On February 2, Julia Flanders, Digital Scholarship Group Director, led a discussion on grant writing for graduate students in the Digital Media Commons at Snell Library. In her talk, (slides available here), Flanders stressed how important it is that those who are writing grant proposals remember that they are aiming to participate in a much larger enterprise than the “achievement of some private dream.” The talk covered the parties that work together on the enterprise of grant-funded research: the funder, the institution, and the research team.

Flanders outlined the significant people involved in grants—from program officers, to collaborators, to grant administrators—and the key fiscal concepts involved, such as cost-sharing and subcontracting. She then shared a process for proposal-writing preparation, beginning with the reminder that it’s crucial to start early with steps like taking recommended training, contacting potential collaborators and institutional grant administrators, and meeting with library staff to discuss data management. The talk also covered the major components of grant proposals, questions proposal writers should be anticipating from reviewers, and an outline of the proposal-writing process itself.

Flanders offered several pieces of stylistic advice, which included: be clear, concise, and concrete; reminder the reader about key points and fundamentals; and use headings to create clear narrative segments and to support fast skimming and navigation.

This talk was the first of the NULab Fellows-organized events for the spring semester; for a full list of the NULab’s spring calendar, see here.