Customize Your Path

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Write and refine the proposal

Need assistance with proposal development?

After identifying a suitable funding opportunity and developing the proposal plan, it is time to start writing! Every sponsor has their own requirements, and this page will provide strategies and logistics for writing proposals for common sponsors.

Best practices for all proposals

  • Primary Investigators (PIs) should work with their grant administrator, research development professional, or foundation relations representative early in the process to understand the components needed for the proposal and to develop a proposal timeline.
  • Researchers should seek out colleagues who have been successful in applications for similar funding opportunities or who have served on review panels. They may be willing to share example sections or have advice on the proposal approach.
  • Identify colleagues to review the proposal or participate in a standing review panel, if available. The department's research chair should be contacted about opportunities within the department, center, or institute. 
  • Review common proposal errors to proactively avoid any issues at the time of submission.
  • Access "For Your Consideration" white papers for best practice guidance (developed for NSF funding opportunities but applicable to other funding sources). 

Funder-specific guidance, toolkits, and templates

Select the funder and mechanism for guidance, templates, and examples for the various components needed for proposal submission.

Federal sponsors

Non-federal sponsors