Grant Writing

The Center for Communication Excellence offers one-on-one writing support to postdocs seeking assistance with grant writing. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced writing consultant today!


Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development welcomes Postdocs to attend any of its grant writing seminars.

Proposal Submission and Post-Award Services

Workshops on grant proposal submissions (including compliance regulations) and post-award services. These workshops will be offered by the following offices:

  • Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA)
  • Office of Research Assurance

Internal Funding Opportunities for ISU Faculty

Please visit the VPR/ED website to learn about internal funding opportunities. The following link http://www.vpresearch.iastate.edu/Funding/ will lead you to a list of funding sources (including the Community of Science) and other pertinent information relating to various funding opportunities.

Limited Submissions and Internal Competition

Some Requests for Proposals (RFPs) place limits on the number of proposals that can be submitted from an institution. In those cases, the Office of the VPR/ED will send notices (via email) to all members of the Research Council and departmental grant coordinators. These notifications will provide a brief description of the grant announcement and the pertinent website. Those interested in competing for these funding opportunities will be asked to submit a pre-proposal which will be reviewed at the college and/or university level to select the one(s) that will represent Iowa State University. Deadlines for the pre-proposals are determined by the Office of the VPR/ED and are set sufficiently ahead of the grant proposal deadline to allow enough time for the selected PI(s) to prepare the final proposal.

Faculty Workshops on “Getting to Know the Funding Agencies"

The Office of the VPR/ED will offer several workshops aimed at "Getting to Know the Funding Agencies", the purpose of which is to help faculty learn about the culture of the different funding agencies. Our own faculty members (who have been successful in receiving grants from the agency and have served as panel reviewers) will serve as panelists and will talk about their experiences: what worked, what did not; what reviewers expect, and what faculty could do to enhance their chances of success. The format is informal and there will be enough time for a Q&A session. Agencies:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Department of Energy
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • National Endowment for the Humanities

Presentations by Program Directors from Various Funding Agencies

Program Directors from funding agencies will be invited to campus to talk about new and emerging funding opportunities. This year we will invite program directors from the following agencies:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health

A Workshop on "How to Get Industry Funds"

The Office of the VPR/ED will offer a workshop that will focus on "How to Work with Industry Sponsors". This workshop will cover a wide range of issues such as, finding industry sponsors, negotiating the scope of the research project, working with ISU Offices (VPR/ED, OSPA, ISURF, …) in developing/negotiating industry contracts, (especially when contracts have restrictions on IP rights, publication restrictions, reduced IDC rates, etc.).

Grant Writing Seminars:

The VPR/ED will contract the services of Dr. Russell Morrison of Grant Writers’ Seminars and Workshops (GWSW) for the following programs:

Write Winning Grants

This seminar comprehensively addresses both practical and conceptual aspects that are important to the proposal-writing process. It is designed for faculty members and administrative staff who have had some exposure to writing grant applications, either through training / mentoring or personal experience. Emphasis is given to such things as idea development, identification of the most appropriate granting agency, how to write for reviewers, and tips and strategies that are of proven value in presenting an applicant's case to reviewers. Participants are taught to organize their presentations into a linear progression of logic, which leads reviewers through their applications. It is stressed that applicants are writing for two different audiences – the assigned reviewers, who have read the application in its entirety, and those who have read little, if anything, before the review meeting. Strategies designed to develop advocacy and a fundable priority score from both audiences are presented.

Write Winning Revisions

Relatively few proposals (at least these days) succeed on their first submission, which means that most applicants must revise and resubmit their grant applications. Many are unsuccessful again because they lack full understanding of how revisions must be prepared to be successful. This half-day seminar program provides tips and strategies for resubmitting a proposal that can often make the difference between success and failure. The program can include discussion of the critiques of applications that have previously been submitted by members of the audience. Proposal Writing Workshop Program: Write and Submit a Competitive Grant Application The workshop program begins with Phase I, the seminar, Write Winning Grants. The seminar will introduce you to the principles and fundamentals of good proposal writing. Up to a maximum of 30 workshop participants are then chosen competitively from those who attended the seminar (or an earlier seminar) to enter Phase II, development of a grant application. Participants are selected jointly by ISU (Deans Office and the Office of the VPR/ED) and Dr. Morrison. In Phase II Dr. Morrison will systematically shepherd participants through the development of their applications, section-by-section. The program has three objectives for each participant: 1) write and submit the best application of which s/he is capable; 2) better understand the dynamics and psychology of the review process; and 3) develop an appreciation for the importance of constructive criticism from colleagues as an important part of the proposal-development process. The workshop, which spans 30 weeks, includes both on-site and electronic interactions between the consultant and participants, with ample one-on-one time to assure that the specific needs of individuals are met. Either new or revised applications to federal, state, private and /or industry can be accommodated. Assistance in responding to prior review is provided to those who are writing revisions.

(This program involves a fee. Please contact Chitra Rajan (​) for details).

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Chitra Rajan
Associate Vice President for Research
Iowa State University

(515) 294 9096