Over the past few years, the number of well-trained researchers has increased, but the amount of money available for research has remained the same or even decreased. Consequently, competition for support is keener than it ever was. How a grant is written may tip the balance between getting funded or not. This article provides some guidelines for writing better proposals, touching on the various parts of the protocol and how it should be packaged. It addresses both the overt purpose of the proposal, which is telling the reviewers what you want to do, why, and how; and the covert message, which is convincing them that you have the ability to do what you propose. The article also discusses the review mechanism, who it is who reads the grant, and why this matters.