Sponsored Programs & Research Compliance

Develop a Proposal

Once you have found your source of potential funding and you have decided that you will submit a proposal, please contact our office as soon as possible. Our ability to support your proposal development efforts depends on the amount of notice we have prior to the proposal deadline.

Almost all proposals require more than just the application and narrative. The Proposal Development Toolbox and FAQs contain dozens of helpful resources to support your proposal preparation efforts. If you are looking for something that you don’t see listed on our website, please contact us so that we can better assist you.

Proposal Advice

  • Start early!
  • Discuss your preliminary ideas and specific aims with colleagues.
  • Evaluate the potential sponsor (e.g. whether your idea is a good fit). See what they have funded in the past and even ask to see successfully funded proposals.
  • Thoroughly review sponsor guidelines and follow them to the tee, including evaluation criteria (SPARC can help with this).
  • Engage collaborators early and ensure their eligibility. Collaborators may have their own university requirements to wade through.
  • Contact the sponsor to gauge their interest and to get feedback.
  • Meet with the SPARC Proposal Development Team to discuss timeline/proposal checklist/budgetary needs.
  • Don’t overlook the budget.
  • Have colleagues and even graduate students read your draft proposal to ensure clarity and lessen the likelihood of grammatical errors.
  • Volunteer to serve on a review panel for a sponsor. NSF, NIH and many others are constantly seeking reviewers. This is a great way to get an inside look at what separates a winning proposal from the rest.