||Progress in the science and practice of medicine requires leveraging financial resources to pursue ideas, achieve new goals, and extend professional objectives. These resources are generally allocated through agencies that function through peer review. The need to convince a reviewing body, funding agency, or philanthropic foundation that these collective plans merit support is, therefore, a rate-limiting step. Herein I outline perspectives gained over years of writing and reviewing grants, and suggest themes to incorporate and traps to avoid in navigating this process. I focus the discussion on federal grant applications—specifically, independent investigator-initiated (R01) applications—commenting where relevant on mentored-type (K) award applications. The commonalities among these applications serves as a focal point.