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Develop Proposal

Preapplications, Preproposals, Letters of Inquiry

More and more, funding agencies are asking for preproposals or letters of inquiry to preview potential applicants. Typically the agencies request a brief summary of the project, personnel, and budget (although this may vary). The sponsors review these summaries and some applicants are invited to submit formal applications. 

The University of Michigan's eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) system allows for the preparation of a preproposal (PRE) as well as proposal approvals (PAF).

When is a pre-PAF needed?

ORSP has a Standard Operating Procedure (100. Pre-Submission) that helps to determine when to use PRE and when to use PAF.

Always feel free to contact your ORSP project representative regarding preproposals, preapplications, or letters of inquiry.

​Below are some considerations and a collection of materials to aid in how to write a proposal, create a budget, process it through the University, and submit it to a sponsor.  

Proposal Preparation

  1. First, confirm that it is a sponsored project.
  2. Read (and re-read) the guidelines, the funding announcement (FOA) or request for proposal (RFP). Every one is different -- even if they come from the same agency.
  3. Prepare to route and finalize the proposal in the eResearch Proposal Management (eRPM) system. 

Negotiations and Agreements

In the early stages of working with sponsros, keep in mind the following things:

  1. In early discussions with sponsors, defer discussions of indirect cost arrangements to ORSP.
  2. Utilize ORSP for negotiation and review of agreements and grants.
  3. Data Sharing - Contact our ORSP Data Research Specialist to provide guidance in drafting data sharing plans and data use agreements (DUA).
  4. Leverage our signing authority services and grant acceptance on behalf of the University.

Proposal Development Resources

Budget Planning Tools and Financial Resources

Equipment & Facilities

Students in Research

References and Resources

  • Unfunded Agreement Types At any point of a research project you may need a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA), a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), a Data Use Agreement (DUA) or another type of "unfunded agreement" (UFA).