The format or presentation of a particular proposal will depend on the requirements of the sponsor. Most sponsors have developed policies and procedures for the submission of proposals and may require the use of specific application forms or electronic web-based systems. Other sponsors may have less stringent format requirements. In any case, PIPrincipal Investigator View Boston University's policy on.../PDs should obtain the most recent version of the sponsor’s application guidelines and follow the required proposal format. It is particularly important to understand and adhere to agency format requirements, page limitations, requirements for the inclusion of appendix materials, and the format and content of the proposer’s relevant publications.

It is recommended, particularly for new investigators, to start the writing process months in advance of any expected due date. Estimates of the total time devoted to producing a new application may range from two to three months or longer. Revised applications and renewals may take less time but are still a major effort that should not be underestimated.


Components of a Proposal

If a sponsor has published a solicitation, RFP, program announcement, or any other request for proposals, the PI/PD should read it carefully prior to beginning proposal preparation. In addition, the PI/PD should review any application preparation instructions and forms published by the sponsor. It is important to this this so you are including all components, which vary sponsor to sponsor. 

Proposal Writing Guides

The following resources may be helpful to PIs/PDs planning a proposal submission