How to Structure your Grant Application Response

Know how to construct your application the right way

Authored by:

iClick2Learn Team

How to Structure your Grant Application Response (P1)

How to Structure your Grant Application Response (P2)

How to Structure your Grant Application Response (P3)

How to Structure your Grant Application Response (P4)

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So we’re going to look at the structure formula. The structure formula talks about three different things for you to be aware of within the structure of what your submission is, whether it’s, as I said grant, tender and award submission and business case or an expression of interest. It’s really, really important that you focus on and understand these three elements.

The first element is the environment. Now there’s a logical flow to how questions are asked, and one of the things that you should think about is does the response to this question flow into another question, or does it flow from the question above it? And I’ll give you an example. In an award submission I’m an assessor on, a question is what is your target market? and the second question is how do you communicate to those target markets? So of course, your response to the first question flows into the second question, and you wouldn’t reintroduce new target markets in the second question. 

You would basically grab those target markets you’ve already talked about, and you would expand on how you communicate to them. In a grants process, your flow of environment could be if you’re looking at a question and it looks exactly the same, what’s your capacity to deliver the project? And I’ve seen one of these. Someone, you know a few times we’ve seen questions repeated, but I actually had somebody in a national training programme come up to me and say, “Can you help me understand this? “I don’t get it; they’ve asked the same question!” But if you actually looked at the question, the first question, when you looked at the question or the environment around the first question, it was actually about the organisation. 

So that’s what the whole section was around that question. But the second question, the whole section around that was about the project. So you can see how it might be the exact same question, but the environment that surrounds the question differs. So what do we watch for? We look at the question preceding and the question following. And if we think we’re being asked the same question, we analyse how do those sections differ. What’s the angle here? So make sure you understand that. That’s what I call subject. We referred to this a little earlier on, so make sure you do understand that.


The second thing to watch for is the logic. Now, logic is about what’s the logical way to respond to a question? Really, really critical. There’s two ways in a nutshell. The first way that I look at responding to a question is exactly how the question has been asked. So if the question has been asked, and we asked this question earlier, what’s the need for your project and how’s that been identified? Or it might be if it’s an awards project, and I did one recently for the launch of a Double Bay real estate office and it was what was the launch of the office and how did you promote that? Or sorry, so what was the launch marketing plan and how did you promote it? So when you actually looked at those, both of those questions, the logical way to answer them is exactly how they’ve been asked. 

As we’ve talked about earlier, both of those questions have two parts with different context. So I would, if I was able to, put subheadings. And this is how I would actually present the information logically. I would be putting subheadings so that the presentation, we’ll talk about this in the next unit, but the presentation of it, the logical flow is very easy to see. So an assessor is guided to the sections that respond to that question. But here’s a tricky one. Sometimes you need to actually respond to the question in the reverse order. And when you look at the question, if it’s a question that doesn’t logically flow from one thing to the other, there’s actually the reverse, then that’s how you should respond to it. 

So this is down to, and I had one, what are the needs of the target market and how do your respond to those needs? So of course, the first thing that we want to do is we want to set up a precedence around what the needs of the target market are and then you want to talk about how we actually make sure our products and services meet those needs. So that’s a very logical flow but what happens if it was how do you meet the needs of your target users and what are they? Well, of course, the most logical way to respond to that is talk about what they are first and then how you address them. So I hope you understand how sometimes, it can actually be the reverse. So two rules. The first rule is logically address how the question’s been asked. 

The second one is you might have to provide some information to set the scene or respond to the question in the reverse order. You’ll know, a really good way to identify which order is to ask yourself do you need to actually, if you were talking to them, if you were communicating this face to face, do you need to set the scene or to give a bit of a precedent before you give them additional information? So that’s a good way of identifying that. Look, if you’ve got any questions about this, ’cause sometimes it is a little bit of a tricky area, don’t forget to use the course forum and I’ll be more than happy to give you some support there.

So the third one in the structure formula is to think about the presentation. Now, in many cases, if it’s a grant, it’s pretty straightforward particularly if it’s online, fill out the boxes or if it’s an awards submission. But in some cases, you’re given a bit of a leniency. So if you’re able to, think about how you can present information. 

Now, ideally, if it’s read online, I would be using one and a half line spacing because it is so much easier for the judge and assessor to see. But also think about other ways to present information. So you can use images, graphs, visuals, making sure that they directly respond to the question and are referenced in the material as support. You could use subheading, job points, so think about all the different ways that you can communicate the information.

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