Welcome to Academic Panhandling. I started this blog in response to the urging and demands of my friends in various stages of their science and engineering academic careers. What I am going to present here is advice on finding and writing grants for all stages of academics. I especially look to help graduate students and early stage post docs who are new to the idea of granting for their supper.
In general, this blog will be geared towards scientists (especially the med/health and life science crowd), but I hope anyone writing grants can benefit from this blog. I have worked with psychology and engineering students, and I have found that the basic writing principles I’ll discuss here can help almost anyone. While this is primarily a grant writing blog, it is really about improving and focusing writing overall. Therefore, a lot of the writing topics presented here should be easily translatable to other writing.
Ok. So you are now probably thinking, “Why should I trust this person? What are their qualifications?”. The primary answer is that I’ve walked the long booby-trapped road of science writing and granting. I am not claiming to have learned it all, or that I have perfected the craft. However, I really hope I can help shorten the journey and clarify the road signs for others. My main research and writing experience is in neuroscience, endocrinology, physiology, and pharmacology. In terms of writing, I have published peer reviewed empirical and review papers, as well as book chapters. I have written all sorts of grants: small institutional, area specific, state based, and various levels of national (e.g. small to full on NSF and NIH grants). I was successful enough that I funded my own research for 4 years, supplemented travel and research money from my advisors the other years, and helped fund the entire lab.
I NEVER thought I would trade in my lab coat or field boots for a word processor, but my life took several unexpected turns which have lead me to this point. I hope I can help demystify and ease the learning curve of granting for you. In the process I look forward to learning from all of you as well!