Office of Research

Proposal Development Guidelines

To begin drafting a proposal and to help with identification of an appropriate funding opportunity, we ask that you construct a concept paper using Steps 1-7 below. 

Please note that the project must be approved by your department/unit head and dean, and your unit’s OSP grant coordinator must receive a copy of your approved (signed) concept paper. Once you have clearance from your department, please send your concept paper to Devon Stein.

  1. Keywords: List keywords relevant to your project. This will facilitate the foundation research process.
  2. Project Description and Objectives: Describe your proposed project in two paragraphs. Focus on your objectives and describe how this project fits into or extends ongoing work. Note that private foundations do not fund general operations support.
  3. Project Methodology: Describe, in two paragraphs, specifically how you will accomplish your goals, i.e., “what exactly are you going to do?”
  4. Measurable Outcomes and Evaluation: What specific, quantifiable outcomes do you plan to achieve by the conclusion of this project? What assessment tools will you utilize to evaluate the success of the project? Please write one to two paragraphs.
  5. Estimated Budget: What is the approximate total cost of this project? How much of that cost are you seeking from private foundation funds? What other funding commitments or potential funding sources can you identify? What are the general budget categories?
  6. Potential Funders: Have you already identified any potential foundations for your project? If you have seen a specific RFP from a target foundation, please share it with us.
  7. Administrative Approval: Signature of your academic unit administrator (department chair, center/institute director or dean) is required for all proposals of $25,000 or more.