This year's funding application season is almost upon us, which means that my fellow students and I are getting ready for another round of talking ourselves up and finding ways to make our research sound important to people who don't know anything about it. And in a surprising* twist of fate, all my female colleagues and I have to work harder to get these than our penis-possessing** counterparts.
Realistic expectations, passion, and vision are not enough. Funders want to see concrete results from their investments. Successful proposals explain how progress toward the objectives will be measured. Include opportunities for formative assessment - immediate feedback that informs and allows you to improve your work during the funding period.