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Allow plenty of time to develop a grant proposal. According to APA's Steven Breckler: "A regular, or simple, proposal, might require a month or so of concentrated preparation time. A complex proposal, such as a program project, might require two to three months of multiple people working on it."

Simple proposals include one-time studies, stemming from within one department and supervised by a single PI. A complex proposal might involve more than one PI, many departments, and longitudinal interdisciplinary research.

Stay on top of the deadlines provided by the granting agency. Agencies often have deadlines throughout the year so that you can map out which entry points work for you.

Finally, sit tight: Peer review takes time. "Generally, it takes about six months from the published submission deadline date to hear back," notes Breckler."


Rachel Adelson is a Raleigh, NC-based science writer.