Resources & Tips

Where to start? What to include? If the sponsoring agency does not provide specific instructions for what should be included in a proposal, the following guide may be helpful. However, when guidelines are available, read them carefully and follow them to the letter since nothing annoys a reviewer more quickly than a proposal that is poorly organized and does not include the requested information.

Anatomy of a Proposal

Contact with the program officer from your chosen funding source is very important.  By contacting her/him, you can find out whether or not your idea/project aligns with the funding source's goals and also get a competitive edge in a tight competition.  This document helps you to prepare for a conversation with your program officer, provides important questions to ask him/her, and offers additional reasons why this can heighten your chances of being funded.

Contacting the Program Officer:  a Winning Strategy

Nearly all funding sources require a section in the proposal for both objectives and activities.  These crucial sections can often be some of the toughest parts of the proposal writing process.  This document gives helpful hints as to how to write effective objective and activities sections. 

Developing Objectives and Activities

Most funders require that applicants include an evaluation section in their proposal. The evaluation section shows how you will evaluate, or report on, your own program to measure its success.  This document provides advice on how to formulate a successful evaluation section.

Developing the Program Evaluation

This Tool Kit is a compendium of proposal development resources featuring articles on effective writing techniques; guides and manuals from government sources and private foundations; and a library of successful proposals from numerous grant-making agencies. Developed by UTK, most of these resources are either open source or available after entering your NetID.

Grant-Seeker's Tool Kit

Where should you look for information to appropriately manage data, inventions, publications, and other resources developed with NIH funding? Why and how should you safeguard intellectual property rights to discoveries and inventions made with NIH funds? This PowerPoint explains the balance between data sharing and protection of inventions, while detailing NIH licensing principles, grantees' rights and obligations, when and how to report inventions to NIH, and how to work toward sharing NIH-funded data and other research resources to advance research for benefits to the public.

Inventions, Data Sharing, Reports to NIH, & other Intellectual Property Considerations


Click here to find a table that shows what the overall proposal will be like and how each section will be connected to the other sections.  This comprehensive analysis shows how the nature and extent, objectives, outcome evaluation, reasons and causes, activities, and process evaluation work together to champion your project/idea.

Planning Your Proposal:  Putting the Pieces Together

This page gives a brief outline of the steps involved in submitting a proposal.  Once you have identified a project/idea you wish to propose, use these steps to create a program design and locate a funding source that aligns with your idea.

Step-by-Step Guide for Grant Seekers 

What do you do if your initial NIH application is unsuccessful? This article explains NIH resubmission requirements, offers tips on how to improve your original application, and outlines the process. It also discusses different approaches on addressing your reviewer’s issues, whether you agree or disagree with their comments.

Your Resubmission- Application Act Two