Updated: Sep 23, 2021
Getting research grants for much-needed sustainable technologies relies heavily on the strength of the proposal, regardless of how deserving the idea or project is viewed. While most researchers know their projects inside and out, they often lack the insights and understanding needed to create compelling proposals at the level needed to be successful in often highly competitive grant funding programs. This is not confined to inexperienced researchers, either - seasoned researchers with decades of experience in their field also miss out on deserving grants due to underdeveloped or incomplete project proposals.
Why bring on a grant writing consultant?
Many scientists and researchers, therefore, turn to grant consultants to assist with proposal writing. However, problematic issues still often arise as those in charge of their projects are reluctant to give over any control to project managers, which is the service that many grant consultants tend to provide. Researchers are sometimes leery of collaboration with industry experts or editing feedback, both of which are essential components of successful grant applications.
The best way to utilise a grant consultant is to work with their specific expertise of developing project proposals, providing all the necessary information while allowing them to take the lead on proposal management.
Below is a chronological account of the ideal way to work with a grant consultant to create a successful project proposal.
Matching a Concept with Potential Grant Programs
First things first, before starting on any writing, you need to match your concept with potential, available grant programs. Most researchers should have a good idea of grant opportunities in their field, but it is beneficial to begin working with a consultant this early in the grant seeking stage. There are an incredible amount of funding sources in the European Union alone, let alone country-specific funding opportunities across Europe and the rest of the world. Getting help from professionals that specialise in fundraising, as well as finding and securing funding will greatly improve your chances of matching your concept with the best available research grants.
Identifying Industry Experts for Collaboration
One of the most important aspects of successful proposals is their collaboration with industry experts. Unfortunately, this is where many researchers fall short when seeking grant funders.
This is where utilising a grant consultant begins to pay dividends.
When you bring in someone that not only knows the funding landscape inside out, but also knows which industry experts to involve in your project - and has the ability to approach and engage them - your chances of securing funding will dramatically improve.
Managing the proposal writing process
This is arguably the best aspect of involving a grant writing consultant. When it comes to proposal writing, bringing on a committed project manager not only helps streamline the process, it sets the entire proposal up for success. Professional grant writers literally do this for a living, and there is a formula for success, slightly adjusted for each individual funding type and individual call for applications.
Managing this process is difficult and time-consuming, especially for those that are not familiar with writing specific application details - nevermind those that are not familiar with proposals in general. The proposal writing process is a different entity than conducting and writing peer-reviewed studies or other academic papers. It takes clear management of the writing process to succeed, particularly if working with multiple contributors - which most applications require.
Consulting on Grant Proposal Specifics
Depending on which grant programs are being targeted by researchers, there are sometimes vastly different requirements. Enlisting the help of a consultant to advise on specifics of potential research grants is key, as each call has specific requirements that must be met. Unless the researcher applying is expressly familiar with not only the grant writing process, but also the specific grant that is being applied for, a consultant would be very helpful.
Proofreading and Editing Proposals
This does not explicitly need to be done by a grant consultant, but it would still be beneficial and can give the proposal the extra touch needed to win against high competition. Proofreading can really be carried out by anyone with solid grammar and writing skills; however, editing proposals requires someone that knows about the application process in addition to a solid understanding of written language. A good proposal review is worth nearly as much as all the content within the written application - if standards are not met exactly as advertised in the call, funding will not be distributed in almost all cases.
Ensuring Projects Meet Application Requirements
This is the final step, ensuring that the proposal is up to standard after proofreading and editing the entirety of the application. The success rate of each grant is extremely dependent on this - as mentioned above, virtually every successful grant must meet all application requirements and strict scoring thresholds. All aspects of the process are important, and without the main research content there would be no proposal - but without meeting all requirements, there will almost certainly be no funding given. It is crucial to ensure this final step - there are few things worse than having a deserving project that fails to receive funding based on missing application requirements.
How to Utilise Linq Consulting’s Grant Consulting Services
Linq Consulting services provide grant writing assistance for businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes. Our grant writing services, delivered by grant professionals with a track record of creating successful proposals, help researchers throughout the grant writing process.
Our in-depth knowledge of national and European grant programs and funding opportunities can help get sustainable technology and environmental projects to market whether you run an emerging small business or established non-government agency.
Click here for more information on how we seamlessly manage the entire grant writing process.
If you or your organisation would like to take advantage of some of the available funding set aside for sustainability research and development, get in touch with us at email@example.com. We have more than a decade worth of grant writing experience and more than 15 years of experience in the field of sustainable technology project management.
Check out the Linq blog for more FAQs on grant management and high quality grantmaker prospect research