Perspectives on Diabetes Care

This is the official blog of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists where we share recent research and professional opinions on diabetes care and education.


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If you're looking for professional opinions on diabetes care and education, you're in the right place. Perspectives on Diabetes Care is the official ADCES® diabetes care and education blog that shares helpful views on diabetes care and education. 

This is where you'll find practical tips on working with people affected by prediabetes, diabetes and related cardiometabolic conditions and the latest research and viewpoints on issues facing diabetes care and education specialists and the people they serve.



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ADCES24 Research Roundtables Series: Helpful Tips for Writing Successful Grant Proposals

Jun 6, 2024, 15:55 PM

By Alexandra Kazaks, PhD

Alexandra Kazaks, PhD, will share her expertise in conversation this August at the ADCES24 Annual Meeting, where she is a featured contributor to the Research Roundtables Sessions. She can be reached for questions at [email protected].

When developing a grant proposal, there are a few key areas to consider.

First things first: What are the important elements of grant proposals? A successful grant should tell a compelling and convincing story, follow proposal guidelines and clearly define the project purpose and methods. The project aims should be clearly outlined and be measurable and achievable using the methods described in the proposal.

To have a proposal funded, the writer should search and become familiar with different types of funding organizations relevant to the proposal. Grant funding websites will be helpful in finding groups that are a good fit. There are websites available to check for grant opportunities as well as general grant information and eligibility examples.

When considering grant suitability, ask the following questions: Is your idea in line with the funder’s vision, objectives and message? Is your organization, or are you as an individual, eligible for funding? Are reporting and compliance requirements realistic and achievable for your project?

The funding organization Request for Proposal (RFP) explains how to apply for the grant, including submission rules and qualifications, as well as expectations and requirements for using the funding. Take the time to read the instructions thoroughly. Remember, each grant will have a unique set of guidelines. If your proposal is not really in line with those guidelines, look for other grant opportunities. As it is common practice to ask the funder for clarification if any guidelines are unclear to you, asking is appropriate. Make sure to include all the required information in your proposal, as failure to follow the guidelines can prevent your grant from being considered at all. Take care not to overlook any of the instructions.

Next, clearly explain your objective. An objective is a narrowly defined goal for a project that leads to specific, measurable outcomes. Project objectives should define the problem your project seeks to address and what specific changes will help to resolve it by the end of your project. For your clearly defined goal, provide a rationale as to why your plan will produce desired outcomes. It is critical to use clear and concise language, proofread and make sure ideas are explained logically and understandably. It may be useful to ask someone unfamiliar with your project to read your proposal to confirm the message is being clearly communicated.

The budget may be the first thing a reviewer will read. Make sure that all the information is concise, well-presented and clearly demonstrates your ability to maximize use of the grant money. Create a convincing budget by detailing how you arrived at your costs and expenses. Demonstrate that your project is a valuable investment for the funders!

Even after addressing all aspects of a proposal, it is still possible that a grant application could be rejected. Reasons may include lack of fit with the opportunity, not having successfully followed RFP guidelines or directions, an unclear budget, or limited resources and high competition. Reassess your proposal and find additional opportunities that may be a good fit! Consider all elements of your proposal and continue crafting your application.

The following may be a helpful resource as you hone your grant writing skills: Common Components of Grant Proposals.


Alexandra Kazaks, PhD, is a Nutrition Science and Health Research Consultant with extensive experience in research and teaching within academic and medical communities. Dr. Kazaks earned her doctorate in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis and her work is dedicated to advancing the understanding of how dietary factors influence health and disease outcomes.