Peggy Girshman Idea Grant applications due Dec. 15

Do you have a great idea for a science writing resource? Are you a member of a local science-writing group with big plans for an important project or workshop that has insufficient funding? In the last six years, the National Association of Science Writers has funded 135 projects worth over $450,000 as part of the Idea Grants program. In October 2016, we renamed the grant program in honor of our late board member, founding member of the grants committee, and longtime advocate for writers, Peggy Girshman. She loved a good idea, well-crafted and targeted to its audience, and sought to ensure that grant monies benefited writers, and the field, with smart impact, and we are proud to carry this important program in her name.

The total funding available this year is $25,000. NASW invites proposals from individuals or groups for grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, with grants between $5,000 and $10,000 encouraged, to support projects and programs designed to help science writers in their professional lives and/or benefit the field of science writing. We encourage creative thinking, thus the guidelines for these proposals are consciously broad.

The project must be in keeping with the mission of NASW, and should be accessible to all science writers. Applicants need not be NASW members. The project should not be for individual works, e.g. underwriting a single investigative piece or book, but it could, for instance, underwrite a study of the state of science writing in the U.S. or beyond.

We especially support the efforts of regional science writing groups to make their professional development activities available to all science writers via webcasts, transcription, live blogging and other online or digital resources.

Please submit proposals using the application template (download here). Proposals, including resumes and supporting documentation, if any, should be sent as a SINGLE pdf to The email subject line should be formatted as follows with the last name of corresponding author and date of submission, for example, “Lloyd Idea Grant, October 1, 2015".

To learn more about the program and awards made to date and read selected proposals from past projects, visit

The NASW Grants Committee will review applications, which are due Thursday, Dec. 15. Applications for more than $5,000 will also be reviewed by the NASW Executive Board. Applicants in this round will be notified by March 1, 2017, and can expect disbursements to begin soon thereafter, pending grantees’ acceptance of the grant contract. Applicants should take this timeline into account when planning events. In general, Idea Grants may not be used to fund costs already incurred. Only direct costs are allowed. Indirect costs are not allowable.

A portion (typically 75%) of the monies will be distributed at the time of the award, and the remainder remitted at the conclusion of the project with receipt of appropriate financial records and report(s). Awards are intended to fund only direct project costs.