How to Become a Grant Writer: Education and Career Roadmap
Learn how to become a grant writer. Research the job description and the education requirements and find out how to start a career in grant writing.
Requirements to Become a Grant Writer
Grant writers create research proposals that request funding from various agencies. They might work for universities, for social service organizations, or in the healthcare field. Since grant writers need a solid command of the written word to craft successful grant proposals, a bachelor's degree in a field like communications or English is helpful, although any field emphasizing writing can work. Grant writers can also take specialized courses to gain knowledge and experience to further their careers.
The following table presents the fundamental criteria for working as a grant writer, as gleaned from sampling of job postings on Monster.com:
|Degree Level||A bachelor's degree required for most positions|
|Degree Field||Any writing-intensive major, such as English, journalism, communications, or marketing|
|Experience||Previous grant writing experience important to most employers|
|Computer Skills||Good computer research skills; experience with productivity software|
|Key Skills||Detail-oriented, communication skills, writing skills|
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Grant writers require excellent communication skills to create compelling grant proposals that result in funding for a project. Any undergraduate program that involves heavy use of writing and persuasive tactics gives grant writers the abilities they need. A survey of open grant writer job listings on Monster.com in August 2012 suggested that studying journalism, public relations, or marketing could also provide useful qualifications for some positions.
Future grant writers might also earn degrees in English. English courses examine how words are used to convey ideas. The critical thinking and writing required in an English degree program prepares grant writers to craft well-written, successful proposals.
Step 2: Take Courses in Grant Writing
Some colleges and universities offer certificate programs in grant writing, which cover beginning, intermediate, and advanced proposal writing, as well as identifying potential sources of grant funding for a project. These professional development certificates are designed to help novice and current grant writers attain a strong set of skills they can immediately put into practice, so the certificate programs are often offered at least partially online. In addition, some schools provide single classes for those who'd like a crash course on specific grant writing topics.
- Join an association for professional grant writers. Membership in a group for grant writers can allow an individual to gain access to more training and job opportunities. Additionally, one will be able to attend conferences a network with other grant-writing professionals.
Step 3: Get Grant Writing Experience
Most employers require a minimum of two years of grant writing experience. This is the case for even part-time and temporary positions. In fact, prior experience seems to be more important than the discipline in which an individual has earned a degree. Although some employers may specify degrees in a certain field of study, such as journalism, many just ask for a bachelor's degree. An individual should seek out volunteer or internship work as a grant writer to gain experience while completing his or her degree. The more experience one can acquire during college, the better. If possible, one should also try to acquire experience writing grants in the industry in which he or she would prefer to work as a grant writer.
Step 4: Gain Industry Experience
In addition to grant writing experience, many employers look for grant writers who have familiarity with the industry that they are writing grants to fund. For instance, healthcare organizations want grant writers who understand the workings of the medical industry through professional or volunteer work. Colleges and universities prefer grant writers with higher education industry experience. Many grants fund projects for nonprofit organizations, and those organizations prefer grant writers who have worked with nonprofits in other capacities, for instance, as fundraisers or publicists. This kind of familiarity makes it easier for writers to produce successful grant proposals.
Related to How to Become a Grant Writer: Education and Career Roadmap
- Recently Updated
Nonprofit organizations have distinct purposes from businesses and operate independently of the government. They support...
Grant application writers craft proposals to request funding from various organizations. They write, submit and revise...
Find out how to become a professional resume writer. Research the education and training requirements and learn about the...
Learn how to become a textbook writer. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for...
- How to Become a Jingle Writer: Education and Career Guide
- Education Writer: Job Description & Career Info
- Get Inspired! Education Portal Speaks With a Professional Writer
- Graduate Schools for Photojournalism: How to Select the Right School
- Graduate Programs in Elementary Guidance Counseling: Degree Options
- What Is a Content Writer?
- Legal Aid: Employment Information & Career Requirements