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, Principal 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.
Contact with Sponsored Programs
Your Sponsored Programs Research Administrator (Research Administrator A Sponsored Programs team member w...) can assist you with any questions you may have during the proposal preparation process. As far in advance as possible, please notify your RA of your plans to apply, and provide a copy of the sponsor’s program guidelines and the RFP for reference.
Initial Contact with the sponsor
A key element of successful proposal writing is establishing a relationship with the potential sponsor early on in the process. The purpose of this initial contact is to confirm the common areas of interest of the sponsor and the PI/PD. A contact at the funding agency can greatly facilitate writing the full proposal, as well as serve as a resource for answering questions. A PI/PD may initiate contact with technical personnel at a sponsoring organization to confirm research interests by a telephone call, office visit, letter of intent, or a preliminary proposal.
Registering as a PI/PD with Federal Agencies
Many federal agencies, including National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and NASA, require principal investigators, project directors, and other personnel participating on a research project to be registered with the agency. In many cases, the registration process must be coordinated through a central Sponsored Programs (SP) is the coordinating office for all p... representative who is authorized to request registration credentials. Since affiliations are typically institution-specific, faculty are reminded that—even if registered via one institution—an additional institutional affiliation or change of institution requires a new registration.
Reviewing Program Guidelines
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.
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
- The BU Proposal Library shares successful proposals submitted by BU faculty to external funders
- National Science Foundation Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
- NIH Grant Writing Tips Sheet
- NIH Tips for New NIH Investigators
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – Strategy for NIH Funding is an excellent resource for all NIH applicants
- Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal by S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D., Michigan State University – helpful hints and examples for major sections of a proposal; includes useful links to other proposal-writing sources
- Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Grantsmanship Tutorial – described as a quick, no-nonsense guide that most faculty investigators, regardless of discipline, would find useful
- Jacob Kraicer: The Art of Grantsmanship
- The Foundation Center: Proposal Writing Short Course