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Nail the Story, Win the Grant | Six rules for writing a compelling proposal

Due to an overwhelming response expressions of interest for the 2017 pilot program are now closed. To be notified of future programs please complete this online form.

We are proud to pilot a writing skills program to support female researchers in developing their proposals for competitive research grants and fellowships. The program is best suited to sole applicants or chief investigators who have a limited experience in research grant writing and are currently developing a proposal.

About the workshop series

You have a brilliant idea for your next research grant or fellowship application, and you need everyone to “get” its value and significance? Then you must build the strongest possible connection between your text and its readers. In fact, persuasive packaging and clarity of argument are far more influential in selling ideas than many admit. Your colleagues and assessors will not only judge your work by the quality of your ideas; they will be swayed by how you tell the story. Once you have settled on a (presumably brilliant) topic for your next submission, you will want state-of-the-art communication tools to make it simply irresistible!

This series of three half-day workshops is dedicated to the “how” of successful reader engagement, and translates interpersonal rapport-building techniques into the realm of competitive research grant writing. In addition, each participant will receive two hours of personalised one-on-one feedback and mentoring on their draft from the facilitator, with the aim to take their writing skills to the next level.

Expected outcomes

Upon completion of this training, participants will have:

  • Acquired a holistic understanding of the function of texts, which deliver content by building a successful relationship with the reader
  • Learned how to structure any written text according to Bernice McCarthy’s 4MAT system of content delivery
  • Learned and applied the “Milton Hand” tool, a five-step sentence structure that serves to strengthen the central argument in a text by eliciting costs and benefits
  • Learned how to identify and create different levels of abstraction in a text, with the purpose of catering to reader’s need for both “big themes” and concrete examples (“story hooks”)
  • Learned how to identify and create story hooks to ground a text’s argument or theme in a concrete example that evokes feelings and thoughts to engage the reader

Facilitator: Dr Lisa Curtis-Wendlandt, Director, Mind Your Way
For more information, please email gender-equity@monash.edu or call 03-99020246.