Planning, writing and submitting a proposal to fund your research will take longer than you might imagine. From concept to submission, it may take over a year. Funding decisions and agreement negotiation often take an additional six months or more. For best results, a well planned and flexible schedule is recommended.
Conceptualize your project
- What is your research passion?
- Is it an area that you would enthusiastically spend the next three to five years or more working on?
- Is it new, novel, distinctive, exciting, rigorous, and high impact?
Discuss your project with trusted colleagues, mentors and team members
- This is an ongoing process, your colleagues can help you refine your ideas.
Conduct a literature search
- What current work is being conducted in your field?
- How is your idea novel and different than the current research in the field?
Prepare a white paper/executive summary/brief project description
- This will help you refine and succinctly summarize your project idea. This is a dynamic document that will be modified many times as you continue to refine your ideas. It will also be a good resource for later discussions with potential funders and program officers.
Assess the feasibility of the work related to:
- Available Expertise
- If necessary, pare down the project to fit the available resources
Formulate an approach to the work
- Do you have preliminary data? Does the quality and quantity of your preliminary data indicate that your project is likely to be successful?
- If you do not have preliminary data, what is your plan to obtain it?
- Plan your three to five year research agenda, one that includes publishing and attending conferences in your field.