This genesis of this book, Successful Grant Writing: Strategies for Health and Human Service Professionals, occurred over 20 years ago with a small contract from the Bureau of Health Professions in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We were asked if we would be willing to write a manual for allied health professionals outlining how to compete for funding. As Laura and I discussed it, we realized that most grant writing books on the market were geared for more experienced researchers — those who had a pretty good idea about how to compete for funding and needed help in polishing their work. We knew that it was becoming more important for health and human services faculty to engage in research and to become more competitive in the funding arena. We also knew that many of them didn’t know where to start and, in some cases, why it was important. We were writing grants ourselves and we had a hands-on understanding of what it takes. We believed developing the manual would be a positive learning process for us, too.
What followed was numerous trips to Washington, interviews with project officers and analyses of the successes and failures of the many faculty we were working with. As a result, we have experienced each of the topics we cover in the book. We decided to focus on the fundamentals of grantsmanship and provide a step- by- step guide, starting with why it is important to pursue external funding and an introduction to basic terminology of the field. The manual was a hit with our faculty and we were also asked to provide grant writing seminars based on our approach.
Enter Ursala Springer, who heard one of our seminars and then asked us if we would be interested in turning the manual into a book for the broader audience of health and human service professionals using the same approach. We were more than happy to do so and the first edition was successful. As the funding environment is constantly changing, and thus, so has this book with each subsequent edition. Each new edition has enabled us to keep up with the evolving federal funding environment and be successful in our own funding pursuits. This latest edition is at least twice the size of the first. Working on this edition has been a rewarding experience. To have the opportunity to do a fourth edition means that there is an important audience for this book who is also finding success in funding.
In addition to those individuals interested in seeking funding for their own research, we believe that this book, either in part or whole, can be helpful to the next generation of grant writers. We encourage its’ use in graduate, or even undergraduate, research courses. Each chapter can stand alone as a separate topic, particularly the earlier ones which focus on the building blocks of a research career.
We sincerely hope that this book is helpful to each of our readers and we wish each of you the best of luck.
- Kevin and Laura