Proposal Types & Preparation

A proposal, simply put, is a plan. It is developed with the idea that a potential funding agency, foundation, or corporation will find the plan of such merit that they will be willing to commit support to its execution. A good proposal will bring together the skills of argument, persuasion, and the ability to clearly articulate a project's goals, but will also take into consideration the resources and mission of the home institution.

Types of Proposals

New Proposal

A new proposal is one that is submitted for initial funding. Most new proposals are submitted for competitive review by the funding organization and peer review. The criteria for review and evaluation are predetermined by the funding organization and are usually included as part of the initial proposal information provided by the funding organization.

Continuation Proposal or Non-Competing Continuation

Frequently, government sponsored awards are distributed on a year-by-year or incremental basis. Though the award may have been approved for multiple years, the Principal Investigator must submit a continuation proposal to receive annual funding allotments.

Renewal Proposal or Competing Continuation

A renewal proposal requests funds to continue the project beyond the initially approved length of the project. Renewal proposals are usually evaluated under the same criteria as a new proposal. The Principal Investigator must be aware of submission deadlines, and generally treat a renewal proposal as a new proposal.

Contract Proposal

A contract proposal is often in direct response to a Request for Application (RFA) or a Request for Proposal (RFP). That is, the institution agrees to undertake specific and narrowly defined tasks as defined and controlled by the funder.

Revised Proposal

A revised proposal is one that has been informally acknowledged as fundable by a sponsor with the stipulation that specific changes must be made. The revised proposal is then resubmitted for funding consideration.

Supplemental Proposal

A supplemental proposal asks for additional funding to expand a program or project's scope or research protocol. As outlined in a specific sponsor's guidelines, a supplemental proposal may be treated as a new proposal for the purposes of review and competition for funds.

Proposal Preparation


Criteria to be Eligible to Serve as Principal Investigator


Routing and Approval

  • All Dartmouth applications for external funding for research, training and other programs are initiated, routed and reviewed electronically via our on-line system, RAPPORT. RAPPORT provides system to system capability to  Therefore, all components of the proposal are required for upload to allow review and submission. For proposals, key components are required for review:

    • Sponsor Guidelines, Funding Announcement
    • Proposal Abstract
    • Budget, including commitments for any matching funds
    • Budget Justification
    • List of Key Personnel
    • If there are any subcontracts included in the project proposed, provide subaward budget, justification, scope of work and signed letter of commitment from subaward institution.
    • If human subjects or animals will be used in this project, the protocol approval date and the CPHS study number (for human subjects) or the IACUC project number (for animals) should be provided in RAPPORT. If approvals are pending at the time of application, please indicate Pending in RAPPORT. 
    • Any special administrative documents required by the Sponsor or Prime Collaborator
  • Proposals are routed to department grant managers, Chairs and other fiscal and Deans as needed, before coming to OSP for review.
  • All proposals require on-line approval of Principal Investigators, Department Chair, Dean/Designee and OSP authorized signing official.

Environmental Health and Safety

  • If a Principal Investigator's proposed research involves using biological, chemical or radiation, they need to contact the Environmental Health & Safety Office.

Export Controls

  • During the proposal review and routing, Principal Investigators will be required to answer questions concerning the involvement with ITAR controlled technology, sensitive information or technology and other areas that might trigger export control regulations.
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