Components of a Proposal

What should be included in a proposal?

The format or presentation of a proposal will depend on the requirements of the sponsor to whom you are applying. Most sponsors have developed policies and procedures for the submission of proposals and may require the use of specific application forms. Other sponsors are less directive. In any case, PIs should obtain most recent versions of guidelines and should follow the required proposal format.

Please note: All proposals which include subrecipients must be accompanied by the Subrecipient Information and Compliance (SIC) form at the time of submission.  Please use the SIC form to submit basic subrecipient information as well as compliance assurances.

The following may be used as a guide to components of a proposal when requirements are not specific:

Title Page Includes the title and duration of the project, amount requested, name and address of the PI and of the institutional contact (in most cases, this will be the Office of Sponsored Projects).
Abstract or Proposal Summary Describes the objectives, methodology and significance of the proposed project. The abstract should be able to stand alone and should provide the reader with a first impression of the request.
Introduction Should specifically and concisely state the importance of the research being proposed.
Description of the Project This is the heart of the proposal and should describe what is to be undertaken and how it will be accomplished. Applicants may wish to explore the general background of current or previous research as well as describe the proposed program of work.
Bibliography Should list references cited in the body of the proposal.
CV/Biographical Sketch Should be submitted for all key personnel, indicating background, professional interests, research capabilities and publications.
Budget and Budget Justification Should reflect a reasonable estimate of expenses necessary to conduct the project. Consult Frequently Needed Yale Facts for fringe benefit rates, graduate student tuition and stipends, and facilities and administrative rates (indirect costs).
Facilities and Resources Describes equipment or other relevant resources that will be available for use on the project. Examples of such resources include laboratory and office spaces, library resources, animal facilities, and computer services or equipment.
Transmittal Letter If the sponsor does not provide a form asking for an institutional signature, the Office of Sponsored Projects may provide a cover letter to accompany the proposal indicating Yale’s approval of the application.