Develop Proposal Components

At this point you should have already met with the School of Education and Human Development Research Administrator to work out who will take care of specific proposal components and what kind of schedule you should aim for.  The schedule will be determined by the complexity and scope of the proposal, the sponsor’s deadline, and the level of proposal activity expected in the weeks prior to your specific deadline date. You have to make sure that you work with the Research Administrator to allow sufficient time for the proposal to be reviewed, approved, and submitted on time. As mentioned elsewhere, almost all proposals are submitted by the Office of Sponsored Programs and the School of Education and Human Development is subject to schedules and deadlines set by that office.

Proposals will generally contain at least the following elements:

  1. a research narrative,
  2. literature citations/references,
  3. budget and budget narrative, and
  4. biosketches or CVs, and may contain
  5. a human subject narrative,
  6. resources and environment,
  7. current/pending or other support

Sponsors may also require an abstract, evidence of institutional support, letters of support from collaborators, proof of the University's tax status, a copy of our indirect cost rate agreement, or copies of the University's audited financial statements.

Frequently there are also page or word limits for particular parts of a proposal.  For example, NSF limits biosketches to two pages and the NIH now limits the research narrative (called "research strategy") to between 6 and 12 pages depending on the NIH activity code that applies to your proposal.

Information about biosketch requirements for our most popular sponsors (IES, NSF, NIH) as well as information regarding SciENcv, visit our presentation handout at

NSF has recently added a spreadsheet template for identifying Collaborators and Other Affiliations on new proposals, find more information here.


External Resource:

New NIH R01 Grant Writing Manual Includes Step-by-Step Guidance from Veteran Grant Winners and Reviewers

November 09, 2018 — Washington, DC. Principal Investigator Leader announces the release of their grant writing manual entitled NIH R01 Grant Expert Writing Skills: Everything You Need to Improve Your Scientific Research Funding Success.

In 2017, the overall success rate of R01 grants was only 16% of submitted applications. This means that more than 80% of R01 applications got rejected.

This in-depth, 8-section how-to manual has been designed to help research scientists submit more competitive applications for the highly-sought R01 grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), maximizing their chances for NIH R01 funding.

Each section instructs on a separate, essential part of the R01 grant application process:

  • Biosketch: Build reviewer confidence by effectively illustrating your research acumen and capabilities 
  • Abstract: Craft an Abstract that catches reviewers' attention and keeps them engaged
  • Research Environment: Successfully include resources reviewers want to see in your research proposal
  • Research Plan: Develop a strong Research Strategy that meets ALL NIH scoring criteria
  • Special Considerations: Fully comply with NIH policies and guidelines to prevent early rejection
  • Budgets and Compliance: Develop a Budget that is in sync with your Research Strategy
  • NIH Review Process: Prepare for common post submission actions and tendencies

This unique manual utilizes recently funded (2016 and 2017) NIH grant applications, as well as veteran grant winners and reviewers to walk you through the R01 application process. The hands-on examples will help researchers quickly understand how to avoid common R01 application missteps and reviewer pet-peeves. Utilizing the proven strategies outlined within will assist them in preparing a stronger, more compliant R01 proposal that is more apt to get their research funded.

Since no research project is the same, this manual also provides alternative strategies to overcome common R01 application challenges. This way researchers can find the strategy that works perfectly for their unique situation.

The NIH R01 Grant Expert Writing Skills Manual is currently available at an introductory rate until November 22nd.

Satisfaction Guarantee: This manual is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Principal Investigator Leader is an independent organization that helps scientists in all fields master their operational and financial challenges.