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EST 603 Research Methods and Design: Help with writing proposals & grants

This online guide reviews databases that can assist with finding funding & grant resources. Databases covered include PIVOT, the Foundation Directory and Many of databases are very useful for graduate student research.

Berkeley's Dissertation Proposal Workshop

Click here to visit the Dissertation Proposal Workshop done by The Institute of International Studies at the University of California - Berkeley.

From the website:


Writing research and grant proposals is one of the most difficult -- and unavoidable -- requirements of graduate study in the social sciences. When it comes time to write them, however, many graduate students feel left to their own devices. This website is designed to help you navigate the hazards this process entails.

This site comprises a collection of tips, samples, and links. It is not meant as a class, nor a substitute for feedback from colleagues and advisors. It is merely an amiable guide meant to help you through an important phase in your academic career. Although biased in favor of "area studies" specialists and those planning to spend extended periods overseas, the content of this workshop is intended to be useful for all students hoping to conduct empirical social-scientific fieldwork.

The Art of Grantsmanship

Click here to visit the Art of Grantmanship 

From the Art of Grantsmanship website:

Writing a successful grant application is an art. Although the science is primarily being evaluated, presentation and respect for the requirements of the funding agency are key aspects that can make or break an application. In this article, Jack Kraicer, former Director of Research Grants at HFSP provides guidelines on preparing grant applications from the moment of conception to the submitting the final proposal.

The Art of Writing Proposals

Click here to visit the Art of Writing Proposals website

From the Art of Writing Proposals website:

Pzreworski, Adam and Salomon, Frank


Writing proposals for research funding is a peculiar facet of North American academic culture, and as with all things cultural, its attributes rise only partly into public consciousness. A proposal's overt function is to persuade a committee of scholars that the project shines with the three kinds of merit all disciplines value, namely, conceptual innovation, methodological rigor, and rich, substantive content. But to make these points stick, a proposal writer needs a feel for the unspoken customs, norms, and needs that govern the selection process itself. These are not really as arcane or ritualistic as one might suspect. For the most part, these customs arise from the committee's efforts to deal in good faith with its own problems: incomprehension among disciplines, work overload, and the problem of equitably judging proposals that reflect unlike social and academic circumstances.

National Science Foundation Grant Proposal Guide

Click here to visit the National Science Foundation's grant proposal guide:

From the National Science Foundation website:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion (FY 2010), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

EPA Environmental Protection Agency Grant Tips

Click here to visit the EPA - Environmental Protection Agency's website:

The EPA site provides General Tips on Writing a Competitive Grant Proposal & Preparing a Budget.

U.S. Department of Education - The Grant Process

Click here to visit GRANTMAKING AT ED - the U.S. Department of Education's website that reviews the grant process:

From the U.S. Department of Education website:

Grantmaking at ED provides a non-technical summary of ED's discretionary grant process and the laws and regulations that govern it.

This publication is intended for individuals and organizations that are interested in applying to ED for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements, have received an award, or are interested in knowing more about ED's discretionary grant process. It describes how grant programs are created by Congress and administered by ED, and the process for the public to apply for and receive discretionary grants.

Grant Craft

Click here to visit Grant Craft.

GrantCraft combines the practical wisdom of funders worldwide with the expertise of Foundation Center to improve the practice of philanthropy. Since 2001, GrantCraft has delivered the knowledge funders need to be strategic and effective in their work, addressing questions funders face across various strategies and issue areas. 

GrantCraft's Resources

Our free non-partisan resources come in more than 10 languages and multiple formats, including guides, infographics, cases, blogs, podcasts, and interactive tools. This diverse suite of GrantCraft-developed content is complemented by other Foundation Center resources and external contributions, making GrantCraft your go-to place for thinking critically about philanthropy and building skills for effective grantmaking. Registered visitors are encouraged to add their voice and perspective to GrantCraft in order to strengthen the field of knowledge and support foundation transparency efforts. Read more about this new website.

GrantCraft combines the practical wisdom of funders worldwide with the expertise of Foundation Center to improve the practice of philanthropy. Since 2001, GrantCraft has delivered the knowledge funders need to be strategic and effective in their work, addressing questions funders face across various strategies and issue areas. 

GrantCraft's Audience

GrantCraft resources are designed to benefit a global network of funders, including board members, executives, program staff, grants managers, and just about anyone else who works for a foundation. The GrantCraft community of registered visitors is more than 50,000 strong and represents a range of people in the social sector, including funders, nonprofit staff, philanthropy network staff, academics, and consultants. So, although our content is primarily derived from the wisdom of funders, we’re proud that such a broad spectrum of practitioners finds value in these resources.

GrantCraft's Guest Voices

GrantCraft curates guest blog posts from various funders and practitioners. Our aim is to promote knowledge sharing to improve practice. The views expressed in these blog posts are solely those of the authors and do not represent the views of GrantCraft or Foundation Center. If you'd like to submit an idea through a blog post, please register for free here and click Share Your Wisdom. 

GrantCraft’s History

Understanding that funders generally arrive at their position through routes other than formal education programs, the Ford Foundation started GrantCraft in 2001 as a project to help its program officers learn on the job and from each other. In the decade that followed, GrantCraft grew into a collection of practical wisdom aimed at helping grantmakers from all organizations get beyond the basics and work more effectively. In 2011, GrantCraft became a service of Foundation Center in New York and the European Foundation Centre in Brussels, a collaboration that continued for three years. During this time new content, partnerships, formats, and translations were developed.  As of April 2014, GrantCraft is led solely by Foundation Center and is housed in its Knowledge Services department.