Generating a research topic sometimes relies on multiple sources of inspiration. Research should be about your strengths and interests. You may also want to network with colleagues both internally and externally, or perhaps pick-up where others left off in prior research.
When developing a preliminary idea:
Talk to a potential Program Director prior to writing your proposals. This may be the best possible investment new researchers can make in the grant-seeking aspect of research.
Proposal writing resources are available through The Office of Proposal Development.
The Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR) provides a great page on proposal development and writing that includes sample documents, frequently asked questions and more.