Each grant proposal will need to demonstrate the reviewer’s expertise in the proposed methodology. It is important to make use of (and cite) the appropriate standards for the particular methodology that is proposed. Ideally, the proposal will reference to the authorities respected by that particular discipline – for example, a proposal to IES would reference the IES standards for single subject design (as appropriate). The standards for a particular area can be a point of contention, but it is important that the reviewers believe you have the needed expertise to conduct and analyze your work. It is often a good idea to make a methodologist a part of your proposal team.
In the absence of formal standards, be sure you are familiar with the most current published work in your area – review recent publications ( and early on-line articles) for your discipline’s journals to see how other researchers addressing similar topics have addressed the methodological challenges you face.
Generally, it is best to address one “big” new idea at a time in a research grant – if you are proposing a new intervention, than use measurement and analysis tools that will be familiar to the reviewers. Similarly, if your major contribution is an investigation of a new measurement or analysis technique, consider combining this with known analysis techniques (and familiar interventions).
One way to establish that your research will gather and report needed information is to examine recent research reviews and to document that your work meets the currently used standards. IES reviews are available for a wide variety of areas (see the Single Subject Design standards below).
Additional information is available in the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook
Similarly, consider the standards used by organizations when they review research in your area, for example the National Standards Project of the National Autism Center. Be familiar with what these organizations consider best practice, and follow (and cite!) these standards in your work.
Single Subject Design
Kratochwill, T. R., Hitchcock, J., Horner, R. H., Levin, J. R., Odom, S. L., Rindskopf, D. M. & Shadish, W. R. (2010). Single-case designs technical documentation. Retrieved from What Works Clearinghouse website: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/wwc_scd.pdf.
IES information on single subject design (taped lectures)