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Don’t be afraid to take reviews, consult program officers, and resubmit in the next competition. Proposal writing and grantsmanship is a learning process that is honed with experience and includes not only good science but understanding the psychology of the reviewers. Reviews help you better position your research for the next submission. It is important to stay in touch with the program officer to learn as much as you can for the next attempt. It is perfectly legitimate to tailor your research proposal to fit within the goals of a funding agency; however, if your research isn’t a good fit for a particular program, don’t try to force it to be.

In today’s competitive funding environment, it is very common not to succeed on your first attempt. Resubmitting your proposal does increase your success rate provided you take into account the review information.

Don’t write a grant only you want. Write the grant the agency wants to fund. The trick is to find the agency and funding mechanism that fits your idea.