GWSW Workbooks offer comprehensive, step-by-step instruction for creating proposals for a variety of funding agencies.


COVID-19 Adjustments and 2022 Versions of the NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA Workbooks

December 29, 2021 | Nat'l Institutes of Health (NIH), Nat'l Science Foundation (NSF), Other Funding Agencies, General

Greetings Colleagues,

To say the least, the last two years have been incredibly challenging for everyone. Although it has recently felt like the worst of the pandemic may be behind us, the rapid emergence of the Omicron variant has cast some doubt on that. Between March 10, 2020, and February 26, 2021, every one of our seminar and workshop programs was held virtually. Since then, a number of research institutions and universities have returned to sponsoring our programs in person, while others have continued to opt for the virtual format. Given current circumstances, we are providing an update for 2022 on our operations so that we may be able to assist you with your grant proposal-writing needs. We are also providing information on the availability of newly updated 2022 NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA versions of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook. 

COVID-19 Adjustments: Just as COVID-19 forced people, businesses, and institutions around the world to change their practices, we also modified how we operate. Although some clients have returned to sponsoring our programs in person, we intend to continue offering virtual livestreamed seminars and workshops via Zoom, Webex, and other similar platforms for 2022 and beyond. A primary reason for the latter is that the feedback we have received for our virtual programs has been consistent with the uniformly positive evaluations of our in-person programs. The following is a sample of recent evaluation feedback: 

  • This course should be a mandatory part of orientation for new faculty…exceptional speaker who kept me interested and engaged despite being presented virtually [due to the pandemic].
  • Most helpful and informative session on faculty development topics I’ve ever attended. The presenter was beyond fantastic – clear, easy to follow, and provided tips that are immediately applicable.
  • The seminar was excellent. I like the fact that the presenter always showed real examples and addressed all sections of proposal development.
  • I have participated in a number of NSF CAREER award workshops. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of new information and takeaways from this seminar. More details and information about the educational components, tips for including prelim work from unpublished research, and strategies for interaction with program managers are examples.
  • This F30, F31, and F32 program should be a part of our curriculum and be a regular activity for all of us students. The practice of writing successful grants begins at the very start of graduate school, not at the middle or at the end. A very powerful, inspiring and motivational program!”

Those of you who have attended one of our in-person full-day seminars in the past know that it is a long day packed with information. Receiving that content while sitting in front of a computer screen all day can be challenging, and many of us are now working from a remote setting that has its own set of unique difficulties. We understand these practical challenges and multiple demands on your attention and energy. Therefore, whenever schedules will permit, we will continue to accommodate clients who wish to split a livestreamed full-day seminar into two half-day sessions.

All seminar and workshop handouts will be distributed electronically, and we will ship in bulk the participant copies of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook to whatever address is provided to us by the client for safe distribution. For an additional fee, we can also send each virtual participant their own copy of the Workbook to a preferred address. In short, we’re committed to meeting your needs for grant proposal-writing training in the safest and most effective manner possible. 

We are pleased to announce that the three agency-specific (i.e., NIH, NSF, and USDA-NIFA) versions of our The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook have been updated and are now available for purchase on our website ( Principal changes to each version are highlighted below.  

2022 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Version Updated: The December 2021 NIH version of our workbook, The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook, has been updated to comply with the NIH SF424 FORMS-G application package for grant applications due on or after January 25, 2022. 

Some of the changes are:

  • Updated format, content instructions, and sample pages for the NIH Biographical Sketch.
  • Provided comprehensive guidance on how to use the modernized NIH RePORTER database.
  • Amended guidance on how to formulate specific aim statements for research projects not involving hypotheses.
  • Information on the use of the Cover Letter Attachment has been updated.
  • Emphasized that Notices of Special Interest (NOSIs) are increasingly being used by NIH Institutes and Centers to highlight areas of scientific interest.
  • Added information throughout on limitations regarding the use of hyperlinks and URLs.
  • Updated information on the shortened review cycle for New/Early-Stage Investigators.
  • General information on the purpose of common grant mechanisms has been updated.
  • All URLs and screenshots have been updated. 

Visit to view sample pages and learn more about the updates.

2022 National Science Foundation (NSF) Version Updated: The October 2021 NSF version of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook has been updated to comply with the revised version of the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) for all proposals submitted or due on or after October 5, 2021.

Some of the changes are:

  • References to functionality that is available in have been included throughout.
  • Information on the option or requirement to prepare and submit certain research proposals in that began in April 2018 has been updated.
  • Instruction on how to write the Expected Significance section has been revised.
  • New example of an Expected Significance section has been added.
  • Current and Pending Support information has been updated to reflect that this information is used to help reviewers assess potential overlap/duplication with the proposed project.
  • Content has been updated to reference a new table, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support, that NSF developed to assist users in the completion of Current and Pending Support.
  • Biographical Sketch content has been updated.
  • All screen shots and URLs have been updated to reflect current information.

Visit to view sample pages and learn more about the updates.

2022 United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) Version Updated: The October 2021 USDA-NIFA version of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook has been updated to comply with the latest NIFA Application Guide instructions.

 Some of the changes are:

  • Updated screenshots and URLs to reflect current information.
  • Updated format, content instructions, and sample pages for the NIH Biographical Sketch.
  • Provided comprehensive guidance on how to use the modernized NIH RePORTER database.
  • Expanded content on preparing the Overview subsection of the Introduction section of the Project Narrative, including specific format modification strategies for proposals that do not involve hypothesis-testing research
  • A sample Overview subsection from an AFRI-funded proposal that reflects successful application of the concepts has been included.
  • New prompts/thought questions and sample “sentence stems” for the primary components of the Overview subsection have been added.
  • A sample Rationale & Significance section and Project Summary section from the AFRI-funded proposal mentioned above that depict how to utilize our guidance, respectively.
  • Additional suggestions on constructing a project timetable, along with a new sample, have been included.
  • Expanded guidance has been included on strategies for presenting preliminary studies information and ensuring that its conceptual or methodological connection to the proposed work is explicit
  • Extended guidance on preparation of the Biographical Sketch, including tips on describing Synergistic Activities, sample entries, and common formatting errors/inconsistencies has been added.
  • New content has been added on Data Management Plans, which in FY2019, became required for all competitive NIFA research, education, extension, and integrated projects.

Visit to view sample pages and learn more about the updates.

If you’ve never owned a copy of the NIH, NSF or USDA-NIFA version of our Workbook, or if your copy is two years old or older, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing the new 2022 edition. We think you’ll find it to be an indispensable tool in writing your next grant proposal.

If you have any questions about our workbooks or our in-person/virtual seminars and workshops, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your interest in our products and services. Be healthy, safe, and well.

The GWSW Team
Training in the Art of Grantsmanship