Academic research is an exciting and interesting career. However, it can be expensive, especially for researchers because they often depend on expensive equipment and consumables. For this purpose, they will have to apply for funding through a research grant.

Academic research is also highly competitive— as a grant reviewer or organization, you can’t fund all the proposals you receive. Therefore, it’s critical that research grant proposals are compelling and convincing enough to get your stamp of approval. Depending on the funding organization and field of research, research grants have different requirements.

Since your research grant application process is the first impression grant seekers will have of your organization, you will want to make sure that it’s clear, concise, and easy.  After all, your grant application process does affect the quality and quantity of your applications.

Here are some points to consider when drafting your research grant application process:

  • Set and manage expectations for the size of the research grant.
  • Simplify procedures to make it easy for your research grant applicants to comply.
  • Remove unnecessary or repetitive questions in your information requirements.
  • Make sure the application process is aligned to the size of the research grant.
  • Be transparent and communicate clearly at all times.

Maintain a process that’s streamlined and designed to meet your respective goals. While there’s no instant solution for bringing in the right grant seekers and nonprofits, your process can help to narrow the field and attract the organizations you eventually wish to fund.

The Best Practices for Managing Research Grants

Based on our years of working with grantmakers and grant applicants, here are some tried-and-true examples of practices that have yielded strong grantmaking results.

1. Make Your Research Grant Guidelines Clear

The organizations you’re supporting have incredible demands on their time: they often work on very tight budgets to make huge impacts in their community, often with high stakes and lots of people counting on them to get the job done.

  • Share endeavors you’re specifically interested in funding
  • Clarify those that you won’t consider funding
  • Tell them about your organization’s philosophy around grantmaking and include a list of recent organizations you’ve funded

Specific grant guidelines will guide (the right) applicants through their unique research grant application and review processes. These guidelines will also help you make final funding decisions.

Here are examples of grant guidelines worth indicating:

  • Your protocols and procedures for applying for research grants
  • Your reporting requirements
  • Limitations on grant funding
  • Type of support you offer

Starting grant seekers off with plenty of clear and concise information is a critical part of your grant application process.

Apart from saving time and resources for your team, it can do the same for grant seekers, giving much-needed room for making an impact.

Create an intuitive and efficient process with Fellowship Management Software 

You need a reliable Fellowship Management Platform that will streamline your application process and put those well-thought-out grant guidelines into practice.

An effective platform will help you attract and select the right grantees by guiding them through your application process and equipping your team with the information and tools needed to make the best possible funding decisions.

Improving the process for both grantmakers and applicants just got easier!

Spend less time managing fellowships in spreadsheets and emails, and more time making a difference with CommunityForce’s fellowship management platform. Streamline your fellowship process and effortlessly collect and review diverse applications, automate workflows, and focus on what matters most – selecting the best candidates and maximizing their impact.

Create focused, automated workflows

Looking to free up some time in your process? Manage your fellowship application process from end to end using one account. Automate tedious and repetitive steps like assigning projects to save time, and focus on what matters – finding and inspiring the right fellows.

Create a seamless application, review, and funding process

Create a process that’s polished and painless for everyone involved. With our powerful and intuitive applicant, reviewer, and administrator portals, CommunityForce’s platform makes your tasks simple, fast, and efficient.

Monitor your impact in real-time

Don’t be left in the dark. Access all your application and funding data in real-time with our Business Intelligence tool, and create powerful custom reports so that you can monitor your impact and ensure a seamless process every step of the way.

Community Force’s Fellowship Management is an all-in-one solution encompassing all your needs, so you can carry out your fellowship mission of any size seamlessly on one platform.

For Administrators

FellowshipManagment ProgramManagement

View Assignments Dashboard

Find all the information you need for your assigned tasks on a single dashboard. Analyze the review progress and scores and filter accordingly to save wasted time spent searching for relevant information.

Comprehensive evaluation progress

Review applications at a glance with the same screen display functionality. Use an online scoring rubric along with comments from other committee members and recommended funding to reach a well-rounded and unbiased decision

Collaborate and Communicate

Collaborate with admins and other reviewers for a seamless review process. View comments and communicate with committee members and determine the outcome all on the same platform – say goodbye to multiple apps to communicate, collaborate, and review.

For Applicants

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User-Centric Interface

Designed with ease of use and convenience in mind, our centralized, mobile-friendly application system provides your applicant an engaging experience with full visibility, a rich text editor tool, and the ability to upload supporting documents on the go.

Application-Specific Dashboard

Applicants can view their application sections, status, and view matching opportunities at a glance. They never have to worry about losing their work because we will automatically save it for them. Request any additional functionality from our friendly support team to meet your needs.

Collaborate and Manage Applications

Allow your applicants to add collaborators and manage members to create a team for their solution.

Outcome Reporting

Outcome reporting is not just for the grant owner, it’s also a useful tool for the applicant. Applicants can submit reports, upload receipts and budgets, see the outcome of their previous applications to measure the impact of their process and how they can improve effectively.

For Reviewers

FellowshipManagment Reviewer

View Assignments Dashboard

Find all the information you need for your assigned tasks on a single dashboard. Analyze the review progress and scores and filter accordingly to save wasted time spent searching for relevant information.

Comprehensive evaluation progress

Review applications at a glance with the same screen display functionality. Use an online scoring rubric along with comments from other committee members and recommended funding to reach a well-rounded and unbiased decision

Collaborate and Communicate

Collaborate with admins and other reviewers for a seamless review process. View comments and communicate with committee members and determine the outcome all on the same platform – say goodbye to multiple apps to communicate, collaborate, and review.

2. Refine Your Process and Minimize Requirements 

If you find that you’ve asked for the same information in multiple areas, collected repetitive data at different stages of the grant process, or included questions that might be irrelevant, you know it’s time to refine your process. Look for inefficiencies and cut them out.

  • Ensure you’re not asking for information you already have
  • Simplify your questions to get precise answers
  • Relative to the size of the grant
  • Take note of how many hours you’re asking grant seekers to put into their applications relative to the size of each grant

Making your application process more simple and efficient will likely improve your application completion rate.

3. Review Your Past Outcomes

Better grantmaking in the future is the result of learning from past results. Analyzing your past outcomes is key to building a well-improved research grant management process.  Take the time to analyze your data and ensure they’re still aligned with your mission.

4. Review Your Grantmaking Process

Survey peers and people who’ve gone through your grant process and ask them for feedback. Take each and every comment, good or bad, constructively.

Grantmaking best practices are all about efficiency for everyone

When we save time and effort in the grantmaking process, we can spend it on other things, ultimately maximizing your fund’s impact on the community and world.

 

Whether you’re a startup organization or a leading corporation, CommunityForce provides fully customizable, all-in-one online grant management solutions to maximize your efficiency, simplify complex processes, and improve collaboration so you can focus on increasing your impact. We’ve helped organizations streamline their entire grant-making process no matter the size and scope of their giving.

We enable organizations to reduce the amount of time spent on administrative burdens and focus on what matters: increasing their impact.

2021-08-03T11:20:09-04:00

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