Components of a Proposal

5.5 Components of a Proposal

Whether submitted in paper or electronic form, most proposals may contain all or some of the following information:

  • Title Page includes the title and duration of the project, amount requested, PI/PD information, and the authorized institutional contact (in most cases, OSP). In addition, it might include the sponsor’s name, title of program or solicitation number, and place for appropriate signatures if not included elsewhere.
  • Abstract or Proposal Summary describes the objectives, methodology, and significance of the proposed project. The abstract should be intelligible to someone who is not an expert in the field and it should be able to stand alone.
  • Introduction frames the problem and concisely states the importance of the research or scholarly activity that is being proposed.
  • Research Plan includes the specific aims, background and significance, preliminary studies, and research design and methods.
  • Bibliography includes published material which helps frame the importance of the activity and helps the reader to understand the current stage of development of the research or the scholarship that has previously been developed.
  • CV/Biographical Skech should be submitted in the format required by the sponsor.
  • Use of human subjects and animals, radioactive materials, blood borne pathogens, hazardous chemicals, recombinant DNA, and select agents. In some cases a proposal may be submitted while these reviews by the institutional committees are pending. However, in no case will research be permitted to proceed without proper approval.
  • Budget and Budget Justification should reflect a reasonable estimate of the expenses necessary to conduct the project. (See Chapter 6: Budget Development)
  • Current and Pending Support outlines all awards and pending proposals for all key personnel. This includes all financial resources, including federal, non-federal, commercial, or institutional that are available in direct support of an individual’s research endeavors, including but not limited to research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and/or institutional awards. Prizes or gifts do not need to be included. In some cases one must detail the amount of time available to carry out the proposed activities.
  • Facilities and Resources describes equipment or other relevant resources including space, library resources, animal facilities, and core facilities that will be available to the project.
  • Letter of Support: Other letters of support, if required, should be included in an appendix.
  • Transmittal Letter should be included if a form asking for an institutional signature is not provided or required by the sponsor. Unless otherwise indicated these are prepared by the OSP.