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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Information you should find out before writing a proposal:
- 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?
- Are you eligible to apply? Nearly all funding agencies restrict who may apply.
- 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
Chronicle of Philanthropy video on foundations