Sarah, thanks for writing this. I sat on the Norwegian Cultural Council’s committee for art and new technology, and one of my biggest takeaways was how little most applicants seem to understand about how their submissions are read and evaluated.
Not that I’d advocate for a SEO approach to grant applications, because that already is a thing (buzzword bingo, anyone?) and is usually very off-putting when used to prop up a bland proposal. But a good submission should consider the objectives of the organization receiving it, and the exhausting experience of reading 50+ submissions.
It’s frustrating to see a submission you suspect could have merit be dismissed due to a failure to communicate or consider the criteria it needs to fulfill. As a reviewer, you are expected to only judge based on what’s on the page. So submitters, if it’s relevant to your concept or process, put it on the page.
ps. Who you calling nerds?