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Office of Sponsored Programs

Components of a Proposal

Standard Components of Most Funding Proposals

The proposal is an application to receive funding for a project. It contains information regarding who plans to do the work, how it will be done, and what it will cost. The format or presentation of a particular proposal will depend on the requirements of the sponsor. Most sponsors have developed policies and procedures for the submission of proposals and may require the use of specific application forms or electronic web-based systems. Other sponsors may have less stringent format requirements. The Principle Investigator (PI) should obtain the most recent version of the sponsor’s application guidelines and follow the required proposal format. The majority of proposals have “standard” sections, regardless of the size of the project. Although, it is not possible to detail the prescribed content and format for all sponsors here, listed below are standard components of most funding proposals: 

  • Check Mark Image

    Abstract or Project Description

  • Institutional Introduction

  • Statement of Need

  • Supporting Research

  • Goals, Objectives & Outcomes

  • Plan of Operation

  • Staffing & Management

  • Evaluation or Assessment Plan

  • Budget & Budget Justification

  • Appendices:


  • Letters of Support

  • Memorandum of Understanding

  • Subawards