Writing the Statement of Grant Purpose Essay
The project proposal is limited to two pages in length. You should cover the essential details of your Fulbright project within the first paragraph, if not, then the second.
The project proposal should demonstrate that you are able to plan and implement a successful research project or course of study, and it will be your guide to completing it and meeting your objectives. The project proposal should be as specific as possible, while also being flexible enough to make the best of the reality you will find once you arrive overseas, which will inevitably be a little different than planned.
The following are questions you should ask yourself during your writing and editing processes.
- Overall, is the proposal persuasive, direct, concise, and easy to read? Short (three or four-line) paragraphs can be very effective.
- Does it emphasize the relevance and significance of the project from start to finish?
- Does the first paragraph answer who, what, when, where, why, and how?
- Do the next paragraphs detail what you propose to do and how you will do it?
- Is the timeline realistic, specific, and appropriate?
- Are there clearly defined achievable goals, objectives (the activities/steps to reach your goals), concrete outcomes, and measurable results?
- Does the proposal fit within the context of your academic experience and skills?
- Are the methodology and activities comprehensive, relevant, appropriate, feasible, and approved/approvable if necessary?
- Does the proposal include an explanation of your field of study and context of the project?
- Does the proposal describe with whom you will work, the support that they have offered to give you in their letter of support/affiliation/invitation, and the significance of this assistance?
- Does it demonstrate why the project or study needs to be in the country selected, the resources the country provides, and how it will benefit from your work there?
- Does it imply the contribution the project will make in promoting cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding, including how it will impact the US?
- Does the proposal demonstrate that you have the academic and linguistic background necessary for your project?
- Does it demonstrate an interest to engage with the host country community through volunteer and extracurricular activities? (This is especially important for ETA applicants.)
- Does it clearly explain your future plans and how your work will help further your academic or professional development?
- Does the closing paragraph reemphasize what you will achieve and what makes your project exciting, necessary, and unique?
Overall, the project proposal should be compelling and easily understood by both an educated “lay” person and an expert in your field. Since you don’t know exactly who will read your application at the national and international level, write so that your proposal is clear and comprehensible to someone who knows nothing about your subject while also specific and detailed enough to convince an expert. Get input from faculty members on the definition, structure, and scope of your project. Faculty regularly apply for grants for their own research, and they can be valuable sources of support during the application process.
Recommended Outline of Grant Statement:
- Grant timeline (Get specific! Divide project into 3-4 phases and discuss objectives and tasks of each.)
- Affiliations and support
- Project’s significance
- Applicant’s future academic and professional goals