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Proposal Writing Resources

1. When Planning to Write a Proposal…

  • Please complete the Intent to Submit Form to let the College know when to expect your proposal.
  • Be sure to anticipate deadlines and build in time for review by peers, revision, budget development, and administrative procedures related to routing (see Routing Procedures). Successful grant writers begin months, sometimes years in advance.
  • Read the Request For Proposals (RFP) carefully. Funders note that two of the main reasons for rejecting a proposal are that 1) it was not a fit for the RFP, and/or that 2) it did not follow the guidelines. Both of these pitfalls can be avoided through careful reading of the RFP.
  • Speak to the Program Officer if questions arise upon reading the RFP, to share your preliminary ideas and to get feedback.
  • When available, read successful proposals submitted to the funder you will be approaching. Click here for examples of successful proposals from the ARHU Proposal Library. The UMD Proposal Library has a limited number of high quality proposals and proposal sections available for download. Some foundations and federal agencies make successful examples available as well.

2. When Writing the Proposal…

  • Your goal is to be persuasive. You want your readers and reviewers to conclude that this is important and valuable work, and that you/your research team are the best scholar(s) to conduct it.
  • Put yourself in the mindset of your reviewers, and be sure that you are articulating your project in a way that aligns what you are doing with what the funder really wants and what the agendas/backgrounds of the reviewers are.
  • Assume an intelligent reader, but do not assume the person knows your discipline. Avoid using the jargon or technical terms of your discipline that others would not be able to understand.
  • Anticipate revisions, and seek feedback from colleagues both within and outside of your immediate discipline.

3. Links to Online Proposal Writing Resources

4. Links to Grants-Related Presentations