Most proposals contain the elements described here. If a prospective grantor prescribes a format, follow it. If a format is not given, the following format can be used as a guide.
Cover Page/Title Page
If the grantor does not provide a cover form or format, the College will use its standard cover page. Information that should be presented includes: grantor's name (and any program name or number); information about the application organization (including name and address of organization); submission date; project title; proposed project period; amount requested; and name, address, phone number, email address (if available), and signature of the project director and the authorized organizational representative.
Table of Contents
Guidelines often do not mention a Table of Contents, but it is helpful to include one in all but very short proposals.
Briefly state the problem, significance, objectives, method, and anticipated outcome of your project. The typical length of this section is 150 to 250 words. This may be the first or only section the reviewer reads! N.B.: The abstract should not be an abstract of the proposal, rather a self-contained description of the research that would result if the proposal is funded.
Project Description/Narrative/Research Plan
Introduction: Introduce applicant; establish credibility, particularly in the area funding is being sought.
Problem: State the condition applicant wishes to change, hypothesis to be tested, experimentation to be conducted.
Significance: Discuss the condition the applicant wishes to change; give evidence of the problem; explain why solving the problem is important to the grantor, the applicant, and others.
Background/Literature Review: Briefly review scientific background of the proposed investigation, including relationship to the present state of knowledge in the field; briefly describe work already done by the applicant and others.
State concisely and in measurable terms the project's specific desired
outcomes; relate the objectives
directly to the stated problem.
Methodology/Plan of Work/Experimental Design: Discuss in detail activities to be performed/experimental design and procedures to be used to meet the stated objectives; discuss and defend choice of activities. Describe new methodology and advantages(s) over existing ones. Discuss who will perform activities; include a timetable.
Personnel and Facilities/Qualifications of Applicant: Describe in detail the qualifications of key project personnel and describe the facilities already available or promised for performance of the project.
Evaluation: State plans to evaluate the project; indicate who will conduct the evaluation and how results will be disseminated.
Long-term Project Plans: If applicable, describe plans for the project after the requested funding period; if it will continue, what has been done or will be done to ensure support.
If the grantor wants only the literature cited, do not include a full bibliography. Be consistent in style among references, and check to see that the sources cited in the narrative are all included!
This should be presented in a cost sheet format; follow the grantor's form if provided. Items commonly included are: salaries and wages; fringe benefits; equipment; travel; supplies; publication charges; postage; telephone; consultants; subcontracts; indirect costs. Determine whether cost-sharing is required.
Budget Explanation/Budget Justification
Arrange by budget categories as above. Briefly explain how budget items were estimated. Details of salary and benefit rates, travel rates, equipment needs, supplies, and indirect costs are among the items usually included.
Include vitae for the project director and key personnel. Some grantors have a specific form for vitae and may specify a page limitation or that only recent publications should be included. If no guidelines are provided, keep the vita short---two to five pages is adequate.
Other Support/Current and Pending Support
Indicate a list of current and pending funding for all key personnel. Include granting agency, project title, amount awarded or requested, project period, percent of effort committed, and project location. Some grantors also require a brief description of the project.
Depending on the format for the main part of the proposal, some of the components described here may be included as appendices. Possible appendices are: vitae, facilities description, letters of support or commitment, illustrations, extensive bibliography, or anything not included in the body of the proposal that should be accessible to reviewers.