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Getting Started Writing a Proposal

Develop your idea first.

Proposal idea development is an important first step. Always be on the lookout for collaboration opportunities, such as departmental seminars and networking events. Also be sure to talk with your department chair or research dean about how your project fits into your career goals and department goals. 

Contact us if you would like assistance in finding examples of funded proposals that are related to your idea, or if you would like to help connecting with other faculty with similar interests who may be potential collaborators or could provide feedback during the development process of your idea.  

 Search for funding.

SciVal Funding and the Foundation Directory Online are two grant databases available to faculty and staff. The VPR office also offers internal funding mechanisms. These are not the only sources for finding funding, but are a good starting place.

Contact us if you would like to request a custom funding search, or if you would like assistance or training for your department in using these databases.

 Make a plan for writing your proposal. 

Timelines, checklists, a thorough review of the RFP – these are all proposal management tools that can help you (and your collaborators) maintain a strategic, timely approach to writing a grant.

Contact us if you would like to consult on how we might help you manage your proposal or to learn about tools that are available to you to aid in writing your proposal.

 Write your proposal.

There is a wealth of resources available to aid you in the actual writing of the grant, from sponsor guidelines to templates for common grant components (i.e. budgets, biosketches, data management plans, outreach plans) to on-campus grant writing workshops, guidebooks, webinars, and sponsor-specific guidelines. 

Contact us if you would like assistance in accessing these resources. Also, see theResource Guide.

Submit your proposal.

Grants must be approved by your department and submitted through the Office of Sponsored Projects. The deadline for submission to OSP is 5 days prior to the proposal deadline to allow ample time to review. Department approvals should occur prior to this. Once you have decided to submit a proposal, it is always advisable to communicate early with OSP and your department, and to contact your Sponsored Projects Officer and submit a Document Summary Sheet (DSS) in eProposal.

Contact us if you would like guidance with this process. Also, see the Grants Life Cycle as a reference.


Are you ready?

Not sure if you're ready to engage in funded research? Take the 

grant readiness assessment 


Need proposal writing guidance?

The Proposal Writer's Guide is a great place to get started.


Last Updated: 6/1/18