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Grants and Grantsmanship

Ideas about where to find funding and how to ask for it



This guide was created to provide a starting point for those of you for whom sponsored research is new territory, as well to help those with more experience find their way to funding sources and successful proposals.  This is a journey that will be filled with ups and downs, so please fortify yourself with as much awareness of your field, the culture of academia and the climate of  philanthrophy as is possible.  Your traveling companions will be important too -- make friends as well as colleagues!

Like all good wilderness guides, we will not carry you up the mountain but we will do our best to point out possible missteps (no falling off cliffs please!), and also encourage you to enjoy  many enriching vistas.  We look forward to seeing through your eyes too, and we are confident that we will learn a lot from you.

Enjoy, and safe journey.


Roberta Tipton and Bonnie Fong

A Little History

This LibGuide was first written to support students working with Dr. Barry Komisaruk in the Fellowship Graduate Grant Writing Seminar which he designed and taught with great success.  We thank Dr. Komisaruk and his students for their curiosity and generosity.

Some of this material was also used for Dr. Michael Gershowitz's Grants and Grantsmanship graduate course at the School of Public Affairs and Administration.  We value his memory as a professor, a grant writer, and a mensch.

Grants specialist, learning coach, and writing teacher Patricia Bender co-created this LibGuide..

Learning Objectives

This guide will help you:


1.  Identify concrete steps toward your next grant proposal, including

gathering ideas,

preparing a preliminary literature review,

reviewing concepts with mentors and peers,

looking for funding sources,

focusing your proposal,

deciding what to request and how to ask for it,

and preparing the finished proposal. 


2.  Use the Foundation Directory Online (Professional)GradFund, and Pivot, systems to pursue your agenda.

3.  Use Candid Learning (formerly from to develop your skills in grantsmanship.  Many of these "howto" resources are free or low-cost.


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