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Develop Proposal

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Once you have identified a funding opportunity, you can prepare a proposal that consists of these components:

  • eGrants Submission Form
  • Budget and Budget Justification
  • Compliance approvals and subcontracts if applicable
  • Subcontracts if applicable
  • Abstract/Project Summary

Estimated Duration

The estimated duration for developing a proposal will consist of a 14-day timeline that begins once your request moves from draft status and is submitted for review.

How to Develop a Proposal

  1. Application Requirements

    Download the most up-to-date version of all application forms, policies, procedures, funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and adhere to the sponsor’s requirements. Understand your responsibilities and who will assist you in completing each component.

    Sponsor Guidelines for Proposal Preparation

  2. Submission Process

    Enter your proposal in eGrants 14 days prior to due date (i.e., administrative information, budget, compliance, and science).

  3. Subrecipient Considerations

    Identify subrecipients and request administrative materials from subrecipient.

  4. Budget and Cost Share

    Prepare proposed budget and identify any cost share.

  5. Compliance Components

    Ensure all pertinent documentation/information has been provided for applicable research protocols and compliance components. (e.g., IACUC, IRB).

  6. Department ID Number

    Please ensure that your department ID number is correct in your proposal.

  7. Final Steps

    Assemble, review, and submit final proposal three days prior to due date.

Terms and Definitions

Allowable Costs
The sponsor’s specification of allowed or not allowed costs under a grant.
Cost Share
Occurs when the sponsor does not pay a quantified portion of the award costs.
Pass-Through Entity (Flow-Through)
A nonfederal organization that passes a portion of funding to subrecipients to perform a portion of the project work.
Institution receiving a subaward or subcontract from a pass-through (flow-through) entity. Also known as a sub-awardee.
Uniform Guidance
Guidelines institutions must follow once federal funding is received.

View All Terms & Definitions

Expert Tips

  • How to Prepare the Proposal Budget

    There are several essential expenses you will need to account for in your grant proposal budget when seeking funding for your research. Remember that budget costs must be reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

    • What costs are allowed?
      Provides clear and concise information on the types of costs allowed or not allowed under a grant.
      Allowable Cost Document

    • What guidelines are required for federal funding?
      Guidelines all institutions should follow that receive federal funding.
      Uniform Guidance Document

    Several sponsors may have policies that address allowed or unallowed expenses. It is imperative that you to refer to the sponsor or application guidelines.

  • How to Specify Cost Sharing in a Proposal

    Cost sharing occurs when the sponsor does not pay a quantified portion of the award costs. It is paid instead with resources within a department, institution, or other parties outside the funding source.

    Types of Cost Sharing

  • How to Improve Your Funding Success Rate

    Researchers who can express their scientific arguments persuasively and concisely often receive grant funding. Many innovative research ideas get put into the unfunded category during reviews because the proposals are not clear and don't present the research's significance. Here are some useful tips to help you secure funding for your research:

    • Stick with the format. Research shows that an application will have a better chance at succeeding if it is easy to read and follows the required format. This creates an efficient evaluation process and keeps reviewers from hunting for critical information.
    • Plan ahead. Before writing the application, think about the budget and how it is related to the research plan. Remember that everything in the budget must be justified by the work you've proposed to do.
    • Be realistic. Don't propose more work than can be reasonably done during the proposed project period.
    • Make intent clear. Include enough background information to enable an intelligent reader to understand your proposed work. Although not a requirement for assignment purposes, a cover letter can help the sponsor assign the application for initial peer review.
    • Organize your thinking. Start with an outline following the suggested organization of the application. Write one sentence summarizing the topic sentence of each main section. Do the same for each main point in the outline.
    • Make the case. Capture the reviewers' attention by making the case for why the sponsor should fund the research. Tell reviewers why testing this hypothesis is worth their money, why the UTSW researcher is the person to do it, and how UTSW can give the PI the support needed to get it done.
    • Keep it simple. Make one point in each paragraph. This is key for readability. Keep sentences to 20 words or less. Write simple, clear sentences. Use active rather than passive voice. For example, write "We will develop an experiment," not "An experiment will be developed."
    • Be succinct. Use a clear and concise writing style so that a non-expert may understand the proposed research. Often you will know much more on the topic than the reviewer, so make your points as directly as possible. Use basic English, avoiding jargon or excessive language. Spell out all acronyms on first reference. Be consistent with terms, references, and writing style.

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Cheryl Anderson, CRA

Director, Pre-Award Administration

Jamie Maiden, MBA, MHSM

Assistant Director, Pre-Award Administration


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LaTasha Stevenson

Lead Proposal Analyst


Diana Camp

Lead Proposal Analyst


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