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Chapter 24. Research and Other Sponsored Programs
Section 24.2. Research Projects


24.2.4. Writing a Formal Proposal

General Information

Grant applications differ widely in format, style, and content, depending on the requirements of the funding agency and the nature of the proposed project. Some agencies supply forms and specific instructions; others do not. Check with the state or federal funding agency for their requirements. Most foundations prefer two or three-page letters of inquiry; consult with the Corporate and Foundation Development office for information regarding particular foundations.

Be sure to follow the required format; read all of the fine print. Consult either the Corporate and Foundation Development office or the office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Refer to the Research and Sponsored Programs Web site for a list of forms required to process the proposal.

Proposal formats vary from agency to agency; however, general guidelines are:

  1. Title page:

    1. agency name and type

    2. project title

    3. principal investigator (s)

    4. project duration (desired beginning and ending dates)

    5. project cost (desired funding)

    6. date of proposal

    7. University proposal number

    8. required University endorsements

  2. Abstract (one page)

  3. Table of Contents

  4. Project description:

    1. relevance and purpose

    2. technical particulars

    3. method

    4. evaluation

  5. Bibliography and current or pending support

  6. Biographical sketch or vita.

  7. Budget enumeration:

    1. personnel costs (salaries, wages, and fringe benefits)

    2. non-expendable equipment

    3. travel

    4. report and publication costs

    5. other costs

    6. facilities and administrative costs

    7. total requested sponsor funding

    8. university cost-sharing (when applicable)

  8. Appendices (include the supportive facilities and equipment needed and available)

The Research and Sponsored Programs office will provide assistance and direction to the investigator in every aspect of the proposal submission process.

Adopted: 11/07/2001
Revised: 08/05/2002 Changed the department name of Research Services to Research and Sponsored Programs and changed Foundation Relations to Corporate and Foundation Development

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