Writing a Proposal
Contents of a Proposal | Grant Writing Resources
Grant Writing Series
Whether you are new to proposal writing, or just need a refresher, check out the Grant Writing Series for good information and a supportive atmosphere.
Grant writing requires direct, up front information. Your project should be clearly laid out for the reader, and the document, whether it is a Letter of Interest (LOI) or a proposal, should be simply organized.
Follow all the funder's directions carefully and only include what the guidelines require. ORSP staff have examples of funded grants, and can provide assistance as you craft your proposal. ORSP staff also provide the various documents that are often required, like the 501(c)3, a list of the board of directors or the most recent audit. Many questions can also be answered by referring to LMU Proposal Preparation Information, which lists many codes and bits of data required in funding applications.
Contents of a Proposal
Although there is no "standard" proposal, most proposals include a number of key elements:
The cover page summarizes important identifying information: the proposal title; the name, address and telephone number of the principal investigator; the agency and program name; the project's beginning and ending dates; and the budget request.
A well-written abstract encapsulates the entire proposal, conveying the who, what, where, when, why, and how much of the proposed project. This is usually limited to a page or two.
The introduction draws the reviewer into the proposal, outlining the project and its intent.
This section describes the need for your project, your goals and objectives, and your hypothesis or research questions. Your statement of goals presents your vision of the worth and overall contribution of your project. The statement of objectives should be presented in measurable, quantifiable terms.
Describe the methods you will use to achieve your desired outcomes. It is helpful, and often a requirement, to create a timeline for the activities which constitute your method or approach in order to persuade reviewers that you are organized and able to manage the complex demands of a project.
Budgets should reflect all the costs related to fundable activities in your project, including personnel costs, such as salaries and wages and fringe benefits, and non-personnel costs, such as travel, equipment, materials and supplies and reproduction. For more budget assistance, see Budgeting.
The budget narrative provides a detailed explanation of how the budget figures were derived.
An evaluation method measures the proposal's stated objectives in order to determine the project's progress and success. Interim or formative evaluations help to fine-tune the project.
A brief conclusion reiterates the significance and the purpose of your project.
Each sponsor will have their own preferences and limitations. Typical attachments include a curriculum vitae, letters of support, statistical tables, audited financial statements, current LMU Board of Trustees list, 501(c)3 IRS ruling, LMU's Articles of Incorporation, and/or the LMU Indirect Cost Rate Agreement.
Grant Writing Resources
Culled from a wide range of sources, this page contains links to some of the best free information available on writing grants, including resources for Federal Applications, for Starting Out, and for Shaping your Strategy.
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