- Read and follow the guidelines
This may sound obvious, but make sure you and your project are eligible. If there is a dollar limit on awards, don’t ask for more than the maximum. Make sure to include all requested supporting documents. If something isn’t clear, contact FAIC for guidance.
- Put your best foot forward
Detail how the project will benefit you and your career. Show how you are ready to take on the project. Don’t assume reviewers know anything about you or your project – attach a full resume and full description of the project if possible. Check that the columns and rows in the budget section add up correctly. Proofread your application before sending.
- Rack up some bonus points
Is there a way you can share the results of your project, such as presentations, articles, or speaking with colleagues at work or in your area? Can you raise additional financial support from an employer or other sources? Can you demonstrate financial need?
- Avoid two common traps
Remember that scholarships are designed to benefit you, not your employer. Your project may indeed lead to better care for or information about an institution’s collection, but if that is the main purpose, reviewers may ask why the institution isn’t paying for the project. Also, your project should be proportionate to the level of funding available. Reviewers may see a $1,000 award in support of a $50,000 project as a drop in the bucket, and give priority to a more reasonable request. You may want to break a bigger project up into smaller pieces in order to have a more compelling case for funding.
- Provide strong letters of support
Be sure letter writers know your project and the submission deadline – you can even provide them with some text or “talking points” for guidance. Send them a draft of your application if possible. Ask them to emphasize the key points you want to make. Give them a link to the page Writing Letters of Support. Remind them that the deadlines are for receipt of materials, not for postmarks. If you require two letters from AIC Professional Associate and Fellow members, but don't feel those will be strong, you can always request additional letters from employers and colleagues to support your application.
Lastly, remember that there are many more worthy proposals received each year than can be funded, so don’t take rejection personally.