5 Reasons for Your Grant Rejection and How to Ensure You Get Funded

Do you need a financial boost in your business, scientific endeavors, and to run your NGO? Grant money can offer you the support you need. However, as is the case of most grant applicants, having your grant rejected is not new, but it is still disappointing no matter how good you are in your field. No one has immunity to the challenges of securing grantsincluding the best of the best. Many say the grant review mechanisms have flaws, but you can learn to navigate the system. Below are common pitfalls for your grant rejection and how to ensure you get funded next application. 

  1. Not following structure and formatting rules 

Most grants have strict rules on how the structure and formatting of your grant application should be. Plus, this is helpful to ensure you do not leave anything out. But, in some cases, there may be no structure guidelines at all. In such as case, ensure you present a clear and impactful summary of your overall grant. Do this at the beginning of your application. Look for some winning grant applications to get an idea of what makes an application successful. Also, you can make yours stand out and include a graphical or video abstract to add to your application. Before this, consider the grant guidelines, but adding a diagram that simplifies your entire grant will catch the reviewer’s attention and make a huge difference


                2. Your grant proposal does not fit the scope  


Every funding body has specific criteria outlined in its calls for proposals. Therefore, before you start writing a grant application, ensure your project matches the criteria. Having a stellar record or a great idea will not favor you if you are not in the right criteria. Consult with your grant support team if you are unsure of the suitability of your proposal for the funding body. It can be a challenge reaching out directly to larger funding bodies, but smaller ones are willing to speak via email or phone. Alternatively, you can always spin your grant application to match the criteria of different funding bodies. Finally, if it is a challenge to find schemes that suit your needs, search for other funding options. 

                 3. Incorrect grant submission

Tiny errors such as using the wrong margin width, font size, or figure number, result in immediate disqualification. It is unfortunate to learn that you can face grant rejection because you used Arial font instead of Calibri. Therefore, it is vital to read and reread the formatting guidelines for your grant before you submit it. It may seem like too much work or a waste of time spending hours moving figures around and tweaking margins, but ensure you follow those instructions. Play by the rules if you want to have a successful application. Plus, some funding bodies have specific requirements of how you should submit your application. It can be through email, an online submission platform, or your research institution. Double-check the submission guidelines and follow through.


         4. You do not meet the eligibility criteria

Funding bodies always have specific eligibility requirements for what and who they will fund. This is vital as applications not meeting these criteria automatically do not qualify. Sadly, the funding body will not tell you until later when the results are out. The eligibility criteria include the kind of institution you work for, where you are in your career, whether you plan to research another country or not. For this reason, you need to be keen on funding bodies that are very specific with their requirements. If uncertain, check with your institution’s grant support team. 


         5. Your grant has too much of the same thing

One thing to keep in mind is that your reviewers are not experts in your field. Therefore, they may not know all the acronyms or jargon you know and will get annoyed reading a proposal not clearly written. Because of this, make your writing easy to read, compelling and concise. Focus more on the expected outcomes, main objectives, and impacts. Plus, do not be too ambitious. Only include experiments that you know you can complete within the time frame of the grant. 

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