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Creating Your Competitive
Projects, Grants, Fellowships...
First, know your deadline and give
yourself ample time.
From start to finish, remember that proposals
need to persuade the selection committee that
the proposed course of action is feasible and
This includes describing exactly how you will
spend the time and resources allocated by the
fellowship. It often requires you to include a
timeline, a budget, and the deliverables
Next, Find a Mentor
Questions to Ask Yourself
When Considering the Project
What is your Project Subject?
What is the problem or opportunity you will address, and why is it important?
What are your goals and objectives for the project?
What activities or methods will help you reach your goals and objectives?
What resources will help you successfully complete your project?
Faculty, Staff, External Organization Mentors and their roles
Previous Coursework, Experience, Skills
Literary or Scholarly Resources
What are your timelines and benchmarks?
Who will benefit from your project? // How will you benefit from this project?
What will be the deliverables or outcomes?
Components of the Proposal
The Project Abstract-typically 150 words
in length
The Project Description-varies in length
The Project Abstract
150 word executive summary of the
W hat you will be doing
How you will do it
Why you are doing it~what is the
intellectual or practical merit
What you hope to achieve~your
project deliverable and lasting impact
The Project Description
provides details, describes how the
project will be implemented, and your
intended outcomes
Preliminary Bibliography & Resources
What academic resources will you rely
on to complete your project?
Timeline and Benchmarks
What are the benchmarks for the
project?The project broken into stages.
What is your timeline for meeting these
benchmarks and completing the project?
The Budget and Budget Justification
the details of your budget should reflect the details of
your narrative (and vise versa)
break down each item in to parts and give specifics:
materials and supplies, quotes, hourly rates, travel,
living expenses
be realistic but do not underestimate your needs
be certain that your figures add up correctly (attention
to detail)
Outcomes and Deliverables
For the project: What are the tangibles or
deliverables manifest at the end of the project?
For you: What will you get out of this
experience? A publication, a presentation,
work toward a senior thesis?
A Well Written Proposal
a.) The Rationale for the Project is
Clearly Stated
Why should people care about your
Why is it a problem worth addressing?
Is the research question novel?
B.) The Means (method) of Completing
the Project are Well-defined
The Scope of the Project is Feasible:
Can you complete the project in the
expected timeframe?
Do you have the resources to do so?
Do you have the necessary technical
or subject matter expertise?
The Project is Detailed and WellResearched:
Do you know what you need to
complete the project, and have you
provided evidence indicating so?
Have you explained your project so
reviewers know what you will be
doing and how you will be doing it?
Introduction. State the problem, the opportunity,
research question or project goal and describe what
you will be doing.
Procedures/Methods. How you will complete your
project? Include benchmarks and processes in detail.
Supporting Arguments/Literature Review. What about
your project has scholarly or practical significance?
What resources will you consult?
Outcomes/Expected Findings. Describe the outcome(s)
of your project, the deliverable(s), and possibly how
the work will continue.
Why Good Proposals Get
the applicant failed to follow guidelines
the applicant did not adequately explain
the worth of the project
the methodology, benchmarks, or budget
are vague or unrealistic
the applicant left questions and doubt in
the reviewer’s mind
Proposal Checklist:
__I have carefully read and followed the instructions for completion of this
fellowship proposal.
__I am aware of the deadline and am leaving ample time to write and revise.
__I have shared my proposal with my mentor, the LEEP Center, and/or the
Writing Center to ensure my writing is clear, concise, and grammatically
__The order and structure of my proposal description follows that of my
__My proposed budget corresponds to the narrative of my project description.
Also, I have calculated and totaled my costs correctly.
__My objectives are clear and the scope of the project is feasible.
__I have explained my project such that individuals not knowledgeable in my
field can understand my proposed work.
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