Writing a Compelling Project Narrative
An Excerpt from the February issue of the ,"Research and Grant Writing News", written by Mike Cronin.
The characteristics of a research narrative that fails to compel or excite, and one that will not make reviewers want to fund it, include:
- A research plan cloaked in a fog of poorly written text.
- A vague research vision lacking focus, or reading, as H.L. Menken once observed, “like an army of words marching across the page in search of an idea.”
- A research narrative description that focuses heavily on general statements about past and planned research, but fails to give details and specifics that help readers understand the importance of the research, or its significance in advancing the field through questions, hypotheses, or solutions.
The characteristics of a compelling research narrative that excites reviewers and makes them want to fund the research include:
- Starting with an important research idea stated clearly and simply so reviewers can quickly grasp the research questions or hypotheses.
- Explaining why your research is unique and supporting this statement with sufficient specificity and detail to make your case.
- Explaining the importance, significance, or value added benefits of your research to advancing the field, or advancing the research mission of the funding agency.