The State Grant
A state grant is awarded to students, researchers and general academics for the purpose of forwarding a cause that the state believes is under appreciated. Causes range from the arts to the sciences and have included such initiatives as introducing cutting edge technology in the schools of economically depressed neighborhoods, to sponsoring local literary artists to study and teach abroad. The state is an important source for grant funding, with coastal states collectively disbursing more in state grant monies than the Federal government.
With the exceptions of California, Oregon, Washington and many of the New England states that disburse more in state grants toward research aims, educational grants make for the most commonly disbursed state grant. Educational grants mobilize citizenry; the most vibrant economies in the world are those in which its participants are highly skilled. Grants fill an important gap in economies that tend to neglect activities that aren’t immediately profitable; education is a good example. Citizen’s don’t begin to contribute to a state’s productivity until they’re in high school and don’t reach full productivity until they’re out of college - if they graduate from college. Typically, the higher the education, the more that particular person contributes to a state’s productivity.
State grants almost always require residency of the state for a bare minimum number of years. The application process for state grants is very competitive. In order to break through from the rest of the applications in the stack, you’ll have to employ very potent persuasion, which will require succinctness. Remember, you’re one of many; and the person reviewing your application package will have heard it all, seen it all, so to speak. Perhaps the most persuasive approach involves arithmetical logic. Arithmetical logic is easy to pick up and sort of forces the reader into thinking that you’re correct. This persuasive tact can be economic in tone. For example, you start with the general demographics of a state then somehow draw a conclusion in per ca pita terms.
You can also take the idealist and philosophical tact with your grant proposal: an organic idea, succinctly stated, that’s strikingly clever and almost self-evident. This is the only way to break through for state grants in general, because the competition is based on a curve, i.e. you’re ranked by relation to your applying peers. In the natural sciences, however, competition is more skewed toward results. A grant in the sciences could go undisbursed for a long period, until a qualified proposal meets its criteria and is presented as a viable prospect. This is the case, especially in the health and medical sciences. When California okayed stem cell research for example, the state was inundated by the sudden rush of projects that were sitting idle, for Federal grant money but the bulk of the applications didn’t meet the criteria of the few agencies that were involved in disbursing these bio medical research funds.
Despite what you field you decide to get your doctorate in, if you plan to stay in academia or general research, grant writing will invariably be a part of that work.