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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
March 2, 2015
Canadian Excellence

Tips from the Internal Grants Committee

Updated January 19, 2007

Although the following tips were compiled from comments and suggestions of the Grant Committee, the advice that follows is useful for both internal and external applications.


Is your project eligible? Are you eligible to apply for it? Read the guidelines and regulations for the grant program before preparing your application. Internal program guidelines and regulations are available on the Research Office website. Not all regulations or guidelines are printed on the application form, so refer to the supplemental material as well.


Be sure to complete all sections of the form, and provide enough information so the Committee can understand what you are doing. Your application should be written in a way to convince the Committee of the importance and impact of your proposed research. The application should be written in "plain language". Remember the Committee is multi-disciplinary.
Attach all the requested documentation. Applications missing documentation and or information may affect the Committee’s ability to properly assess your application. For example, if you are applying for a travel grant, please attach a copy of your abstract, the conference program, and evidence that it has been accepted. If your paper has not yet been accepted, note this on the application. If you are unable to provide requested information, at the very least you should provide the Committee with an explanation of why it is missing.
Also, make sure that the application has been submitted electronically, with the required signatures, as specified in the directions.

Publication Record.

Provide page references and years for publications. Where possible, indicate who the senior author is on a paper, as different disciplines have different standards regarding the order of coauthors in a multiple-authored paper. If your publication record is limited, it is often helpful to provide an explanation, especially if you received your Doctorate a few years ago.

Funding History.

State the amount of the grant, the kind of grant, and the years the grant covers. If you hold one or more external grants, explain how the current application relates to those grants. Is there a logical reason why the funds requested can't be covered from your other grants? If you have external grant applications pending, is there an overlap between funds requested in the internal and external applications? Committees are reluctant to fund projects that are receiving money from other sources already.


Make sure your budget is connected logically to your methodology. For example, if you have put an amount for a research assistant, you should explain in the methodology section who might be an appropriate assistant and what he or she would be doing. Make sure your budget is added correctly and that you have used recommended rates for student help (including payroll taxes and benefits) and travel. Provide justification for the funds you are requesting.


Make sure that your application is free of grammatical errors. If you know that grammar, spelling, or typing are not your strong points, consider asking someone else to proofread the application for you.


Adhere to instructions on the application form. Stick to recommended page limits and fit all information into the form rather than referring reviewers to attached pages, unless attachments are specifically requested. Make sure your font is a readable size (Times New Roman 12 pt recommended).


Submit the application by the deadlines listed. If there are extreme circumstances why this is not possible, check to see if a late submission is possible.
Other Suggestions. Attend a grant-writing workshop. Even the most experienced grant writers can pick up a useful tip or two.
Direct any questions regarding grant applications to