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Preparing Your Proposal - Feedback From Previous Submission/Cycle-Incorporation Into Resubmissions

The average funding rates for most programs range from 10 to 30 percent. However, you should be aware that funding rates for resubmitted proposals can be significantly higher – even as much as 50%. Consequently, if your project was rejected on your first submission, you may want to consider resubmitting at a future deadline.

Begin by taking a close look at the reviewers’ comments and determine which problems can be easily fixed and which may require additional research, analysis, or planning. Here is a list of typical problems:

  • Failure to follow the guidelines
    Did you use the correct forms? Was the proposal too lengthy?
    Are the sections in the expected sequence?
    Was the proposal submitted and received by the deadline?
    Did you notify the sponsor that a proposal was coming, if required?
  • Typos, inconsistencies, omissions, and other general errors.
    Does your document contain numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors?
    Have you included all of the information that was requested?
    Have you paid attention to the details?
  • Insufficient detail and lack of clarity.
    Did the reviewers understand your project model, activity plans, objectives, evaluation methodology, etc.?
    Is the budget consistent with the plan of activities?
  • Concerns about feasibility, resources, and qualifications. Is the scope of the project too broad or too narrow?
    Is the project innovative in light of research findings and current practice?
    Is the problem severe enough to justify the project?
    Have you assembled a team that is qualified to carry out the activities?

If you decide to rewrite and resubmit your proposal, be sure to address all of the reviewers’ comments and concerns in the new version. Collaborate with a colleague or the DCFGF to get another perspective of your revision efforts is also helpful.

If you decide that there are not good opportunities for resubmission, what do you do?

First, recognize that you have taken initiative and had a valuable learning experience in developing the proposal. You are probably better prepared to perform your responsibilities and take advantage of future opportunities.

There are several steps you can take to improve your grant-seeking abilities, such as:

  • Conduct further preliminary studies and activities. Apply for an innovation grant to do a pilot version of your project.
  • Keep up with the current literature. What are the new developments in your areas of interest?
  • Talk to the sponsors about your ideas and find out if there is a receptive audience for them.
  • Volunteer to be a proposal reviewer. Get first-hand experience with the process.
  • Explore other funding opportunities and experiences.
  • Consider participating in summer/sabbatical residencies or fellowships.
  • Volunteer to serve as a consultant or subcontractor on a colleague’s project.
  • Continue to add to your list of qualifications!

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