Proposal Writer's Guide

by Don Thackrey


B. Proposals for Academic Programs

It may be that your need is not for a research grant, but for outside sponsorship of an academic program involving a new curriculum, a conference, a summer seminar, or a training activity. If so, once again your best guide in proposal preparation is to consult any guidelines that the sponsoring agency provides. In the event that none is available, however, the following outline may be followed.

The Introduction, including a clear statement of need, and the Background section, describing the local situation and developmental activities to date, should begin the request. These should be followed by a section entitled Planning. This section details the activities that will occur after the grant is received and before the institution of the new courses, training activities, or seminar. A Program Description should come next. This section lists the courses or instructional sessions to be offered, the interrelationship of parts, and the program leading to certification or a degree. It discusses the students or participants to be selected and served by the program, as well as plans for faculty retreats, negotiation with cooperating institutions, released time to write instructional materials, and so on.

Before concluding with the Institutional Resources, Personnel, and Budget sections, special attention should be given to a section entitled Institutional Commitment. Here the agreements made by various departments and cooperating institutions are clarified, and the willingness of the home institution to carry on the program once it has proven itself is certified. This section is crucial to the success of curriculum development programs because, in contrast to research programs, they have a profound impact on the host institution. Funding agencies need to be reassured that their funds will not be wasted by an institution that has only responded to a funding opportunity without reflecting soberly upon the long-range commitments implied.

Proposal Writer's Guide: | PWG Contents | PWG Introduction | Parts of a Research Proposal | Title Page | Abstract s | Proposal Table of Contents | Background Section | Description of Proposed Research | Resources Descriptions | References | Personnel | Budget | Appendices | Proposals for Academic Programs | III. Inquiries to Private Foundations | IV. Dealing with Short Deadlines | V. Why Proposals Are Rejected|