Proposal Development

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Guide for Proposal Development at Wright State University.

Guideline Document Produced by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, August, 2003.

So, you have an idea for a project (the focus could be on research, instruction, public service or a creative activity), and you want to turn that idea into a proposal. Where do you start? The purpose of this brochure is to guide you through some of the basic steps for finding sponsors for your project and submitting a proposal.

Identification of Funding Sources

If you have not already pinpointed a sponsor for your project, Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) can assist you in locating possible sources of funding. The staff of RSP gathers, summarizes, and distributes grant-related information to assist the faculty and staff at WSU. We maintain a database of profiles that helps us to match faculty and staff with potential funding sources. If you have not already filled out an interest profile, we urge you to do so. This form can be accessed online at

Note: You must complete a Faculty Interest Profile and be entered in RSP's Faculty Interest Database to be eligible for funding by WSU's internal funding programs.

The RSP homepage contains the following electronic funding databases that allow you to explore upcoming funding opportunities in your area of interest:

    SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network)

Anyone with a "" email address can access these databases from our homepage.

Note: Our office also presents a hands-on funding opportunities workshop on a quarterly basis. During this workshop, we demonstrate each database and help you to become familiar with the electronic tools each one has to offer.

The RSP Publications posted on our website are also helpful sources for funding news.

 - Research News – a newsletter that covers grant awards and related topics of interest

Note: Our office also presents a hands-on funding opportunities workshop on a quarterly basis. During this workshop, we demonstrate each database and help you to become familiar with the electronic tools each one has to offer.” TO “Note: Our office also presents hands-on funding opportunities workshops on a calendar (see basis. During these workshops, we demonstrate each database and help you to become familiar with the electronic tools each one has to offer.


Pre-submission Activities

Now that you have found a possible source for funding, what should you do next?

 - Obtain the guidelines and deadline dates from either the sponsor or RSP.

 - Contact the Technology Transfer Office to discuss any intellectual property and/or technology marketing/commercialization issues.

 - Consult with the liaison of any appropriate WSU compliance committee, if necessary, and/or review compliance guidelines posted on our website:

 - Human Subjects

 - Lab Animals

 - Biohazards

 - Prepare a draft of your proposal. (There are many good proposal writing guides available on the Web; some are listed on the RSP website.)

 - If your proposal will include a line item for a subcontract to another institution, it will be necessary for us to receive a letter of intent to participate in our project from the institution, their statement of work, and an itemized budget. A template they may use for a letter of intent can be found on the RSP website at Sample_ltr_of_intent.doc.

Note: Most program officers welcome calls and inquiries from potential grantees prior to the submission of an application. If you want to discuss your project with the program officer, contact information can usually be found in the program announcement.

Proposal Preparation

As you begin your proposal, you may have questions about some of the requirements or forms that are included in the application. The staff of RSP is here to assist you in the proposal preparation process. With sufficient notice (i.e. at least two weeks prior to the deadline date), we can help you with the following procedures:

    - Correct interpretation and/or use of sponsor guidelines

    - Consultation on budget preparation (we have Excel spreadsheets that help facilitate this step)

    - Questions about cost-sharing and match requirements

    - Certifications and assurances

    - Direction to proper research committees for authorizations

    - Discussion of preliminary proposals with program officers

Internal routing of proposal and authorization sheet to secure proper administrative authorizations (Proposals can usually be routed with a minimum of the abstract, a budget, a budget narrative, and any necessary forms that require institutional approval and/or signatures.)

Note: Proposals to be submitted electronically often require additional lead time to allow for any necessary formatting revisions, assigning of PINs or passwords, and as a safeguard against any downtime or problems with the Internet.

Submission Activities

When you are ready to submit your application, please bring the original copy of the proposal, appendices, and any application forms to RSP, and we will take care of the following:

   - Reviewing of application for completeness and accuracy based on sponsor guidelines

   - Copying and assembling of proposals

   - Preparing cover letter and receipt confirmation card

   - Submitting the proposal to the sponsor by the required deadline either by UPS or electronic submission

   - Negotiation and execution of any non-disclosure confidentiality, or teaming agreement.

   - Tracking of proposal submissions

The Writing Center of UNC provides a nice ‘how to’ guide for writing Grant Proposals that can also serve as a useful review for anyone seeking funding -

Award Notification

Upon notification from the sponsor that your project is being funded, our staff will take the following steps:

   - Notify you of receipt of award

   - Establish an account number and budget for your project

   - Assist you in the orderly administration of your project

   - Act as liaison between the sponsor and WSU (includes coordinating of contract negotiations)

   - Keep you apprised of technical report due dates

   - Prepare and submit fiscal reports for your project

Note: If the sponsor sends the award notice directly to you, please forward it to RSP to ensure that the award is entered into the WSU and RSP systems properly, and that an account is created for your project.

Contact Information

Any time you have questions regarding a proposal or an award, please feel free to contact the RSP staff for assistance. Our office is located at 201J University Hall and a complete listing of the RSP staff with phone numbers, areas of expertise, and email addresses can be found on the facing page and on our homepage at