How do you bridge the gap between your deep understanding of your research and what your grant reviewer needs to see? Dr. Morgan Giddings found an answer while navigating the challenging rapids of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.

Picture this: you’re kayaking down a turbulent river. Your survival hinges on reading the water correctly, anticipating the dynamics, and adjusting your approach to navigate safely. You spot a big wave ahead and prepare for it, preventing it from flipping your kayak. That comes from reading the river, anticipating what’s going to happen before it happens.

Grant writing is no different. We have to anticipate the responses of the reviewers, before they have them, and make sure we can avoid a dunking (i.e. a negative response).

In her latest video, Dr. Giddings, a seasoned kayaker and grant writing expert, shares her insights on how the skills that help you navigate whitewater rapids can also help you master the art of grant writing.

With 50 years of kayaking and over 31 years of grant writing experience, she knows that both require meticulous planning, skill development, and the ability to foresee and navigate obstacles.

One key takeaway? Writing for your reader is like understanding the river’s flow. Just as a kayaker must consider the river’s nuances, a grant writer must consider the reviewer’s perspective. Failing to do so can lead to disastrous results—whether it’s getting dunked in cold water or facing repeated grant rejections.

In her video, Dr. Giddings recounts a day on the Gauley River, where both she and some less experienced kayakers underestimated the challenges and paid the price. This experience parallels the common mistake of rushing into grant writing without fully grasping the review process.

Want to know how to avoid these pitfalls and make your grant proposals stand out? Watch Dr. Giddings’ video to learn more about mastering the nuances of grant writing through the lens of a kayaker’s journey.

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