Concocting that Magic Elixir: Successful Grant Application Writing in Dissemination and Implementation Research

Clin Transl Sci. 2015 Dec;8(6):710-6. doi: 10.1111/cts.12356. Epub 2015 Nov 18.


Background: This paper reports core competencies for dissemination and implementation (D&I) grant application writing and provides tips for writing a successful proposal.

Methods: Two related phases were used to collect the data: a card sorting process among D&I researchers and an expert review among a smaller set of researchers. Card sorting was completed by 123 respondents. In the second phase, a series of grant application writing tips were developed based on the combined 170 years of grant review experience of the writing team.

Results: The card sorting resulted in 12 core competencies for D&I grant application writing that covered the main sections in a grant application to the US National Institutes of Health: (a) specific aims that provide clear rationale, objectives, and an overview of the research plan; (b) significance that frames and justifies the importance of a D&I question; (c) innovation that articulates novel products and new knowledge; and (d) approach that uses a relevant D&I model, addresses measurement and the D&I context, and includes an analysis plan well-tied to the aims and measures.

Conclusions: Writing a successful D&I grant application is a skill that can be learned with experience and attention to the core competencies articulated in this paper.

Keywords: dissemination and implementation research; grant review; grant writing; research; translational research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Financing, Organized*
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Research Personnel
  • Research Support as Topic*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / economics
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / organization & administration*
  • United States
  • Writing / standards*