Preparing a Proposal

Georgetown Main Campus Research has adopted a lifecycle management approach to research administration. This means teams within our office are organized to manage grant proposals and awards from the beginning (“pre-award”) through management and termination, or closeout, of an award (“post-award”). This comprehensive approach helps to better understand the entire cycle of a proposal in all of its stages, rather than only gaining familiarity with one phase.

Diagram of the Proposal Preparation / Award Life Cycle

Faculty who require assistance with their proposals are encouraged to work with one of the senior grants administrators in the Sciences Service Center before they formally route their applications to the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for review, institutional endorsement, and subsequent submission when appropriate. We request at least three weeks' advance notice of the sponsor deadline.

Key Components of a Proposal

Proposals generally include the following components:

  • Abstract: outlines the proposed research, including objectives, methodology, and significance of the research.
  • Statement of Work or Research Plan: provides a full and detailed explanation of the proposed research, typically including a project timetable. It should include general background information regarding how the project relates to previous and current research.
  • Budget and narrative justification: includes a reasonable estimate of the financial support required to conduct the project, including justification of budget expenses. For further information, please see our section on Budget Development.

Additionally, the following may also be required on external solicitations:

  • Current and pending support: a listing of the PI and Key Personnel on current awards and pending proposals.
  • Letters of support: letters of support from non-university investigators may also be required.
  • CV or Biographical Sketch: required for all key project personnel.
  • Other Support: a compilation of the current funding and time commitments for the Principal Investigator (PI) and any other key project personnel.
  • References: list of all references cited in the proposal.
  • Checklist (NIH only): shows the break-down of the indirect cost rate calculations.