Proposal Preparation

Proposals are written by the principal investigator (PI), assisted by his or her departmental resources. BARA provides assistance with obtaining and interpreting agency guidelines, providing all administrative data such as rates and assurance dates, and by reviewing the completed proposal.

In general, a proposal consists of: (a) a narrative or technical section, (b) agency specified forms (c) budget, and (d) budget explanation. The narrative or technical section should be a clear and concise explanation of the planned research including specific goals and methodologies. The budget is the best estimate of support needed to perform the research proposed. It should detail and justify each category of cost with supporting detail.

General Format

Most federal and many private agencies provide application forms and guidelines. A proposal could be eliminated if the agency’s instructions are not precisely followed. In cases where instructions are not provided, the following basic format is suggested:

  1. Cover page
  2. Certifications and Representations (as required by agency)
  3. Abstract containing a brief overview (approximately one page) of the proposed research including goals and methods
  4. Introduction which identifies the subject of the proposal and the need for the research
  5. Statement of work which outlines the precise goals and methodologies
  6. Budget estimates for each category of cost and supporting detail
  7. Appendix, including biographical documentation for key personnel and other supporting documents as appropriate.

Information & Guides