Sometimes your grant proposal will be reviewed by people from fields other than physics. What are they looking for in your proposal? How can you convince them with languages that they understand? I won the Competitive Research Grant provided by the South Dakota Board of Regents recently. Feedbacks from the reviewers gave me some hints to address those questions.
According to the review criteria listed in the grant solicitation, the proposed work should be able to
The PI has good training for the effort
You’d better provide convincing evidence in your CV that you have enough experience to carry on the proposed project.
The illustrations in Fig. x,y,z assisted in providing an understanding of the methods
Use figures, tables instead of long text to illustrate core concepts. This will help people outside of the field to understand them.
The proposal could benefit from some editing for external funding proposals
I emphasized in my proposal that I aimed at external funding
The proposed work is derivative to that already established in the field. The PI needs to clearly define their technology and differentiate it from the approaches that presently exist
I thought I clearly stated what I wanted to do. Apparently, it was not clear enough for people from other fields to catch the difference between what I proposed and presently existing approaches. I will explicitly state the difference next time.
The ownership of intellectual property developed under this project is the subject of some ambiguity. The PI should clarify the relationship between USD and xxx National Lab.
I never thought about this when writing the proposal. But yes, if my project has some commercialization potential, I really need to clarify the relationship between me and my collaborators from other institutions.
The following phrase is awkward:…
I should have asked some native English speakers to proof-read the proposal.
Activities mentions in this site have been supported by the following grants: