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, including university-wide Proposal and Award Services in IU's Office for Research Administration and Proposal Development Services on the Bloomington and IUPUI campuses.

If you are considering corporate or foundation funding, contact IU's corporate and foundation relations team for assistance.

Begin with deadlines in mind

Be aware that all external funding proposals must be formally submitted through the Office for 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.

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 for 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

The submission process