Category Review: grant writing software for Mac OS X
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Category Review: grant writing software for Mac OS X

This MacNews Category Review looks at grant writing software for Mac OS X. Products covered include Grant Manager and Personnel Manager.

Grant Manager

Grant Manager ( is used by university departments in the U.S. and abroad as a main or shadow accounting system. In most cases it is used as a "Grant Checkbook Register" program to keep detailed records and track grant balances and expenses on a daily basis. Charges entered into Grant Manager are then reconciled monthly or weekly with the main accounting system reports. During this process, any discrepancies between the two systems are apparent and easily solved and corrected with the help of Grant Manager's extensive summary and detailed reports, according the product developers at Northern Lights Software.

The app offers functions to help grant accountants keep track of their budgets and purchases and resolve any discrepancies with their accounts. With additional network licenses you can have multiple people working on the system at the same time.

Personnel Manager

The same company makes Personnel Manager, a system for tracking variable and fixed personnel costs. It integrates with Grant Manager.

And here's some thoughts on grant writing software from "Mac News" reader Bruce Kinley: "I coordinate many grants for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the Research division, mostly specific to biomedical engineering. But VA grants are all electronic and require the use of Adobe Acrobat Pro, formerly PureEdge was required for VA and NIH electronic grants but you had to use Citrix to use a server version for Macs. Now Acrobat will work. This is the only way we can access the package for the grant with all of the forms embedded into the file, Mac's Preview will not work for this.

"But for the actual grant writing, Word is mostly what we use and then we use Mac's built in PDF converter to create the PDFs that we then upload into the grant package using Acrobat. For referencing the grant when we write it in Word, most of our lab uses Reference Manager, which is Windows only. I'm the only Mac person so I use Endnote. We do use Excel for the budget.  To prepare figures and images we use Photoshop CS4, there is no way I would go back to CS2 or CS3 at this point. Photoshop allows us to clean up images we are using for preliminary data. All grants are electronic, so the file size has to be small; but reviewers print them out so the images have to be high quality. Photoshop allows me to create high quality TIFs that aren't too large and then embed them into Word."


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