Title

It all starts here. Make the title say something, but keep it fairly straightforward. For example, “Using cover crops to control yellow nutsedge” is more helpful to the reader than “Determining the efficacy of three types of cover crops in growing cut flowers.”

Investigator’s Background

Tell the reviewers why you think you can do the work well. Describe your years of experience growing cut flowers, and any other grants you might have received and successfully completed. Stay focused here. A paragraph on your previous life as a rodeo clown may tell folks a lot about why you are the way you are, but won’t help them determine if you complete the project for which you are applying.

Introduction and Justification 

Introduce the issue and then state how you propose to address the issue. The ideal grant should focus on a problem of importance to a wide range of growers, as it will be evaluated by several growers from around the country. If the topic is narrow, or if the results are useful only for delphinium growers in southeast Minnesota, it may not get a high score during the application evaluation process. Similarly, a submission that generates a list of cut flowers suitable only for Zone 11 growers won’t apply to the majority of ASCFG members. 

Objectives

State the major objective first. What do you hope to accomplish? What will you discover when the research is complete? For example, “This project will develop a new method for controlling yellow nutsedge in cut flower beds.” State other objectives separately. For example, “We will also determine how control methods for yellow nutsedge affect cut flower productivity and quality.” In case you were wondering, “Give me money,” is not a helpful objective.