Stacie Bloom on How to Write a More Effective Grant Proposal

In Chapter 14 of 19 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "Through Your Experience, What Lessons Have You Learned About Writing More Effective Grant Proposals?" She finds the best grant proposals are the ones that tell the best stories. She notes grant writing is a skill that can be learned. Bloom notes the importance of using both resource centers as well as doing outreach to the grant organizations to assess fit in advance of writing the proposal. Grossman Bloom is the Executive Director at the NYU Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. Previously, she was VP and Scientific Director at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). She earned her PhD in Neurobiology and Cell Biology at Georgetown University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York City. She earned her BA in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Delaware.


Erik Michielsen: Through your experience, what lessons have you learned about writing more effective grant proposals?

Stacie Grossman Bloom: I would say that the best grant proposals are the ones that tell the best stories. And grant writing is a really important skill. You know, some people have it and some people don’t and if you don’t have it, you can absolutely learn it, but you should go out and learn it. You know, we have in New York City, and a lot of cities have a foundation center. We have one on lower Fifth Avenue. They’re amazing, they have free workshops that talk about how to write grants and there are a lot of good resources out there. Another thing that I’ve learned that is important about grant writing is not to be afraid to pick up the phone. So, often, you know, you’re submitting a grant, you are submitting it to someone somewhere, don’t be scared to call that person and say, “hey, look, I’m scoping this out, do you think this is a good fit for you?” Don’t waste your time writing a grant when someone is just going to say no. And, nine times out of ten the person on the other end of the phone is going to be really happy to talk to you, even if that person is at the National Science Foundation.