A proposal is a request for financial support for a research or instructional service project. In general, it consists of two parts: a technical portion and a financial portion. The technical proposal must be a concise and coherent explanation of a research or training plan that has specific and reasonable goals. It must relate to the larger field of which it is a part and should match the goals of the sponsor and/or specific RFP for which it is being submitted. It should clearly state the goals as well as the methods to be employed. Finally, it should include only those supporting materials that are relevant.
A well-written, skillfully prepared, organized research proposal is vital to the success of an application for research funding. This section provides guidance for developing the various sections of a proposal, including the budget, and explains the internal proposal review process.
The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) can provide assistance in most areas of the proposal development and submission, so it is highly recommended that researchers contact their assigned pre-award senior research administrator as early in the process as possible. Some of the areas OSP can provide assistance include:
- Proposal development assistance
- Review guidelines and RFP to ensure full compliance and fit.
- Assist with the completion of sponsor-required administrative forms.
- Advise PIs of sponsor/university requirements.
- Coordinate limited submissions.
- Budget development assistance
- Identify standard budget categories.
- Advise PIs of appropriate rates.
- Proposal review and submission
- Review the budget and administrative sections.
- Confirm university commitments and ensure all approvals are attained.
- Provide institutional/authorized representative signature.