Guidelines for Writing a Proposal

When writing a research or creative proposal to secure funding, carefully follow all format guidelines supplied by the granting agency. The following online sources offer additional guidance.

Research program officers and other staff in Western Michigan University's Office of the Vice President for Research can assist faculty and staff in finding proposal editing and review services through a quality circle review or professional consultant. To find out more about this type of assistance, contact a research program officer.

Quality circle reviews

A quality circle review is a mock review of a draft proposal carried out by WMU colleagues. Ideally, the mock review process is designed to match the actual sponsor review as closely as possible.

Research program officers and other staff in the research office are available to help organize quality circle reviews. Keep in mind that a draft proposal will need to be ready far enough in advance to allow adequate time for both the review and necessary revisions.

Resubmitting a proposal

An initial research or creative proposal that has been declined deserves a second submission. Expert feedback from a college dean or associate dean, a department chair and a few colleagues can prove invaluable to rewriting the proposal. It is also common for the evaluator's comments to be made available when a proposal has been declined. These critiques are especially helpful during the rewrite, as they often show the true expectations of a sponsor and make the process less anonymous.