A proposal is an application for funding that includes all information that is necessary to describe the project aims and objectives, research personnel, environment, and funding requirements. A typical proposal requires a detailed statement of work, a detailed budget breakdown, and agency specific forms.

Before any proposal is submitted to a prospective sponsor, it must be reviewed by the Business and Research Administration Office (BARA).

There are two types of proposals submitted by the institution on behalf of PIs in search of sponsored funding for research or other projects: Solicited Proposals and Unsolicited Proposals:

  • Solicited proposals are requested through solicitations issued by agencies or private funding sources that make requests for a specific research or other project. Deadlines are specified in the announcement and must be strictly followed.
  • Unsolicited proposals are submitted to an organization that generally funds work of the type being proposed. If the organization decides to fund the proposed project, the funding mechanism may be a grant, contract, or cooperative agreement. Most large agencies have set deadlines for submission of unsolicited proposals each year, and funding decisions are generally made once all proposals received in the specified time period have been reviewed.

See a detailed guide to proposal preparation and development.