Proposal Development

Proposal Writing Guides

The Chronicle on personal essays: Helping Students to Tell their Stories

The Art of Writing Proposals (for Social Science competitions)

The Elements of a Proposal, 2007 by Frank Pajares, Emory University

The Art of Grantsmanship: Fulbright, Grant, & Marshall Fellowships, & Three Essays on How to Write a Proposal

Foundation Center Virtual Classroom, including Proposal Budgeting and Writing tutorials and webinars

Before You Apply

Study the funding agency's guidelines, as well as the request for proposals (RFP) or program announcement. In some cases, it's useful to talk to a representative of the funding agency. But this option should be pursued with caution. If your proposal is to SBSRI, please contact Beth Stahmer ( 

Information you should find out before writing a proposal:

  1. Does the agency have a history of funding projects similar to the one you propose? It can be helpful to see previous applications if they are available. If the agency has not funded similar research, can your study be modified to match their previous research?
  2. Are you eligible to apply? Nearly all funding agencies restrict who may apply.
  3. Make several drafts of your proposal and have those drafts critiqued by several individuals. Try to find reviewers who are familiar with your work and its place in the academic literature. Reviewers who are not familiar with your area can often address the proposal's accessibility. In both cases, make sure your reviewers are aware of the RFP's specifics and the agency's review criteria.

Sponsor- and opportunity-specific links

Current National Science Foundation Grant Proposal Guide

National Institutes of Health: Types of Funding Opportunities and Apply for a Grant

Ten Tips for Applying to the GRFP

Chronicle of Philanthropy video on foundations

Be sure to check SBSRI's home page frequently for details on SBSRI, UA, and external workshops. Home>>

Related Topic(s): 

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Us

SBSRI Office

Harvill Suite 320
1103 E. Second Street
PO Box 210076
Tucson, AZ  85721-0076

(520) 621-1135


Elizabeth Stahmer, M.S.
Business Coordinator, Pre-Award Services
Rachel Rosenbaum, M.A.