One of the essential skills that we bring to the table when writing grant applications for our clients is our ability to write clearly and succinctly.
When writing your first TSB grant application, you may feel that 3000 characters per question is a lot. You may struggle to come up with things to add to “fill up” all that blank space.
However, one of the signs of a grant application that’s nearly ready is that you start having to cut things from many of the questions. When you’re saying all that you need to say, 3000 characters is, in fact, very tight. It’s very hard to properly pack a convincing business opportunity pitch, with supporting statistics and high-level narrative, into 3000 characters. It’s even harder to do that while inspiring the reader so that they are enthused by your idea.
The worst thing you can do when struggling to answer the question is to ramble on without saying anything:
“Based on our extensive research, it is clear that the best mode of operation for achieving our desired objective is to focus a dedicated project onto the task of developing a new product.”
This sentence says very little: 187 characters of fluff. Assessors are also likely to flag it as such, and downgrade your application because of it.
A better way to say more in less space would be:
“We conducted research with ResCo in 2010, and over 80% of respondents said they wanted a new product.”
The latter is more concise and more specific, and therefore makes a more convincing case. And it’s also shorter (101 characters), which means you can add more supporting evidence within the 3000 characters limit.
In summary, the challenge with grant writing is not to fill up fields with enough words – it’s to make sure that every one of those words is adding value.