In the earliest stage of a proposal, there is an idea. The researcher must develop that idea into a clearly articulated goal that can answer the question 'what does the researcher hope to accomplish with the completion of this project'. This overarching goal forms the backdrop for presenting a proposal that can successfully describe a solid and realistic work plan and budget, and provide some assurance to the sponsor that the award will be used to its best advantage. The proposal must be able to quickly and easily provide answers to these questions.
There are two schools of thought on proposal writing. The first recommends that a researcher develop a full proposal, then seek to identify potential funding sources. The second approach councils that one develop the research idea, as outlined previously, identify the most promising potential sponsors, then develop the full proposal in a the style and presentation that would be most appealing to the identified sponsor. Both approaches have their merits and weaknesses. The latter approach, however, is most frequently recommended and is assumed in this manual.
Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are special types of proposals. They outline specific initiatives (RFA) or requests for services (RFP) and are initiated by the sponsor.RFAs are formal announcements describe an initiative in a well-defined area and invite researchers in the field to submit a grant application. Attributes of RFAs include:
RPPs are a sponsor's request for bids on a project.
Attributes of RFPs include:
Last Updated: 10/28/09