Independent Grant Writing Assignment Description

In this option you will research grant opportunities and then prepare part or all of a grant proposal depending on the depth and length specified in the CFP. The completed assignment should be 10 pages, so if the CFP to which you are responding calls for 10-page proposals, then you will write the complete proposal. If the CFP calls for 20-page proposals, then you will choose one or two components of the proposal to complete (e.g., statement of need and project narrative).

As you are not a nonprofit organization nor an academic researcher, you will not be actually submitting your proposal. You will received feedback in class and a grade on the written work you submit. You will be able to use your work on this assignment as evidence of experience with grant writing should you ever be applying for a job for which grant writing is a desired skill.

Once you have identified a grant opportunity, you should share the CFP with me and schedule a meeting so we can discuss your idea and specify the part or parts of the proposal you will be working on.

NOTE: Many private foundations fund “projects” as opposed to research. This is fine. Be clear in your own mind about what you are most passionate about proposing and (hypothetically) getting funding for. If you have an idea for a new sea turtle conservation program that rehabilitates Salvadoran gang members by training them to monitor and safeguard turtle eggs on the beaches of El Salvador, then you need to find a grant opportunity that funds projects. Of course, a good project will have an evaluation component, so chances are that at some point in your proposal you will describe the research you would carry out to evaluate the effectiveness of your program.

If you are more passionate about designing and (hypothetically) carrying out some research, then you might want to look at government grant opportunities or foundations that are interested in funding research. For example, maybe you are interested in researching whether the interpretive signage around a sea turtle exhibit at an aquarium or zoo results in behavior change among visitors (e.g., do they begin buying turtle-safe tuna or other products the manufacture of which harms sea turtles).

The first and most important step is to do some research to find a CFP that looks interesting to you. Once you have settled on a grant opportunity, many of the other assignment details will become clear to you. If not, when we meet one-on-one to talk about your choice we’ll get the details sorted out.

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