Writing Successful Grants



Notre Dame Research offers two full day grant writing workshops for academic researchers at Notre Dame. The agenda each day will alternate between a presentation followed by practical writing exercises. All departments and disciplines are encouraged to attend where our guest, Dr. Robert Porter, will present the following:

Workshop for Academic Researchers
Thursday, October 19:00 am — 12:00 pm BREAK 1:00 pm — 4:00 pm

For those who are new to the grant game, this introductory workshop covers basic principles of good grant writing, starting with the phrasing of a compelling research theme to the actual construction of the proposal itself. Major differences between traditional "academic prose" and persuasive grant writing are highlighted. Common pitfalls that can lead to early rejection of good ideas with practical strategies for better writing are emphasized. Special attention will be paid to the perspectives of grant reviewers and how to write in ways that will meet their expectations.

  • Killer mistakes in grant writing and how to avoid them
  • Two critical steps that will double your chances for success
  • How to win over the grant reviewer
  • Simple keys to a more powerful writing style
  • Visualization: Using illustrations to "sell" your project  

Workshop for Postdocs, Grads and Undergrads
Friday, October 29:00 am — 12:00 pm BREAK 1:00 pm — 4:00 pm

This session will focus on NSF and NIH grants that support doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows as they transition through critical career stages, from early graduate study to the doctoral dissertation, the initial postdoctoral fellowship, and on to becoming an independent investigator. We will examine the purpose and structure of NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship programs and its Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants. NIH funding mechanisms such as F awards, K awards, and the new Pathway to Independence program will be described. Requirements unique to career development proposals will be specified, and successful proposals will be used to illustrate principles of effective writing. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Choosing the appropriate award track for your career stage
  • Anatomy of a typical career award proposal
  • Understanding the grant review process
  • Contacting grant program officers

Both workshops will be located in the McKenna Hall Auditorium
Refreshments served — lunch on your own
Please RSVP at