Preparing a proposal for funding involves understanding the particular sponsor requirements and review process to be able to get organized, identify resources, and assess grant readiness. Sponsor requirements are varied and range from highly detailed (number of characters, font size, page margins, and numbering) to less detailed (no page limitations or formatting). Make sure you understand the funder’s priorities and perspective. Does your project fit their priorities? In addition to carefully reading the guidelines, call the program officer to discuss your research project and the potential fit with the funding source.
Understanding how your proposal will be reviewed is also essential to understanding who your audience is. Are the grant opportunities peer reviewed? Are there multiple layers to the review process? Is there a program officer who still has final say so? Depending on the review process, different aspects of your program could become more essential to highlight.
Contact the ORSP early in the proposal preparation process to get support and resources to meet your needs. ORSP can conduct research on previous grant awards, sample abstracts, and funding guidelines. Below are some specific agency websites and their guidelines for grant review.
Health Resources and Services Administration Heath
Institute of Educational Sciences (iES)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Science Foundation (NSF)
National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH)
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
For more information and tips on reaching out to the program officer, the following article is a good resource.
Can We Talk? Contacting Grant Program Officers - Robert Porter (via Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education)
This manual is designed to serve as a guide for those who are interested in seeking external funding for projects to be conducted at Loyola. It provides an overview of procedures for the development, submission, and management of funds awarded by external sponsors.