Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Finding Grants: Help with writing proposals & grants

This guide was created for Professor Sonnenfeld's students. This guide helps with finding grants and writing grant proposals. Provides links and information for Community of Science and PIVOT and the Foundation Directory and

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 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.

Proposal Writing Course

Click here to learn about taking an online couse on proposal writing:

From the Foundation Center website:


The subject of this short course is proposal writing. But the proposal does not stand alone. It must be part of a process of planning and of research on, outreach to, and cultivation of potential foundation and corporate donors.

This process is grounded in the conviction that a partnership should develop between the nonprofit and the donor. When you spend a great deal of your time seeking money, it is hard to remember that it can also be difficult to give money away. In fact, the dollars contributed by a foundation or corporation have no value until they are attached to solid programs in the nonprofit sector.

This truly is an ideal partnership. The nonprofits have the ideas and the capacity to solve problems, but no dollars with which to implement them. The foundations and corporations have the financial resources but not the other resources needed to create programs. Bring the two together effectively, and the result is a dynamic collaboration.

You need to follow a step-by-step process in the search for private dollars. It takes time and persistence to succeed. After you have written a proposal, it could take as long as a year to obtain the funds needed to carry it out. And even a perfectly written proposal submitted to the right prospect might be rejected for any number of reasons.

Raising funds is an investment in the future. Your aim should be to build a network of foundation and corporate funders, many of which give small gifts on a fairly steady basis and a few of which give large, periodic grants. By doggedly pursuing the various steps of the process, each year you can retain most of your regular supporters and strike a balance with the comings and goings of larger donors.

The recommended process is not a formula to be rigidly adhered to. It is a suggested approach that can be adapted to fit the needs of any nonprofit and the peculiarities of each situation. Fundraising is an art as well as a science. You must bring your own creativity to it and remain flexible.

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.

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.