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Beyond Boundaries: Developing Grant Writing Skills across Higher Education Institutions

By SRAI News posted 01-15-2021 04:14 PM


Beyond Boundaries: Developing Grant Writing Skills across Higher Education Institutions

In a series of articles, we will present the newest in research administration from the Journal of Research Administration, with submissions provided through the JRA Author Fellowship Program. Read the full JRA here.

Much of the literature on grant writing does not explicitly identify the skills needed to be an accomplished grant writer, or how these skills are acquired.  This paper reviews literature on grant writing and argues the need to identify key grant writing skills to improve the quality of grant applications.  The ability to persuade, to weave a clear and compelling narrative, to structure and edit text and to be empathic to researchers, are all key grant writing skills.  Effective grant writers also need to understand the funding landscape, individual sponsor requirements, and how to transform a research idea into a project.  This paper examines these skills in more detail, drawing on existing research and provision to identify knowledge gaps and potential areas for further development.

The paper also considers how UK higher education institutions in particular can develop a stronger grant writing culture.  It explores the existing pathways for developing grant writing skills, arguing that the often-bifurcated nature of these pathways results in only partial attainment of the knowledge, skills and experience required to become an effective grant writer. In so doing, the paper argues the need for a more strategic, flexible and responsive approach that recognizes and embeds grant writing skills into organizations through a structured development program.

Read the full manuscript here

Authored by Kay Cunningham, PhD, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre
The University of Sheffield
JRA Author Fellowship Program