NDSU Logo North Dakota State University
NDSU Research Updates
  April 2013  |  Volume 4, Issue 3
Press Room  |  Contact Us  |  RCATT Home

Grant Proposal Rejection. What Now?

Grantseeking requires persistence. With competitive grant programs, it is widely accepted that most grant applicants are not successful on their first try.  Probably the single most important thing a grant applicant can do is profit from an unsuccessful grant proposal.

So what are the lessons to be learned from an unsuccessful application?  Here are some of the most valuable lessons:

  • The number one reason for proposal rejection is failure to follow instructions. Study grant program guidelines carefully and follow all instructions exactly!
  • Statistics show that making contact with the program officer by email, phone, or a personal visit before submitting a proposal improves your chances of winning a grant. But prepare ahead to make this exchange as meaningful as possible.
  • Following rejection, get reviewers' comments and take them seriously. Pay particular attention to comments that are common to more than one reviewer.
  • Reassess whether your proposal idea matches well with the sponsor's interests and priorities.
  • Do not underestimate the value of simple declarative sentences in your proposal. Determine whether you used lots of words and jargon common to your field, but lacked the necessary critical content.
  • Provide sufficient detail in your proposal about personnel, resources, and plans. Assume that reviewers know nothing about your work, your resources, and your institution.
  • Finally, revise your idea or proposal based on what you've learned, and resubmit. Revised and resubmitted proposals often have a much better chance of being funded.

NSF Reports Turn to Research.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is happy to announce that project reporting has succesfully been transitioned to Research.gov. This means that you will now log in to Research.gov to prepare and submit your final, annual, and interim NSF project reports. You will also continue to use Research.gov to submit your Project Outcomes Reports.

Research.gov is the modernization of Fastlane, providing the next generation of grants management capabilities for the research community. It provides easy access to research-related information and grants management services in one location. For more information about the transition of annual, final, and interim project reporting to Research.gov, visit the Project Report Informational Page or see Online Help.

Researchers In the News

Interest continues in research underway at NDSU. Here’s just a sample of media coverage. Some links to these news outlets are available for a limited time.

Tracking Nanotechnology’s Environmental Risks a Tough Task

NDSU Researchers Develop Method for Embedding RFID in Paper

NDSU Officials Say Abortion Gag Rule Could Stall Research

Beekeepers Getting Stung by Increasing Bee Deaths

North Dakota Oil Boom Driving Economic Development

Kicking the Can: Smokeless Tobacco Often Overlooked But Also Hard to Quit

If you’d like to suggest a story highlighting NDSU research, let us know. While we may not be able to use every suggestion, we would like to hear from you.

Upcoming Events

Gear Up for Grants Seminar
"Compliance and Grants: What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You"
April 2, 2013, 3:00–4:30 p.m.
NDSU EML-Room 378
Presented by Evie Myers, VP for Equity, Diversity, & Global Outreach; and Sponsored Programs Administration staff.
This seminar will cover the compliance areas that grant proposal writers should be aware of as they plan research projects and other activities. Also covered will be an overview of the resources available to address these topics. Please Register >>

Strategic Patent Management Workshop
Hosted by the Red River Valley Research Corridor
April 17, 2013, 8:00 A.M. - 12:30 p.m.
Center for Innovation-Grand Forks, ND
High tech entrepreneurs need a strong patent portfolio to support product development, partnering, and fundraising. But many entrepreneurs lack the experience to forge and manage a strong patent strategy, especially when juggling multiple competing priorities. This half-day workshop explores how to develop a strong patent strategy, work effectively with patent attorneys, understand and manage risks, and ultimately make solid patent investment decisions. See more information >>

Gear Up for Grants Workshop
"Preparing Your NSF-CAREER Proposal"
April 18, 2013, 9:00 A.M. – 3:00 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union-Rose Room
Presented by The Implementation Group (TIG), a consulting firm from Washington, D.C.
This all-day workshop is especially for faculty and postdocs who are or will be potential applicants for the NSF-CAREER grants program. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a highly competitive program that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. CAREER grant awards provide five years of funding support. New proposals are accepted annually in the last week of July. Please Register >>

North Dakota State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a U.S. veteran. Direct inquiries to the Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, (701)231-7708.

Office of Research, Creative
Activities & Technology Transfer
1735 NDSU Research Park Drive
P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000
Fargo, ND 58108-6050


Phone 701.231.8045
Fax 701.231.8098