Develop Proposal Content
the overall objective of the research?
state the specific aims?
describe the methods?
the long-term goal of the research?
a snapshot of the whole proposal?
the specific aims:
your research goals in specific terms (defined objectives
that can be reached) rather than generalizations?
vague terms such as "describe the process of . ." , "characterize
the phenomenon of . . ." , or "elucidate mechanisms for
. . ."
hypotheses where appropriate?
with an introductory statement that provides a mini-background?
clearly related to each other?
being a fishing expedition (collecting data with no clear
indication of how it will be used)?
a doable body of work, rather than being too broad or ambitious?
preliminary data section:
with a clear statement of the general problem you will address?
contrast and critique what others have done (not just catalog
how existing work (literature and/or preliminary data) lays
the groundwork for your proposal?
original literature rather than reviews whenever possible?
citing so many papers that you come across as unselective?
how your studies will fill a gap or solve a problem?
questions the reviewers might pose, then answer them immediately?
with a summary of your main points?
only data pertinent to your proposal?
expertise with the techniques and methods you are going
clear, readable graphs or charts instead of tables or text
putting too many curves on one graph?
that curves on graphs are distinguishable from each other
graphs with legends and labels that make understandable
separate from adjacent text?
your findings at the end of each section and state their
with an overall summary?
the experimental design/methods section:
give an overview of the experimental design , then
give the details of the methods?
the design and methods back to each specific aim?
diagrams or flow charts to explain complex protocols?
enough detail to demonstrate that you know what you are
talking about, without crowding page limits? (This is an
art form; get help if needed.)
good use of space by referring to standard methods papers
or protocol books where appropriate ?
good use of space by referring to the preliminary data section
when methods were described there?
examples of the results you expect and how you will interpret
pitfalls you might face and explain how to deal with them?
a time line that shows you have not designed an overly ambitious