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Research Guides@Tufts

TIE Fellowship Grantwriting Workshop

Researching for Your Grant Proposal

TIE and Tisch Library: A Great Collaboration!

Preparing to Research for Your Grant Proposal


Preparing a grant isn't too different from beginning research on a thesis, dissertation or Capstone Project, except you are developing goals, creating a budget, and identifying outcomes, possible problems and alternative strategies.

Most granting organizations will require that you include references in support of the research proposal, in fact, not unlike a brief literature review.

Below are steps to take to have a successful, and less stressful, experience in researching for your proposal.


  • Meet with your department's or subject specialist librarian. these information professionals are expert in these fields, they know the resources and techniques necessary to successfully conduct research in your subject areas. You can make appointments with them via email or through this form.
  • Get to know ILLiad, Tufts University Libraries interlibrary loan/document delivery service.
  • Create Table of Contents (TOC) alerts for the most important journals in your field of research.
  • Literature Reviews: what are they and how to locate examples
    • Purpose: to provide an overview, a snapshot/synthesis, of the significant literature published in your field of interest
    • Surveys scholarly articles, conference proceedings, books, and other types of discipline-related literature
    • Provides a summary and critical evaluation of the work
    • Anchors your research within the context of the discipline
    • Types of literature reviews: Quantatative, Qualitative, Meta-analysis
      • Quantatative: Understanding of the existing knowledge in the research area and support for the researcher's questions/problem statements
      • Qualitative: discussion and integration of criticism of the relevant literature into the review
      • Meta-analysis: summarization of previous research (usually statistical in nature)
    • Can be organized chronologically or thematically.
    • Where to find examples of literature reviews
  • Annotated Bibliographies: use these "mini" literature reviews to help you rermember the relevance, accuracy and quality of the literature you've been collecting and surveying.


Megan Bresnahan
Librarian, Team Lead for Sciences and Social Sciences
Tisch Library
(617) 627-7124