References & Resources for “Research Grant Applications: Unwritten Rules & Best Practices from University Affairs’ Ask Dr. Editor”

If you have any questions for my column, please send them to me. I’d also be happy to meet you for a free virtual coffee—you can sign up for a time here.

My column for University Affairs, “Ask Dr. Editor,” has lots of advice on writing effective grant applications, including

01 | The Written Rules

When I worked on a SSHRC IDG earlier this year, I needed to be familiar with the following sets of guidelines & rules:

02 | The Unwritten Rules

I cited Boudreau, K. J., Guinan, E. C., Lakhani, K. R., & Riedl, C. (2016). Looking across and looking beyond the knowledge frontier: Intellectual distance, novelty, and resource allocation in science. Management science, 62(10), 2765-2783.

You can find out who served on last year’s peer review committee at

To write excellent ‘peripheral’ pieces in your next grant, have a look at my recommendations in “Ask Dr. Editor,” such as “How to articulate your training plan in funding applications.” To learn when the latest piece in my column available, please sign up for The Shortlist at the bottom of this page.

Writing Well is Hard

I created as a free resource to help academics to understand the patterns they use in their writing, and to see whether those patterns align with examples of writing from the best writers in their field. You might consider using an example grant from Open Grants ( as your reference. Here’s a two-minute explainer video:

I made because I’m not persuaded there’s only one way to write well, and I don’t like that the norms of “good” writing are too often white, cis, male, and dead. I want academics to be able to edit their own work strategically and with intentionality, modelling their work on whatever writer or writing they decide is good.

So while, like other digital tools, aspires to help you to write clearly, persuasively, and succicently, it also allows you to set the bar as to what constitutes clear, persuasive, succicent, and good for your audience and your context.

You can learn more about how to use the tool at:

To receive my free 13-page PDF, the Guide to Interpreting Your Results, please sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter, The Shortlist:

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