The Grant Writing Guide: A Road Map for Scholars


Why is writing a grant proposal so stressful? Are you supposed to just know how to do it? This episode explores:

  • How to align your values and interests with a grant opportunity.
  • Why most of us will end up needing a grant.
  • Things you can learn from a grant proposal that succeeded, and from one that didn’t.
  • What your grant reviewer really needs from you and why.
  • How to use the funder’s guidelines and terminology to your advantage.
  • Why a guide book can help you write your grant proposal.
  • A discussion of the Grant Writing Guide.

Today’s book is: The Grant Writing Guide: A Road Map for Scholars (Princeton UP, , 2023) by Dr. Betty S. Lai, which is an essential handbook for writing fundable grants. This easy-to-use guide features writing samples, a glossary of important terms, answers common questions, and explains pitfalls to avoid. Dr. Lai focuses on skills that are universal to all grant writers, not just specific skills for one type of grant or funder. She explains how to craft phenomenal pitches and align them with your values, structure timelines and drafts, communicate clearly in prose and images, solicit feedback to strengthen your proposals, and much more. This incisive book walks you through every step along the way, from generating ideas to finding the right funder, determining which grants help you create the career you want, and writing in a way that excites reviewers and funders.

Our guest is: Dr. Betty S. Lai, who is an associate professor in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, among others. Her work has been recognized with awards from the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Foundation.

Our host is: Dr. Christina Gessler, a historian of women and gender.

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Welcome to The Academic Life! Join us here each week, to learn from experts inside and outside the academy, and embrace the broad definition of what it means to lead an academic life.

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Christina Gessler

Dr. Christina Gessler is the creator, show host, and producer of the Academic Life podcast. She holds a PhD in U.S. history.
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