Office of Graduate Student External Grants and Fellowships | GradFund
Proposal Writing 101
Welcome to the GradFund Proposal Writing 101 Resource Page. We have developed this page to provide you with general assistance with the development of a proposal for a funding application. By using these resources, you will learn the mechanics of proposal writing and best practices in grantsmanship while you develop an outline of your funding application, including the research proposal, supporting materials, and the application form(s).
We encourage you to complement your work here with individual meetings with a GradFund fellowship advisor. We are able to provide individual consultations to graduate students who are applying for external funding. While we are unable to offer individual consultations for internal awards, feel free to use the resources on this page as you develop your Graduate School-New Brunswick pre-dissertation, special opportunity, or Bevier Fellowship applications.
Understanding Your Funder
What are they looking for?
What is the mission of the funding agency? What is the goal of this award competition? Considering the funder’s goals for this fellowship or grant, in what ways are you a competitive fit for this award?
What does this fellowship include?
What impact would this award have on your graduate career? How would these resources shape your trajectory in a way that is a fit with the goals of the funder?
Who is eligible to apply?
Carefully research your eligibility to apply before you craft your application materials. If the award’s website and other documents don’t bring you clarity, contact the program officer.
When should I apply?
Many awards target a specific stage of study, and you may need to apply up to a year in advance of funds being disbursed to you, should you win. Work with your advisor to decide when it makes sense to begin working on your application.
GradFund Resources for your Funding Application
The GradFund Proposal Writing 101 tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of writing your fellowship or grant application. From getting to know your funder to completing the last piece of the application, this guide will get you there.
Use our forums to exchange ideas with your peers and GradFund staff about applying for external fellowships and grants. We also offer an online chat service called ‘Ask a Fellowship Advisor,’ where you can ask quick questions about our services, your scheduled meetings, or application procedures.
Proposal Writing 101 Tutorial
We have developed the Proposal Writing 101 tutorial to assist you in the development of any merit-based fellowship, grant, or scholarship. Our tutorial is designed to teach you best practices in proposal development, to understand how to get to know your funder, and to help you with the task of writing a competitive application.
Proposal Writing 101
Articles & Advice
Proposal Writing Workbook
Once you’ve watched Proposal Writing 101, dive into our Proposal Writing Workbook. The workbook will take you step-by-step through the development of a funding application.
Login for Access!
In order to access the step-by-step guidance found in our Proposal Writing 101 Workbook, please log in to our website using your Rutgers Scarletmail credentials.
Use our forums to ask questions about your application and exchange application tips!
Stay in Touch!
Sign up for the GradFund Newsletter to get up-to-date news and advice on fellowship and grant competitions.
Schedule a Meeting
Request a ‘Help with a Funder‘ meeting if you would like to meet with a GradFund fellowship advisor to learn more about your funder’s application process and review criteria. Once you have draft materials ready for feedback, schedule an ‘Application Essay Conference‘ for in-depth review and discussion of your application draft. Learn more about our services, including additional meeting types and programming, here.
GradFund’s goal is to help graduate students to find and apply for funding from sources external to the university. We are unable to provide advice or feedback on internal Rutgers funding competitions.