Grant Writers Circle for Social Science Faculty

Securing grant funding is an important element of career development for research faculty, but many faculty members find it difficult to set aside time for grant writing. With so many demands on their time, the process of drafting and polishing proposals and ensuring that all submission requirements are met can seem daunting, even to seasoned investigators. 

The University of Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC) provides grant development assistance to social science faculty. We are pleased to offer the opportunity for faculty to join our Grant Writers Circle, designed to facilitate the grant writing process and provide additional support when it's needed.  

The Grant Writers Circle includes weekly 90-minute meetings where participants give brief updates on their progress before dedicating most of the time to independent work. Benefits include:

  • ISRC grant development staff are available throughout each meeting to offer support.
  • Personalized, one-on-one support to address specific needs and questions is available.
  • After the group updates, private offices are available for independent writing, if preferred.
  • Writers can attend in-person or via Zoom.

How to Join 

Complete our Sign-up form anytime. The Grant Writers Circle is an ongoing program, so you can join for the period during which you are actively writing a grant, and then leave when you're done.  


To get started, the ISRC suggests the following guidelines:

Make a commitment

  • A grant writing group functions best when each member fully commits to the process and makes every effort to attend all meetings. Making an individual commitment to your own grant writing timeline and goals will keep you on task and help to prevent last-minute deadline pressures that can negatively affect the quality of your proposal.
  • While emergencies understandably arise, keeping a commitment to attend the scheduled meeting shows respect and appreciation for the time and efforts of your group members and reinforces your personal dedication to crafting a successful application.

Focus on mutual support and encouragement

  • While the level of interaction may differ according to each writer's needs, creating an atmosphere of mutual support, collegiality, encouragement, mentoring, respectful feedback, and positive reinforcement goes a long way to helping the group achieve its goal of supporting its members in submitting winning proposals.
  • It is expected that grant writing group members will have varying levels of experience in drafting proposals. Members are encouraged to ask questions and share their own grant writing tips and experiences with one another.


Set realistic goals

  • Individual group members benefit from establishing a realistic timeline with clear, achievable, and measurable objectives for their grant writing projects.
  • ISRC grant development staff are happy to assist individuals in creating a timeline for their grant writing projects, if requested.

Make use of ISRC staff and resources

  • ISRC grant development staff will coordinate and facilitate meetings. We will offer best practices to help position your group for ongoing success and will provide grant-writing information, guidance, and resources that will aid you along the way. 
  • Optional tutorials covering common grant development questions:
    • Grant Application Process at the University of Iowa  
    • Advantages to Preparing Proposals Early
    • Resources Available on Campus
    • Grant Search Tips and Tools
    • Proposal Preparation and Writing Guidance
    • Workshopping Proposals using the Peer-review Model
    • Constructing Introductory Paragraphs for Maximum Impact
    • Analytical and Survey Methods
    • Data Collection Services at the ISRC
  • ISRC grant development staff are happy to meet with individuals to discuss your grant development needs. 
  • Please visit the ISRC website for additional information about our grant development and data collection services. 

For more information on the PPC's Grant Writing Groups, please email: