Proposal & Grant Writing Tools
Proposal Review Service
Through the Center for Excellence in Research, the Office of Research offers a peer-to-peer proposal review service for applications to external funding agencies. In order to provide our office with sufficient time to identify a reviewer, investigators should notify Silvia da Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as they identify the funding opportunity to which they intend to apply (or roughly four to five weeks in advance of the proposal due date), indicating the nature of the proposal and providing a link to the program announcement. We will then match the investigator with a reviewer. Draft proposals should be provided roughly three weeks prior to the due date. Faculty who wish to volunteer to serve as a mentor, please contact Silvia da Costa.
Proposal and Grant Writing Guides
Many sources of advice exist on applying for funding at specific federal agencies, offering guidance on tailoring submissions and navigating the application process. For example, NIH, NSF, and the EPA each provide a useful guide, which is based on reviews of past applications to the respective agencies, to help applicants to avoid common mistakes and to increase the odds of securing sponsorship.
NIH and NSF Guides
- NIH: All About Grants: Tutorials & Samples
- New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding
- NSF’s Funding Guide 2017
- NSF: A Guide to Proposal Writing
- NSF Prospective New Awardee Guide 2016
DoD and DoEd Guides
- Guide to DOD Research Funding FY 2018
- Agency (DOD) Program Charts Aug 2017
- Guide to (DoED) Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (DoED) Program Charts Apr 2016
- University Industry Demonstration Partnership Guide for Researchers
- Federal Programs Supporting Industry Collaborations
DoE, NASA, STEM and DHS Guides
- Guide to DOE Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (DOE) Program Charts Jan 2016
- Guide to DOE Research Funding FY 2014
- Guide to NASA Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (NASA) Program Charts March 2016
- Guide to STEM Education Initiative FY 2014
- Guide to DHS Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (DHS) Program Charts Jan 2016
DOT (Department of Transportation)
- Guide to DOT Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (DOT) Program Charts Jan 2016
- ITS Strategic Plan Update 2012
EPA, USDA, NOAA Guides
- Guide to EPA Research Funding FY 2015
- Agency (EPA) Program Charts May 2014
- EPA: Tips on writing a Competitive Grant
- Guide to USDA Research Funding FY 2017
- Agency (USDA) Program Charts Apr 2016
- Guide to NOAA Research Funding FY 2015
- Agency (NOAA) Program Charts May 2014
DOJ (Department of Justice)
General Federal Guides
- Primer on Federal Research Agencies of Interest to Universities and Research Organizations (September 2012)
- Federal Funding Opportunities for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities
Other Useful Guides
- Agency (Other) Program Charts May 2016
- Guide to Advanced Manufacturing Initiative FY 2014
- Federal Programs to Support Early Career Faculty
More broadly, numerous articles and guides from academic and non-profit institutions provide general advice about proposal development. They cover topics ranging from how to write an abstract that is both lucid and an appropriate summary of the proposal, to how to create a budget for projects based within university settings. Here are a few:
- The USC Faculty Portal has a set of links to various grant-writing advice websites.
- The Foundation Center posts the text of its Proposal Writing Short Course.
- The University of Michigan hosts a useful Proposal Writer’s Guide.
- The Human Frontiers Science Program posts its monograph on the Art of Grantsmanship.
- This ACLS article outlines the essentials of proposal writing for fellowship competitions.
- And Michigan State University has a listing with links to over 100 proposal guides, including ones that focus on specific disciplines or on applications to specific agencies and organizations.