This post is going to serve great to those seeking grant. It summarizes the tips and the method for applying for student grant or fellowships.
To begin with, at the formative stage, you need to know exactly where all you are going to apply. Or in other words, identify your needs can be said as the first thing to be done. There could be some who would not be able to distinguish between a grant and a fellowship. This clarity is very important so you could become more precise about your needs.
Grant: Grant is the cash amount you get to bear your research expenses
Fellowship: Fellowship is more like a salary that m you get so that you could concentrate on your writing, without worrying of the monetary inflow
The funding that comes from a grant can be used to take care of many different expenses. There could be unexpected and unforeseeable expenses, that may vary according to the nature of research/. Some researchers may need to pay research participants, transcribe interviews or complete fieldwork in different capacities. While, when I talk of fellowships, their main purpose is to subsidize your time that is getting spent in writing work. It is a great support that helps you to focus all your efforts towards writing without other pressures and distractions.
The US has large granting agencies that provide funding for graduate students. Some of the prominent ones are National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation, and The National Science Foundation etc. Other than these, there are many of other small funding agencies which could be working around specific areas and may match with your field of study. Most of the universities do provide the database of grant providing agencies that could be used as a very constructive resource tool. After having drawn out a list of places that could be used as target, the next plan of actions is to work around the deadlines of the different agencies so that you application is designed and developed much in advance.
Upscaling yourself to the next level, it is the stage to draft your proposal. The fundamental point, I suggest, here is to revolve your argument around the USP’s of your project for which it should be recommended by the reviewers. A well drafted proposal has to have a very powerful beginning that is attention seeking and thought provoking. It could be a question or some very important statistic. Remember; work well begun in half done. In the first minute of reading the proposal, the objective of your research should be clear to the reviewers. Draw evidence from the existing literature and bring out the gaps in the study, highlighting the worthiness of your project and its significant contribution in the field of your study. Explain your methodology very crisply so that it justifies the means for achieving your objective. Emphasise on the timeline you have set for the completion of the project. The final outlook of the proposal should not just be compelling but also have elements of creativity and feasibility. Do remember to take the opinion of the previous scholars who have been successful in availing the grant.
In the end, I suggest that before submission ensure that you get it checked and taken another opinion from an expert before final submission. You could show it to your supervisor, if he is willing to help, peers, friends or seniors. When you have done you r best in drafting a very impressive proposal, do not forget to follow the guidelines given to from the office. Live by them and follow them meticulously. Last but not the least; do get it checked for typographical or grammatical errors.
Remember to congratulate yourself after having submitted the proposal you have worked upon with so much hard work and dedication.