By Leah Colvin
Applying for fellowships may be one of the most important professional development activities of the postdoctoral training period. For postdocs who plan to go on to academic careers, demonstrating fundability is a key component of a tenure-track faculty application. For those considering alternate careers, obtaining a fellowship demonstrates an ability to plan and carry out a long-term project, budget and communicate effectively in writing. No matter your future career plans, simply applying for fellowships increases your writing and project planning skills in addition to garnering you a familiarity with grant cycles and application processes. If your proposal is funded, you will also gain project management and administration skills.
With fellowship application success rates between 20-30%, building a fundable proposal depends not only on excellent scientific merit, but also on the quality of the application itself. Grantsmanship – the art of writing fundable grant applications – is an essential tool for any postdoctoral researcher applying for funding. Considering the below best practices in grantsmanship to avoid common errors will help you to increase your chances of writing a successful fellowship application.
Make a plan
Make it easy for your reviewers
To complement the above best practices, the OPA offers individual consultations on grantsmanship by appointment or during drop-in hours (Wednesdays, 2 – 4 PM in Regent Administrative Center 1B72), and is hosting Grantwriting: How to Find Funding and Prepare an Application, a panel discussion on finding funding, submitting through the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG), and grantsmanship techniques:
Tuesday, July 26th
12:30 – 1:30 PM
Lunch will be provided
Assistant Director, Proposal Development, Office of Contracts and Grants (OGC)
Joan will be presenting the submission process for fellowships through OCG as well as some general tips to help your application be a successful one.
Paul Muhlrad, Ph.D.
Science Communications Manager, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
Dr. Muhlrad will be sharing his expertise in grantsmanship & writing techniques for postdocs who are applying for individual fellowship or career development awards.
Julian Resasco, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Dr. Resasco is a postdoc at CU Boulder who has successfully applied for several fellowships, and will be sharing his experiences with the process.