Explore the proposal development process, selection criteria, funding focus areas, and more.

Guide to Proposal Development

This Guide is intended to help BU leadership, faculty, and staff as they consider collaborating with the Shipley Center on pilot projects. It is intended to inform a robust understanding of our proposal development process and selection criteria, and facilitate the planning of the development and submission of new proposals. It includes a link to download the proposal template.

Before you submit the proposal:

  • Explore the Call for Proposals and familiarize yourself with our selection criteria, focus areas, and proposal lifecycle.
  • Attend an information session, if possible, or reach out to shipdli@bu.edu or fill out a consultation form if you would like to discuss your idea before sharing a pitch proposal.
  • Consider how your idea might align with each of the selection criteria. If you discover that you need additional information to address any of them, seek it out. 
  • Access the Proposal Template and the included guidance to develop your pitch.

Submitting the proposal:

  • You are welcome to start by submitting a concept proposal that briefly addresses each of the required elements.
  • The suggested length for the concept proposal is two pages, but any length is acceptable. Proposals selected for co-development will become more robust as we work on them together.  
  • If some of the required elements are yet to be confirmed (for example, sustainability plan, key stakeholders, or letters of support), please describe how you are planning to address them at a later stage.  


After you submit the proposal:

  • For proposals meeting the selection criteria, appropriate staff/support personnel will collaborate with you to assess project feasibility and to identify possible resources needed for implementation (such as investigation of possible software or platform needs, infrastructure and support staff requirements, budget for seed funding, etc.).
  • Following the above step, select concept proposals will be co-developed into project development plans, including implementation and evaluation milestones, for funding and incubation. 
  • If initial discussions regarding the feasibility of the project reveal that the concept proposal is missing significant key elements, such as an assessment of market demand or sustainability plan, we will encourage the concept’s continued development for consideration at a later date.