Anatomy of a Successful Grant Proposal

  • Rosemarie Fernandez
  • Shawna J. Perry
  • Mary D. PattersonEmail author


The mechanics of writing a research proposal are addressed elsewhere in this text (see Chap. 33). In this chapter we will address the factors that are relevant to the successful funding of a grant proposal. The scientific basis of a research proposal is paramount, but other factors, often termed ‘grantsmanship’, influence reviewers’ perceptions and evaluations of a research proposal. This chapter uses the example of a United States based federal grant application, but this information is applicable to a variety of funding mechanisms.

The authors of this chapter have been successfully funded and served as grant reviewers for governmental agencies, private foundations and international agencies. The information presented here will assist the applicant in understanding the mechanics of grant review from the reviewer’s perspective as well as methods to create enthusiasm for the application in the reviewers.


Specific aims Grantsmanship Research question Approach Review Resubmission 


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    On Death and Dying: Elizabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation. Available from: Accessed 22 Jan 2018.

Additional Resources

  1. National Institute of Nursing Research. Writing a Successful Grant Application. Tully L. Available from: 22 Jan 2018.
  2. New Set of R01 Sample Applications: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Updated January 11, 2017 New: Accessed 22 Jan 2018.
  3. Write Your Application: NIH updated Jan 28, 2016. Available from: Accessed 22 Jan 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemarie Fernandez
    • 1
  • Shawna J. Perry
    • 2
  • Mary D. Patterson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine and Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation, College of MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Florida College of Medicine – JacksonvilleJacksonvilleUSA

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