Proposal Development and Planning


Proposal Development Process

The proposal development process involves the Principal Investigator, Office of Research and the sponsor. The following list outlines the steps involved in the process to develop a competitive proposal:

  • Develop ideas for a proposal
  • Notify the Research Development Unit
  • Identify an external sponsor and confirm the funding opportunity announcement 
  • Review  the funding opportunity announcement or solicitation  to understand the sponsor guidelines  and requirements 
  • Identify any potential required collaborators within the institution, or outside the university
  • Verify if a Letter of Intent is required by the sponsor 
  • Confirm registration for user accounts (NSF, NIH, 
  • Discuss proposal idea with subject matter expert (s), peers and colleagues
  • Review past awardees on the sponsor's website 
  • Contact the Program Director/Program Officer at the sponsor agency for information with a one-pager of proposed project/concept 
  • Review final solicitation with the Research Development Unit
  • Establish a timeline and Project Management Plan (Roles & Responsibilities Matrix) for completion of the proposal
  • Review funding opportunity and checklist with proposal requirements 
  • Plan and develop the proposal- Narrative, Project Team, Budget, Budget Justification, Subaward, Cost Share, Letters of Support, Facilities & Resources, Equipment, Biosketch, Institutional Data, etc.)
  • Prepare proposal for Institutional Review Board Review (if applicable) Contact the Office of Research & Regulatory Compliance (ORRC)
  • Prepare proposal for Institutional Animal Care and  Use Committee ( IACUC) Review (if applicable)
  • Prepare proposal for Environmental Health & Safety Review (if applicable)
  • Prepare Sub awardee documents and solicit documents, (if applicable)
  • Finalize proposal documents and package to ensure adherence to sponsor and institutional guidelines 
  • Route proposal internally for approval from Department Chair, Dean, Office of Research via DocuSign
  • Research Administrative Services (RAS) submits the proposal to the sponsoring agency or foundation


Basic Components of a Proposal

  • Cover or Title Page
  • Abstract or Summary
  • Statement of Work/Proposal Narrative
  • Budget
  • Budget Justification/Budget Narrative
  • Biographical Sketch or Curriculum Vitae
  • Current and Pending Support
  • Bibliography
  • Additional Information
  • Facilities and Resources
  • Data Management Plan 
  • Supplementary Documents