ORDE has developed a variety of proposal development resources and has identified a variety of helpful resources related to proposal development that are available from funding agencies and other organizations as detailed below.
ORDE has developed a NSF CAREER Award Toolkit to familiarize early career faculty with this program in a comprehensive fashion. This document also provides tips from past CAREER Award recipients.
This Proposal Development Checklist has been designed to provide users with a starting point when reviewing agency guidelines, program announcements and requests for applications. Available as a Word document, the checklist can be customized for each proposal submission. (Because it is a Word document, a popup will appear asking for your login information; just click cancel and the document will then load.)
ORDE developed this Proposal Development Timeline as a general overview of the processes involved in developing a competitive proposal. While the Timeline is set for a six-month period, it is important to remember that whether you have six months or six days the steps outlined still have to be completed to put forth a proposal that will capture the attention of your reviewers and the funding agency.
A one-page review of best proposal development practices is available from ORDE in this Tips document
The ORDE Budget Development Checklist was
developed for use by principal investigators to help them think through potential line items needed for a specific project.
Budget justifications are critical in the proposal review process, both to reviewers and agency staff. These documents provide insight on why line items have been requested, how they will be utilized and why they are important for the specific project. The more convincing the argument, the less likely an item is to be questioned or cut. We hope investigators feel free to use this Budget Justification Template as a starting point for their next budget justification.
Resources Outside of ORDE
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) - ACLS offers specific advice on writing fellowship proposals for their organization. Written by former ACLS program officer and humanities scholar Christina Gillis, she provides important information about
proposal focus and the audience for whom you are writing in her article, "Writing Proposals for ACLS Competitions"
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) offers sample narrative sections from successful applications for review. Each NEH funding program has several available to give applicants good ideas on how successful NEH application narratives are constructed.
To review these sample application narratives, go to the web page listing all NEH grant programs (https://www.neh.gov/grants) and select the program of interest to you. In the column on the
right of your screen titled "Guidelines Resources", go down to Sample Appplication Narratives and select the one(s) you wish to read.
One other note about NEH: Many NEH funding programs provide opportunities for review of your draft application in advance of the deadline. NEH program staff read your draft and provide comments to you. While this does not guarantee an
award, NEH indicates that many applicants have found this service helpful. Check the guidelines for your particular funding program to see if this service is available.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has developed a database providing detailed information on all projects funded by NIH. You may search the database by keyword, by funding institute, by award mechanism (e.g., R01, R03), by the specific request for
application or program announcement under which the project was submitted, by study section and many other parameters. You can use theNIH RePORTER Database to see who
is doing research similar to yours in an effort to locate potential collaborators, identify best study sections for your discipline and topic or read funded research abstracts.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has published a helpful "Quick Guide for Grant Applications (September 2010)", providing helpful information on best practices when developing an application to be considered by NCI.
Timberley Roane, Associate Professor in the University of Colorado Denver Department of Integrative Biology, served as a faculty guest expert in an ORDE Faculty Seminar and supplied helpful documents: