Preparing and Submitting the Grant Application

How do I write a successful grant proposal to fund my research?

Key Points

  • This topic includes the key elements to a successful grant proposal to help potential applicants navigate the complex pathways of the grant application process.
  • Preparing and submitting grant proposals requires time and attention to detail.
  • Requirements for grant proposals can be very specific and complex, depending on the funder/sponsor. It is essential to understand what is required for your specific proposal. Failure to follow the directions or meet the deadline(s) will typically disqualify your proposal.
  • Grant proposals are often not funded on the first submission. Often, you must take feedback from reviewers, revise the grant proposal and resubmit it for consideration.  Don’t give up – perseverance is important!

Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses


  • Fundamental Principles of Writing a Successful Grant Proposal
    • This article provides an excellent, clear, and brief overview of general grant writing principles, with a slight focus on National Institute of Health (NIH) grant proposals.
  • Toolkit from the Civicus Foundation
    • This 40-page PDF describes the planning and researching a funding proposal before you write it; how to write the proposal; and the follow-up required once it is written and sent off. An example proposal is provided at the end.
  • Applying for a Grant
    • This resource is from the Fogarty International Center of the NIH, which tends to fund the most global research. The page has many helpful embedded links and webinars. There are many training programs available to clinicians and researchers in LMICs.
  • Grant Process Overview
    • This provides a step-by-step overview of applying for an NIH grant.
  • How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal
    • This overview from the Congressional Research Service of the U.S. offers many good general tips in writing grant proposals.


  • Writing a Grant Proposal  
    • An 8-minute video that discusses general grant proposal strategies and provides a summary of best practices.
  • Grant Writing 101
    • This is not a perfect video, but it is clear. It gives a general overview of the grant writing process in 25 minutes.

Templates and Examples

  • Sample NIH grant applications
    • These real-world examples are from the NIH National Cancer Institute Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences. There is also a funding webinar on the same page.

Relevant Publications