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Proposal Development

  1. Outline your long-term goals for research, education, or service. 
  2. Review your literature to make sure you can provide evidence from the literature documenting the importance of your work.
  3. Identify a problem that must be solved to reach your long-term goals and develop a proposal.
  4. Locate funding opportunities where the funder’s goals are the closest match with your goals.
  5. Read the full announcement carefully, paying special attention to the eligibility requirements for the institution and investigator, any limits on the amount of money that can be requested, the length of the award period, due dates, any requirements for supplementary documents, review criteria, and any restrictions on formatting.
  6. Allow at least two months (60 days) to prepare your proposal.  Utilize the Proposal Checklist to help organize your proposal.
  7. Enter the preliminary data for your proposal into RAMSeS.  
  8. Contact OSRP for assistance in developing your proposal and its budget.  We will help you throughout the process of preparing your proposal. 
  9. Begin working on your budget at soon as possible.  This is critical if there is a maximum amount of funds that will be awarded; you don’t want to complete your narrative and find out there will not be enough money to do what you have planned.  Email your budget for review by OSRP.
  10. Some federal agencies (DOE, DOJ, NASA, NIH, and NSF) require PIs to register as individuals before PIs can use the agencies’ respective electronic submission sites.  Contact your assigned pre award research administrator (see Work Assignments) for assistance with your individual registration.
  11. Use the funding opportunity to help you organize a detailed outline of what you want to do; make sure it follows a logical progression. 
  12. Complete your review of the literature.
  13. Develop a timeline for completing your proposal.  If you need letters of support, send your requests to the appropriate people at least one month ahead of time.  Your timeline must include time for your chair and research dean to authorize your proposal and a minimum of five days for the OSRP to review and submit it.  Set aside time each week to work on your proposal. 
  14. Use your outline to develop your narrative.
  15. Reread the funding announcement to make sure you have met all of the agency’s requirements listed the announcement before you upload the proposal into RAMSeS and send it to OSRP.  For help with RAMSeS, please refer to our Proposal Submission Process page.
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