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Become a grant reviewer — and improve your grant writing skills in the process

Sometimes grant writers are so consumed by their work, so close to their subject matter, that they stop looking at it critically. It’s helpful to have fresh eyes on your work, whether that means hiring outside help or somehow refreshing your own skills and knowledge.

 

One of the most effective ways to take a fresh look at your grant writing is to step over to the other side of the process by becoming a grant reviewer.

 

Reviewing grants and discussing their merits with other experts can bring to light areas you might improve in your own writing. Sure, the grant makes sense to someone within the organization, whose mind automatically fills in the gaps, but to someone who is unfamiliar with the work, it’s all new, and they need a great grant writer to connect all the dots.

 

Some grant reviewer gigs even involve getting paid, so that’s an added bonus, but volunteering works, too. You might look to serve on the board of a local foundation, or apply to review federal grants on a peer review panel. Think about your own expertise and background, and then check out relevant branches of the government. Branches like the Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation are always looking to bring on more reviewers for their next granting process.

 

Interested in learning more about our grant writing services? Contact us.

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2 Comments

  • Charles

    28.04.2014 at 07:41 Reply

    This is a great article. I’m curious has to how much experience should a person have as a grant writer before pursuing this. My background is in mortgage reviewing & document management. I recently volunteered to assist with proposal & grant (first one!), and wondered if my current skills would be “legitimate”.

    Thanks for sharing this info!

    Charles

    • p2781jau

      28.04.2014 at 09:41 Reply

      Great question, Charles! It probably depends on the organization or entity for whom you are reviewing, but I find that in general you don’t need to have much if any actual grant writing experience. You need experience only in the fields related to the grant’s subject matter — so if you have an Masters in Public Health, for example, you’ll be more qualified for reviewing CDC grants. Grant writing experience helps, but it’s not as important as subject matter expertise.

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