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Proposal Development & Preparation
How to develop your best proposal
You don’t have to do it all on your own. Once you have identified a funding opportunity for your project, there are lots of resources available to help you move forward. Whether you need assistance with the detailed requirements of budget planning and compliance with submission guidelines or guidance in crafting a compelling, persuasive proposal, you have access to knowledgeable staff and online resources that can help.
Begin with deadlines in mind
Be aware that all external funding proposals must be formally submitted through the Office of Research Administration (ORA) by 9 a.m. four days in advance of the funding sponsor’s deadline. ORA reviews proposals to make sure they comply with university and funding sponsor guidelines, and then submits your proposal on your behalf. Sometimes, special circumstances could require you to work with a different office.
Strategize and strengthen your proposal
IU's proposal development specialists collaborate with researchers to help plan, prepare, and manage applications for external funding. Proposal development services may include:
- Consultation and project coordination
- Reviewing the responsiveness of your proposal to a particular funding opportunity
- Identifying potential collaborators and project team members
- Working with the project lead to establish a timeline
- Providing iterative, reviewer-focused guidance and feedback
- Processing reviewers' comments during revision
- Organizing and managing the proposal preparation process
- Coordinating with IU's Office of Research Administration
- Learning opportunities
- Identifying funding opportunities
- Proposal-writing seminars
- Networking and peer review workshops
- Information sessions about specific funding opportunities
- Events featuring funding agency leaders
To take full advantage of these free services, contact IU's proposal development specialists for support at least 4-6 weeks in advance of the deadline (allow at least two months lead time for complex proposals). To request proposal development services:
- Download and complete the intake form:
- If you work at the IU Bloomington campus, email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you work at the IUPUI campus, email your completed form to Steven Chin at email@example.com.
Sign up for the IU Bloomington PDS Narrative newsletter or browse its archives to find more resources and tools on writing a successful proposal.
Preparing the administrative elements of your proposal
It’s never too early to begin asking questions or seek a grant consultant to guide you through the detailed steps you need to take before the routing and submission of your proposal.
Here are some of the services that either a grant consultant in your unit or the Office of Research Administration may assist you with:
- Drafting the budget and budgeting justification
- Preparing administrative forms
- Working with subawardees (if applicable) to obtain required documentation
- Preparing the development document for review and approval
- Uploading proposal files to the sponsor on or before the deadline
Sponsor guidelines usually require specific information about the institution. The most frequently requested details for project proposals are listed here.
The submission process
Learn about the process of routing your proposal for internal approval, before submission to the funding agency.
Contact Proposal & Award Services for help
Phone: (812) 855-0516
Phone: (317) 278-3473