Building the NSF Grant Proposal

Conducted by Dr. Robert Porter

Competition for National Science Foundation grant awards is especially intense, as increasing numbers of proposals have strained the agency’s budget limits. Successful proposals are written by investigators who combine sound principles of grant writing with an understanding of NSF’s overall merit review process. This workshop will focus on critical aspects of interacting with the agency as well as proven techniques for effective writing in each section of the NSF grant proposal. Samples from successful proposals will be cited to illustrate key points.


  • Overview of NSF Mission, Structure and Budget 
  • Characteristics of Successful Proposals  
  • NSF Merit Review Process 
  • Critical Steps in Planning and Writing Your Proposal
  • Formulating Precise Goals and Objectives
  • Using Visual Illustrations
  • Building in Quality “Broader Impacts” Components
  • Postdoc Mentoring and Data Management Plans