Proposal Services

The Office of Proposal Development offers an extensive array of services to assist researchers – especially those working on large, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional center proposals, but also those working on smaller individual-investigator applications – through any or all stages of the proposal preparation process. We’re always happy to tailor these services to meet your specific proposal preparation needs. If you require proposal preparation services that aren’t listed below, please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may best assist you.

As the grant environment becomes more competitive and reviewers more demanding, it becomes increasingly important to allocate ample time to the proposal development process. Indeed, even strong proposals can benefit from the objective feedback of professional editors. Such feedback can prove especially useful when it can be given over multiple iterations of a proposal draft; allowing yourself time to consider feedback gives you the opportunity to further clarify your ideas, and to communicate those ideas in the most captivating and convincing way possible. For this reason, we encourage you to contact us as early in the proposal planning and preparation process as possible.

Proposal Planning

  • Identify funding opportunities for researchers.
  • Obtain background information on sponsors’ missions, programmatic priorities, and policies.
  • Work with researchers to develop strategies for creating compelling and competitive proposals.

Proposal Management

  • Create a proposal checklist.
  • Generate a feasible proposal production schedule.
  • Set up an online collaboration site and maintain master copies of all proposal files.
  • Develop templates – complete with the sponsor’s instructions – for each section of the proposal.
  • Track all proposal tasks and proposal sections – including those assigned to collaborators at other institutions – to ensure that all items are completed in a timely manner.
  • Assist the team (if needed) in making the proposal “go” / “no-go” decision.
  • Troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Proposal Vetting, Editing, Formatting, and Review

  • Vet and edit both the technical and non-technical sections of the proposal to ensure that all material is clearly, logically, and persuasively presented.
  • Integrate material written by multiple team members so that it reads as if it were written in a single, consistent, and coherent voice.
  • Collect, edit, and format biographical sketches, current and pending support forms, collaborators and other affiliations tables, and similar documents.
  • Design and format the proposal so that it is visually appealing to reviewers.
  • Coordinate graphics support (for center proposals).
  • Assist in preparing the budget and budget justification (for center proposals).
  • Arrange for external, pre-submission technical reviews of the proposal (for center proposals).
  • Verify that the proposal complies with all sponsor guidelines and addresses all review criteria.

Education and Training

  • Give one-day, interactive presentations that provide a high-level overview of the entire proposal development process.
  • Lead semester-long, hands-on proposal writing workshops that give participants at any career stage and from any discipline an opportunity to draft a complete research proposal, then have that draft thoroughly vetted and edited by both their peers in the workshop and by a professional proposal development specialist. The goal is for participants to develop a compelling, competitive proposal that will be ready to submit to an external sponsor at the conclusion of the workshop.
  • Offer presentations and panel discussions on specific federal funding agencies, their programmatic priorities, and their proposal requirements.
  • Provide proposal writing presentations to academic departments and courses upon request.