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Proposal Format


Many sponsors have prescribed formats for proposal preparation, including required forms. If no format is prescribed, the following format is suggested:

Title/Signature Page: In the absence of a sponsor form, it is suggested that the following information be included on the title page: Title of the project, the PI's name, department and University of Houston - Downtown, other co-investigators and their affiliation, the agency to which the proposal is being submitted, the duration of the project, the funds requested from the sponsor, the signature of the PIs and the signature of the university official authorized to commit the University, and the date submitted. Currently, list Dr. William Flores, President. Dr. Flores has designated individuals at UHD to sign for him, but his name should go on the cover page. ORSP will obtain the appropriate signature. If you need guidance with this page, contact ORSP.  Through Grants.gov Carolyn Ivey will be listed as the signatory.

Abstract: This should be a condensed version of the project, usually no more than 200 to 250 words. State concisely the significance of the research, what is to be accomplished and how, and the time span of the project. Keep in mind that the abstract will be reviewed possibly by a well-informed layperson. It is also important to remember that the abstract is extremely important in creating a favorable first impression of the proposal. The National Science Foundation has very specific requirements for the abstract.

Table of Contents: This should list major sections of the proposal and give a specific page location for each section in the narrative. It is not necessary to include all subheadings but provide enough details so that reviewers will easily be able to find the section or sections they are interested in.

Introduction and Description of UHD: The introduction or statement of need, emphasizes the importance of the project, both locally and nationally. Previous research in the field should be summarized, including the PI's current works. The relationship of the project to the sponsor's interests could be stressed. A description of UHD can be obtained from ORSP or if statistics about UHD are needed, the UHD website can provide this information.

Objectives of the Project: These may be broken down into general and specific goals. It is important that the objectives be well thought out and defined. They should be realistic given the timeframe and requested resources.

Procedures to be Followed: This section provides details of how the project will be conducted. Procedures may be written in several different ways: by activities tied to specific procedures, by functional categories, such as planning, development, and implementation, or by major time blocks.

If participants are included, a description of how they are to be chosen and exactly what they will do should be given.  In some cases, provide evidence of human subjects review and approval.  A description of the administration or management or advisory groups should also be provided. Letters of agreement to participate from cooperating organizations (Subrecipients) or consultants strengthen the proposal and should be included in the appendix section.

The proposal should provide a realistic timetable given the tasks to be accomplished.

Evaluation and Dissemination: Describe plans for evaluation and dissemination of the project. Sponsors like to see that the results are going to benefit others. An outside consultant can provide invaluable evaluation expertise and should be considered. Methods of dissemination include published papers, presentations at professional meetings, project newsletter, etc.  Most sponsors require this section to be included.

Description of Senior Personnel and Facilities: This section should include all people working on the project and a brief description of their roles. Curriculum vitae can be provided in the appendix section for the senior personnel and should indicate background, areas of interest, research capabilities and publications. In addition, it is good to indicate the full range of support staff available in your department and any specialized equipment or features, as further indication of the ability to carry out the project.

Budget with Budget Justification: The budget should be an accurate reflection of what it will cost to carry out the project completely. This is one of the most time-consuming tasks in the development of the proposal. ORSP will provide assistance to ensure that current and accurate information is included. The budget justification further explains the costs being requested and helps the sponsor to evaluate the request.  Do not include cost-sharing or matching unless the sponsor requires it.

References: This section should include a list of references to pertinent literature in the field and should be as current as possible. If you know who might be reviewing your proposal, judicious use of pertinent literature citations of the reviewer can be valuable.

Appendices: Appendices may be used to provide data of peripheral benefit to the project (such as reprints of articles, letters of support, tables/graphs, questionnaires or other educational instruments to be used, vitae of investigators, etc.). The use of appendices is recommended, particularly when a sponsor limits the length of the proposal to a specified number of pages.

 

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Last updated or reviewed on 1/22/13

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