Grants & Funding


Hello, I’m Ellen Jacks, the Grants Librarian at the UW Madison libraries. I managed the Grants Information Collection, which is located on the second floor of Memorial Library near the windows in the reference room. Memorial Library is located at the corner of State and Lake streets. We are Funding Information Network partner of candid, which is a new organization formed with the merger of the Foundation Center and GuideStar. Those of you familiar with the non-profit world may know these organizations. If not, you’re in the right place. We’re here to provide you with an overview of grant seeking basics, as well as the grant writing process as a whole. The Grants Information collection, I help people learn about the tools and resources they need to help you with your funding needs. And this can be whether you’re a student, faculty, a member of a local non-profit organization, or some gray area in between the categories. Also, it does not matter where you are in the grant seeking process or your level of experience. There’s something here that can help you. In this micro course, you’ll get an outline of the grant writing process complete with an introductory overview. This should provide you with a clearer picture of the different applicant types, funding types, and funders. Then we’ll get into the proposal process by starting with the planning. This is where you’ll get some strategies on how to craft a study or research plan. Then based on your plan, you’ll research for a prospective funding partners in the research section. Then we’ll talk about strategies and how to start crafting your proposal, really focusing on the funder’s needs. Also, in this writing section, we’ll discuss different common proposal components that may be present regardless of your application format type. Then we’ll talk about how to follow up with funders whether the answer is yes or no. Throughout each section, I’ll also discuss a variety of communication strategies to help you keep in touch with others involved in your work, as well as provide you with a variety of resources for more information. Following the completion of this micro course, you should be able to understand the process as a whole. It has some strategies on setting up a researcher study plan. So really thinking about how do you need, what do you really need the money for? Conduct research for potential funding partners? So can you spend the money the way you need to use it? Craft your proposal to fit the funder’s needs and follow up with your prospects. I’ll also provide other tools and resources for more information. And when in doubt, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I may be contacted via the Grants Information collections website or through the staff directory. I hope you enjoyed this micro course. And again, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.


Grant writing is a highly sought after and transferable skill. At some point in your academic or professional career, you may need to participate in the grant writing process. A successful grant proposal typically comes from a clear plan and knowledge of potential funders’ interests, as well as good communication and networking. These elements are consistent across settings, including individual grant writing or for academic or community organizations.

This module will start with the basics to provide an overall introduction to the world of grantseeking. It will cover the steps of the Grant Proposal Process by looking at Planning, Research, Writing, and Follow-up. Within each step, we will take a little time to discuss communication and networking, both vital components to successful proposals.

Learning Objectives

By completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand different funding types and funders
  • Develop a funding plan for your research or study
  • Use a funding plan to search for funding that will support your needs
  • Understand the proposal writing process and components
  • Follow-up with funders
  • Locate help information and resources