Tips for Applying

While the evaluators assessing your application materials are experts within your field, your application materials should be produced for a wider audience. In order to fulfill the mission of the Innovations in American Government Awards program—disseminating knowledge of innovation and best practices with persons in positions to use it as well as with the general public—we ask that you communicate the essence of your innovation and its most significant benefits simply, vividly, and succinctly.

Top Tips for Crafting an Award-Winning Application:

  1. Tell your story, perhaps from a user's perspective.
  2. Get early and wide-ranging feedback from colleagues and coworkers to ensure that you are communicating as clearly and persuasively as possible.
  3. Get feedback from someone either internally or externally with media expertise in order to help frame your work with the media in mind.
  4. Get input from persons not affiliated with the program.
  5. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and technical terms.
  6. Avoid overused words, such as:
    • benchmark
    • community-based
    • customer-based
    • empower/ment
    • facilitate
    • inputs
    • integrated services
    • need-based
    • oriented/orientated
    • outcomes
    • ownership
    • paradigm
    • partnership
    • preventive/preventative
    • self-sustaining
    • streamline
    • unique