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Attacking your first grant application


Banish your doubting inner voice with this compendium of first-grant advice

I’m going to open with a quote from Yoda, because the diminutive, elf-eared old sage from the Star Wars films really did know a thing or two about grant applications. In particular: “Do or do not—there is no ‘try’.”

In other words, if you’re going to commit to writing a grant application, you need to be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time and effort. You might give your application your best efforts and it still might not get funded. But if you submit a rushed, half-hearted, phoned-in, last-minute effort, your chances are close to zero. You’ll have wasted your time, the time of the people supporting you, and the time of the funder and referees and reviewers.

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