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I submitted my first USDA grant for a predoctoral fellowship for my proposed PhD project using zinc to enhance lymphocyte functions relevant to vaccination in dairy calves. If awarded, this grant will provide me funding for the next 3 years of my PhD and allow me to participate in personal growth opportunities such as an international experience in London, UK studying zinc redox biology. This experience gave me the opportunity to improve my written communication skills, grantsmanship, and the importance of comma placement (although my advisor might argue that I still have a long road ahead on this...). I have been working tirelessly (that’s a lie, I am very tired) on this grant for months and am anxiously awaiting a response from the USDA. While I appreciate everything I learned in the writing process, I am excited to get back to the bench!
In reflection, I have some advice for future grant writers about the writing process.