Proposal development tools

Bluford Library resources

The F.D. Bluford Library website provides a guide to library resources for proposal development. The guide includes library training and links that faculty have requested.

Proposal development checklist

    1. Outline your long-term goals for research, education, or service. 
    2. Literature review: Make sure you can provide evidence from the literature documenting the importance of your work by conducting a preliminary review.
    3. Identify a problem that must be solved to reach your long-term goals and develop a proposal to do so.
    4. Find the funding opportunity in which the funder’s goals are the closest match with your goals.
    5. Read the full announcement carefully, paying special attention to the eligibility requirements for the institution and investigator, any limits on the amount of money that can be requested, the length of the award period, due dates, any requirements for supplementary documents, review criteria, and any restrictions on formatting.
    6. Allow at least two months to prepare your proposal. Six months is better.
    7. Submit a Notice of Intent to RAMSeS via email.  Our email sent in response to your NOI will give you the name and contact information for the grants administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs who will handle the submission of your proposal.
    8. Enter the preliminary data for your proposal into RAMSeS.  (Click here for more information about what RAMSeS is and how to use it.)
    9. Contact the Office of Research Services and Project Management for assistance in developing your proposal and its budget.  We will help you throughout the process of preparing your proposal.
    10. Some federal agencies (DOE, DOJ, NASA, NIH, and NSF) require PIs to register as individuals before PIs can use the agencies’ respective electronic submission sites.  Contact the grants administrator named in our response to your NOI for help with your individual registration.
    11. Make a detailed outline of what you want to do; make sure it follows a logical progression.  (The funding announcement can help you organize your outline.)  Identify areas that require the expertise of a collaborator, use of specialized equipment, or approval by the Office of Research Compliance and Ethics for research involving human subjects, animals, biohazardous agents or radiation.
    12. Make a list of any questions you have for the funding agency's program director.  Email her or him to ask for the best time for you to call.  Talk with the program officer and follow the program officer’s advice.
    13. Complete your review of the literature.
    14. Develop a timeline for completing your proposal.  If you need letters of support, send your requests to the appropriate people at least a month ahead of time.  Your timeline must include time for your chair and research dean to authorize your proposal and a minimum of three days for the Office of Sponsored Programs to review and submit it.  Set aside time each week to work on your proposal.
    15. Begin work on your budget at an early date.  This is critical if there is an upper limit on the amount of funds that will be awarded; you don’t want to complete your narrative and find out there will not be enough money to do what you have planned.  Email your budget for review by the Office of Research Services and Project Management.
    16. Use your outline to develop your narrative.
    17. We can review the narrative and make suggestions for strengthening it. We can also provide assistance in proofreading and editing the text of your proposal. Send Dr. Keith McCullough a draft of your proposal 10 working days before the submission deadline.
    18. Reread the funding announcement to make sure you have met all of the agency’s requirements listed the announcement before you upload the proposal into RAMSeS and send it to the Office of Sponsored Programs.
    19. When you are funded, you will need training on use of Banner and Aggie Mart.  Be optimistic and sign up for training before you hear from the sponsor.  If you wait until you know you are funded, you will lose valuable time when your grant begins. 

Identifying potential research partners

There are several ways to find experts in different areas of research at N.C. A&T and across the nation.  You can always call Research Services for suggestions for internal collaborators.  In addition, the following databases can help you find someone with the expertise you need here or at other institutions.

COS Pivot: COS Scholar Universe

COS Scholar Universe contains information on more than 2 million researchers and scholars.  The “advanced search” presents many options for refining your search based on in information from researchers on their expertise, homepages, CVs, institutions, and publications.  You can also set an upper limit on the number of miles to the potential collaborator’s location.

If you do not have a COS Pivot account, click on “register for a Pivot account.”  NC A&T has an institutional membership to COS Pivot so you can access it from computers on campus.

Reach NC

REACH NC is a web portal that enables users to find experts at UNC system campuses, Duke University, and RTI International. The database is still in development.  It includes researchers in the STEM disciplines and business.   Researchers in the arts, humanities, and social sciences will be added to complete the database.

Databases of funded awards

Checking these databases can provide you with the names of experts and give you an idea of what the sponsors are currently funding.

Forms and code numbers