#1 Become a Reviewer
In over 20 years in the field, I can tell you that being a grant reviewer has been the single most useful thing that I have done to improve my skills. And, it’s not difficult to find organizations that are seeking reviewers so it’s an easily accessible opportunity for growth. There are four great reasons to review.
First, you get know what it feels like to be on the other side of the table – all the thoughts, feelings, and frustrations of reading through piles of proposals. This will make you MUCH more sensitive to making reviewers’ lives as easy as possible in the future.
Second, you read other people’s proposals and get a sense of the things that work and what definitely does not work. Creative presentations stand out and give you ideas for your proposals.
Third, you see how your teammates review and appreciate how we each bring our personal strengths to the table. You see how some people are focus on the budget, others on project design, and others on the long-term impact. It makes you realize that you must write for all audiences.
Fourth, you meet other experts in the field and make new friends and colleagues.
If you’re interested in looking into this, I wrote an article about how to become grant reviewer that you may find useful.