Unit #2: Grant Proposal

Unit #2: Grant Proposal

(Worth 20% of your grade; due April 23)


For this project, your team will write a grant proposal in response to an actual situation: a research opportunity in your academic field, a civic issue about which you feel strongly, or a problem faced by one of your team members at work. Your team will investigate, select, and respond to an actual “request for proposals” issued by a grant-making agency. Although you are not expected to submit your completed grant proposal to the funding source (and hence will be allowed to fictionalize certain aspects of your application), your proposal should follow the agency’s guidelines with regard to formatting, vocabulary, and other criteria. Because this proposal will provide the basis for your Unit #3 assignment (an oral presentation using PowerPoint), your team should select its topic carefully.

Getting Started

Two excellent resources will help your team find a funding source:
  • If you want to pursue a government-funded grant, visit http://www.grants.gov
  • If you want to pursue a foundation-funded grant, visit http://www.npguides.org

These two websites link to hundreds of additional online resources. You may also want to perform a simple Google search for “grant writing resources” or similar terms. Most grant-making organizations publish guidelines that will help you understand your audience and craft your proposal accordingly.

Assignment Details

  • The length of your proposal will depend somewhat on individual circumstances (e.g., some agencies require double-spacing, while others prefer single-spacing), but your proposal should adequately cover the four generic structure slots we have discussed in class (current situation, plan, qualifications, costs/benefits), as well as any others required by the funding source.
  • The grant-making organization you select may use different terms than those we have used in class this semester. For instance, the agency may require sections called “Credentials” (rather than “Qualifications”) or “Statement of Need” (rather than “Current Situation”). In general, you should follow the guidelines established by the funding agency as closely as possible.
  • I will meet with each team multiple times during class to discuss your proposals. In addition, I am always available during my office hours or by appointment to answer questions or work through unexpected challenges.
  • Your team’s first draft will be due in class on Thursday, March 24. A second draft will be due on Tuesday, April 7.
  • When your final draft is complete, save the Word document as “Team Number Grant Proposal.doc” (for instance, “Team 1 Grant Proposal.doc”) and upload it to the class website before class on Thursday, April 23.

Evaluation Criteria

Your team’s proposal will be evaluated based on how well it:
  • exhibits an understanding of the audience, context, and purpose of the rhetorical situation.
  • adheres to the specific guidelines of the funding agency or organization.
  • employs a logical structure from beginning to end.
  • makes a sustained, persuasive argument.
  • uses visual elements (fonts, figures, headings, lists, layout, etc.) to complement the written text.
  • adheres to the conventions of Standard Written English (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.).