than one great grant not quite make the cut, because there were even better grants in the pool for that round.

Dealing with this requires a shift in thinking. In the past I’ve focused exclusively on “quality” of proposal, but the reality is changing. You now need quality and quantity.

Don’t mistake me. Quantity and quality in grants are often opposed. If you go after too much quantity, your quality will suffer, ...(read more)