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Researcher Central: Tools and information to help PIs succeed


Writing the Proposal

Following is basic information requested in a final proposal by most funding agencies.

  1. Basic Information: PI's Name, Telephone, Institution, Department/School, Date, Title of Proposal.
  2. Description of Project: State exactly what you intend to do. Often this includes a statement of the problem, a statement of the need, or both. The statement of need must be consistent with the project objectives and methodology.
  3. Project Goals: Broad-based statements about proposed accomplishments of the project.
  4. Project Objectives: Statements of precise, measurable outcomes or specific objectives.
  5. Implications of Project: Explain why you want to do the work and what the project's value will be. Even if you want to be tentative at this point, suggest possible results or impact. Tell the agency why it should invest in your project.
  6. Plan of Action, Project Design, Methodology: A narrative description of the order of events for approaching the problem, and the methodology for gathering and using the information. Describe actual program activities, personnel utilization, and data compilation.
  7. Data Management Plan: A document describing data (and/or digital materials) that have been or will be gathered in a study or project.
  8. Proposed Time frame for the Project: Provide a reasonable starting and ending time for the project. For multi-year projects, present projected accomplishments for each year.
  9. Proposal Budgets: Discuss all budget considerations with a pre-award proposal reviewer. Facilities and administrative (indirect) costs, fringe benefit rates, stipends, and salaries should be consistent with current University rates and policies. University travel regulations and allowances must be reflected in the budget.

Proposal Preparation Resources

Federal agencies have standardized forms, often available through their Web sites. Foundations may only require a two- to three-page letter. Below are grant preparation guidelines for select prominent funding agencies.

Guidelines from other organizations:


Page last updated on: 07/31/2014